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Friday, November 06, 2009

The wrong trousers

In common with nearly every other Assembly Member I have received a torrent of e-mails this week from my constituents. A lot of these have been on the subject of a badger cull, which the Assembly voted by 43 to 9 to allow to proceed on Wednesday.

However, there have also been a significant number of e-mails asking AMs to act in our capacity as MSPs to seek amendments to the Marine (Scotland) Bill, currently going through the Scottish Parliament.

The e-mails say that a Scottish Marine Bill that supports real recovery must include:

1. Recovery - A duty on Scottish Ministers to improve the health of Scotland’s seas, in line with international commitments.

2. Planning - A duty for plans to include clear objectives, along with policies and programmes to deliver those objectives. A duty to ensure that Scottish Marine Regions cover the whole Scottish marine area (0-12 nautical miles).

3. Protection - A duty on Scottish Ministers to create an ecologically-coherent network of Marine Protected Areas

It goes on to say that there must also be joined-up operations between the Marine (Scotland) Bill and fisheries legislation to help deliver restoration.

My correspondents conclude by saying that they look forward to hearing about what action I will take to help improve this bill.

Alas, devolution means that Welsh Assembly Members do not interfere in the affairs of England or Scotland and we expect that they will leave us alone too. As I am not an MSP I cannot help.

However, knowing that I have some Scottish readers, then perhaps the reproduction of the e-mail on this blog will get the message across to some people who do have influence.
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