A manifesto for rural Scotland

Fergus Ewing, Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy & Connectivity, spoke at the Rural Parliament.
Fergus Ewing, Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy & Connectivity, spoke at the Rural Parliament.

Internet connectivity and transport are top of the list of campaigns for pressure group, Scottish Rural Action.

Both these issues are high on the agenda in the south west, with political representatives, businesses, community groups and private individuals all looking for better online connections and transport links.

Scottish Rural Action, the organisation responsible for organising the Scottish Rural Parliament, launched their full Manifesto for rural Scotland at their Annual General Meeting in Perth.

The Manifesto was originally released in draft form in September 2016, prior to the second meeting of the Scottish Rural Parliament in Brechin, Angus, where delegates had the opportunity to propose amendments to the wording, and additions to the content of the Manifesto, before it was overwhelmingly agreed on by those in attendance.

Amanda Burgauer, chair of Scottish Rural Action, said: “The Manifesto is a statement of the collective views of people from across our country, informed directly by more than 1,500 people from both accessible and remote rural areas, as well as a distillation of contributions from a wide-range of other sources.

“There is no time limit on this Manifesto, and we anticipate many of the calls to action and statements within will be relevant for many years to come, whereas others will be quicker to progress.”

The Manifesto is divided into 19 different areas, including “Arts & Culture”, “Education” and “Tourism”. From these, five key areas were prioritised at the Rural Parliament, which Scottish Rural Action will take forward and campaign on over the next two years. These five areas are “Digital Connectivity”, “Land”, “Business”, “Transport” and “Democracy & Governance”.

The Manifesto can be read in full, by going to www.scottishruralparliament.org.uk/Manfiesto. Printed copies are also available by emailing info@scottishruralparliament.org.uk.