CROWN ESTATE CHANGE A MISSED OPPORTUNITY11 July, 2012 – Richard Lochhead
Commenting on the developments announced today in the management of the Crown Estate and the implication for Scottish Crown Estate assets, Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead said:
This is a missed opportunity by the UK Government for much needed accountability of the Crown Estate. These developments do not go far enough and greater transparency is needed over all Crown Estate functions in Scotland.
Todays developments are a small step forward, but it must not be the end of the story. Scotland deserves better than a limited and reluctant release of the Crown Estate assets from centralised London control. Rather than being determined to hold on to the Crown Estate at any cost, the UK government should relinquish responsibility and devolve control to the Scottish Parliament and Scotland’s communities.
The Scottish Affairs Committee recommendations gave a clear rationale for the devolution of the Crown Estate in Scotland a position that has also received cross-party support in the Scottish Parliament, that urged the UK Government to go even further and its deeply disappointing that UK ministers have chosen to ignore this.
While its encouraging that the Crown Estate is taking steps to be more responsive to the needs of local communities, it is still the case that Scotland and its communities stand to see no direct benefit from the exploitation of our vast natural resources. Scottish communities must have a say in how the natural assets on their door step are managed and we will continue to press for change, so that this becomes a reality.