During a Parliamentary debate on the Scotland Bill earlier today, Shetland MSP Tavish Scott called on the Scottish Government to accept that control over the seabed must be given to the islands.
Speaking during the debate, Tavish Scott said:
"Devolution must not stop in Edinburgh. For the Scottish Government, powers that are devolved from Westminster to Edinburgh stop there. I want much more. I want to achieve greater powers for the islands. Responsibility for the management of the seabed should be devolved to Lerwick Port Authority and Shetland Islands Council."
Tavish Scott was a member of the cross-party Smith Commission which produced a blueprint for devolution of tax, spending and welfare powers from Westminster to Holyrood. The Smith Commission recommended that responsibility for the management of the Crown Estate assets such as the seabed, be further devolved to local authority areas such as Shetland. The Scottish Government have yet to commit to this recommendation.
"We can make a positive difference for the industries who depend on the marine environment around Shetland. That will only happen if we avoid control from Edinburgh and the one size fits all approach that is all too frequently pursued by the Scottish Government."