This item was published during the term of a previous administration that ended in April 2007
Finnie makes initial response to report of inquiry on changing employment patterns in rural areas
Ross Finnie, Minister for Rural Development has made an initial response to the findings of the Rural Development Committee report: Inquiry On Changing Employment Patterns in Rural Areas.
Mr Finnie said:
"The Report is wide-ranging, covering a large number of issues - many of which appear to go beyond the remit of the inquiry - and highlights a number of recommendations for action by the Executive. We will therefore be considering the report carefully, in consultation with colleagues, and hope to be able to give a response within the next couple of months.
"However, I have very serious concerns at the impression given by the report that the situation in rural areas is very negative. This is a far from accurate picture of rural Scotland, and not one that many people in rural areas themselves would recognise. While rural Scotland certainly faces many challenges, a great deal is happening about which we can be positive.
"I must also take issue with the failure of the report to acknowledge that a great deal of work is already underway to address rural concerns and deliver policies attuned to rural circumstances. Some of the findings are not new and it is because of the Executive's concerns in this regard that it created a Rural Affairs Department and appointed a Minister with responsibility for Rural Development.
"Rural Scotland: A New Approach", published last May, set out a wide range of policies and programmes that the Executive has put in place to ensure a sustainable future for our rural areas.
"One very recent example of what the Executive has been doing came with the recent publication of the report, "Services in Rural Scotland", which was commissioned by the Executive last summer, and provides a number of specific action points for improving service delivery and provision in rural Scotland."
News Release: SE0181/2001
30 Jan 2001