Scottish Countryside Alliance

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Rural Life

Supporting Rural Communities and Businesses

The Scottish Countryside Alliance believes that all rural communities deserve vibrant local schools, busy community owned village halls, and new and growing business resources and services. We believe that Scotland’s communities can form a wealth of opportunity from the development of our vast natural resources and by fully exploiting the new opportunities that are emerging from the sustainable management of our environment, whether that is a growing forest estate or the expansion of local biomass energy generation from food or farm waste, create sustainable lifestyles for all ages within our rural landscape.

Supporting Shooting

Shooting does not face an outright ban – yet. However, we should never forget that shooting faces regular threats whether through restrictions on the guns we use, the ammunition we fire, the birds we rear, the land we use or our very presence in the countryside we love.

Supporting Hunting

The Scottish hunting community are rightly proud of their achievements. Having come through an all-encompassing campaign fighting to save the sport and in many cases livelihoods, they emerged from the fight on February 13, 2002, blooded but unbeaten. Ten years later, we must recognise and commend the resilience of hunting folk – the fact that we still have a form of fox hunting in Scotland is testament to the determination of the people involved.

Economics benefits to rural Scotland

There has long been a perception that angling for game and coarse fish is important to the Scottish economy. In August 2001 a report entitled Scotland’s Freshwater Fish and Fisheries: Securing their Future, gave an in-depth economic analysis of the sector. reporting that angling is valuable to Scotland, and particularly to rural Scotland.

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Don’t make rural drivers wait for fuel rebate, says Scottish Countryside Alliance

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Rural communities should not be made to wait for their fuel VAT rebate, says the Countryside Alliance.
Seven Highland areas are included in the Treasury’s plans to offer cheaper fuel in remote parts of the UK, unveiled in August.
It is an extension of the current rebate scheme which allows retailers of road fuel within the Inner and Outer Hebrides, the Northern Isles, the Islands of the Clyde and the Isles of Scilly to register with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) to claim back five pence per litre (ppl) relief on unleaded petrol and diesel for retail sale within the eligible areas.
However Highland MP Danny Alexander, who is Chief Secretary to the Treasury, announced on 5 November that the extension has been put on hold until next year, to pinpoint other communities also deserving of a price cut.
This means the application to the European Commission for it to be implemented will not now be made until next year, and those communities already chosen will have to wait longer for the proposed rebate.
Countryside Alliance research shows that the rural commute is an average of 25% more expensive than the urban commute and fuel prices tend to be higher in areas with fewer petrol stations and less competition.

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Rural commission report welcomed by Scottish Countryside Alliance

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

The Scottish Countryside Alliance welcomes the Final Report and Policy Recommendations from the independent Scottish Rural Commission, which sets out 97 recommendations to improve the lives of rural Scots.
The commission was chaired by Hughie Campbell Anderson, a land agent and former chairman of the Association of Salmon Fishery Boards. He and the five other commissioners have spent more than a year examining all aspects of rural life, including agriculture, housing, planning, transport and environmental issues.
Around one in five Scots live in rural areas, which make up as much as 94 per cent of the country’s land area.
The Rural Commission received written and oral submissions from experts and ordinary members of the public from across Scotland also heard how many communities are struggling to survive because of poor broadband access.

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Scotland gives the Commonwealth Games its best shot

Monday, 4 November 2013

The strength of Scotland’s shooters is evident, with six of the eight athletes announced for next year’s Commonwealth Games having contributed to making shooting Scotland’s top sport at the Delhi 2010 Games, with nine medals.
The team also includes Edinburgh-based Jen McIntosh and Jon Hammond who went to last year’s London Olympic Games.
Scottish Countryside Alliance director Jamie Stewart said: “We are delighted to have six of the medallists from the Delhi games selected along with Sian Bruce and Caroline Brownlie at this first stage in the process.

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Opening meets attract large crowds to Scotland’s hunts

Monday, 4 November 2013

As the new season gets underway, Scotland's hunts are out in force with packs of hounds, offering a pest control service to local livestock and game managers and aiming to flush out foxes to waiting gunmen - as the law permits.
Countryside Alliance director for Scotland Jamie Stewart attended the Berwickshire hunt’s meet at Manderston House, Duns, Berwickshire on Saturday (2 November), where the field included his wife Clare and four-year-old son Ted (pictured).
Scotland's 10 hunts have all held opening meets over the past few weeks, and organisers reported the highest number of riders and supporters since hunting foxes with dogs was outlawed in 2002.

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Government must look again at Part 2 of Lobbying Bill, says Countryside Alliance

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

“Given the lack of consultation prior to the Bill’s introduction, the Government should take this opportunity to consult properly. This unwarranted attack on free speech and democratic engagement is unacceptable. We all agree that transparency and accountability at elections is vital but this is not the way to achieve that aim, and reducing democratic engagement by ordinary voters is the last thing any Government should wish to see.”
The Countryside Alliance welcomes the report, that is published today (29 October), by the independent commission set up to review the effects of Part 2 of the Government’s Lobbying Bill.
The Commission, which includes Countryside Alliance president Baroness Mallalieu, held fact-finding sessions in London, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast, and has concluded that Part 2 of the Bill, as it stands, would be extremely detrimental to non-party campaigning on matters of public concern.
Commissioners have called for the Bill to be paused, to allow for proper consideration and consultation.

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Mobile phone reception poor on rural roads, reports Ofcom

Friday, 25 October 2013

Just 35% of the UK’s A and B roads are served by all four 3G networks and 9% have no 3G coverage at all, according to the Ofcom’s annual infrastructure report, published yesterday (24 October).
Sarah Lee, Countryside Alliance head of policy, said: “This shocking statistic is further evidence that rural areas have been left behind in the roll-out of mobile technology.
“Good connectivity is important for rural communities and those who rely on the road network to conduct their business, particularly if they are to compete economically with urban areas.
“These figures further demonstrate the need for closer monitoring by Government to identify the true coverage of the mobile network.

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