Scottish Land & Estates (SLE) a membership organisation representing rural business, land managers and owners, have launched their manifesto ahead of the Scottish Parliament elections.
The manifesto title “People, Jobs and Nature” places a emphasise on the rural community with a call to tackle Fly-tipping across rural Scotland. The organisation is calling on candidates in the upcoming election to prioritise the issues as a matter of urgency.
Fly-tipping in rural areas has been an issue for a while, but since the beginning of the pandemic the issue has grown, with local authority waste and recycling centres being closed or having longer queues.
The Chief Executive for the SLE, Sarah-Jane Laing said that, “ending the scourge of fly-tipping and healing our rural communities is at the heart of SLE’s priorities for the next parliament. In our manifesto “People, Jobs and Nature” we call on all parties to commit to prevent, detect and prosecute fly-tipping offences. With tough sentences for repeat offenders.”
The pandemic and stay local orders over the last year saw an influx of campers to rural Scotland which saw and increase in dirty camping, which has led to the new Visitors Ranger scheme and the manifesto from Scottish Land & Estates is calling for “a comprehensive fly-tipping plan” to combat and eradicate fly-tipping across rural Scotland.
Sarah-Jane Laing further states that fly-tipping is more than just an eyesore, and while being dangerous and a criminal offence, it is causing a financial problem, explaining that “too many landowners and farmers find themselves in a vicious cycle of costly clean-ups. Forced, as victims, to not only have to remove potentially hazardous materials, but also to bear the financial burden of waste crime.”
Going on to explain that the “rural businesses can find themselves liable for bills of thousands of pounds to clean up land that has been fly-tipped, with many offered no support from their local authority.”
The Scottish Land & Estates manifesto can be found at – https://scottishlandandestates.co.uk/people-jobs-nature-recovery-focused-parliament-2021-holyrood-electon-manifesto and further outlines the policy changes they believe are needed to help rural Scottish business, communities and the natural environment thrive.