McArthur wins ‘right to know’ appeal over Orkney quarry

15 Apr 2024
Entrance to Cursiter Quarry, Bill Boaden, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Orkney’s MSP, Liam McArthur has welcomed a decision by the Scottish Information Commissioner to support his call for Orkney Islands Council to publish further information about the operations of Cursiter Quarry.

In 2021, Mr McArthur requested information from OIC about the quantity of stone from the quarry used for Council purposes, as well as the annual cost of operating the quarry. After the request was refused, Orkney’s MSP appealed to the Information Commissioner under Freedom of Information and Environmental Information legislation.

After a lengthy investigation, the Information Commissioner has upheld Mr McArthur’s appeal and directed OIC to publish the information by 6th May. OIC has now provided the information to Mr McArthur.

Commenting, Mr McArthur said:

“Cursiter Quarry is strategically important to the Council’s ability to deliver its responsibilities for key local infrastructure. I also recognise there are commercial sensitivities in relation to the operation of the quarry.

“However, while there is always a balance to be struck, I think the public interest is best served by people knowing how public funds are being spent and local infrastructure resourced.

“I am pleased the Information Commissioner has agreed and welcome the fact that Orkney Islands Council has now published relevant details.

“This is an issue that has attracted a lot of attention in the past and unfortunately created a good deal of anger within the local community. Hopefully, greater transparency will allow trust to be rebuilt going forward.”

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