Liberal Democrat rural affairs spokesperson Mike Rumbles MSP has today applauded cross-party efforts which saw the Scottish Government defeated in its attempt to place extensive powers on forestry directly under Ministerial control.
Mr Rumbles said:
“The move to absorb decision making powers on forestry into the civil service shouldn’t have come as a surprise as it follows the SNP’s usual ill-thought through impulses to centralise power.
“We must be careful not to jeopardise years of knowledge and expertise built up in the forestry sector, which is so central to the success of our rural economy and forestry development in Scotland.
“Opposition parties have united today to curb the power ambitions of SNP ministers. In doing so they have offered welcome protections to a strong and effective forestry agency.”
Claudia Beamish’s amendment can be found below.
39 After section 64A, insert—
Arrangements for carrying out forestry and land management functions
(1) The Scottish Ministers must, in making administrative arrangements for the purposes of carrying out their forestry and land management functions, establish a single agency or similar body comprising all members of staff of the Scottish Administration involved in carrying out such functions.
(2) For the purposes of this section, “forestry and land management functions” means— (a) the Scottish Ministers’ functions under this Act, (b) such other functions relating to or in connection with forestry and land management as the Scottish Ministers may determine.