Scottish Executive denies responsibility for its own laws

On December the 14th Tom McCabe Minister for Finance and Public Service Reform gave an answer to a written question tabled by Susan Deacon (Labour MSP for Edinburgh East and Musselburgh).

Ms Deacon’s question was “To ask the Scottish Executive what steps it is taking to support gardening and horticultural activities, including the provision of allotments, in towns and cities ”

Mr McCabe’s reply “The Executive has no direct role in relation to supporting gardening and horticultural activities. We are however taking forward a number of initiatives in areas such as sustainable development, biodiversity, health and physical activity, community involvement and planning for greenspace and open spaces which may involve and support these activities.”

In fact there are four Scottish laws in the statute book specifically relating to allotments (click here to see our resume of the legal situation). Surely the executive ought to have a direct role in the enforcement of its own laws, even if they were passed before devolution.

In addition private horticulture and gardening has great potential to reduce a family’s ‘carbon footprint’ and therefore their contribution to global warming by reducing the quantity of air freighted fruit and vegetables they need to eat. Equally commercial horticulture should be a valuable provider of jobs and economic activity in Scotland. It is a sad thought that the executive has no direct role in either of these desirable activities.

Any thoughts from you out there?  Particularly in view of the fact that these people are facing an election in just over 4 months time?

One Response to “Scottish Executive denies responsibility for its own laws”

  1. Judy Wilkinson Says:

    The new SPP11 draft guidelines for Physical Activity and Open Space state ‘Areas for horticulture, such as allotments, can be of great value to the local community and offer benefits for the environment. They create an opportunity for local food production, encourage physical activity and healthy eating, offer a place to relax and learn and contribute to the local biodiversity’.
    Present plot-holders implicitly make a strong contribution to all the Scottish Executive’s initiatives in sustainable development, biodiversity, health and physical activity, community involvement and planning for greenspace. Should not the Executive support allotments and community gardens explicitly, recognize their worth and ensure that all citizens and local communities have the opportunity to garden so that everyone can participate and contribute to these agenda?