Together we can, together we will: analysis of consultation responses

This report details the analysis of the National Council of Rural Advisers' (NCRA) consultation.

Rural Economic Strategy: Additional illustrative quotes

Some clarity on who will be accountable, to whom and how they will account for their actions and what measures are in place if progress isn't made or outcomes aren’t achieved.

People should be held to account for the quality of their collaboration and ability and willingness to learn and innovate rather than any particular failure… It's pointless creating a whole new tier of audit mechanisms that don't directly contribute themselves to outcomes like increased creativity, confidence, releasing untapped potential etc.

Accountability should be a given, and built into any set of policies which aim to achieve the desired outcomes.

Subject committees in the Scottish Parliament have started to integrate scrutiny of the extent to which revised National Performance Framework Outcomes (June 2018) are being delivered in their areas, e.g. climate change. This approach could be further developed as it “matures” to integrate rural economy priorities.
Scotland’s Rural College

There needs to be a procedure set in place to ensure policies and initiatives across Government and their Agencies are aimed at meeting the objectives of the Rural Economic Strategy. This will be critically important … in a post-Brexit scenario.
Name withheld (Organisation)

To ensure health and wellbeing are strengthened across the rural economy, there is a need for the Rural Economic Strategy to work across Government directorates…
Convener, National Rural Mental Health Forum

Setting of appropriate indicators, monitoring progress and reporting on actions in meeting national outputs is essential… Any actions taken by Scottish Government and its agencies have to be towards meeting the intended national outputs – this requires collaboration, a clear understanding of national outputs and actions designed to meet those outputs.
Scottish Crofting Federation

Improved collaboration between enterprise agencies, local authorities and the Scottish Government is crucial to avoid duplication of work and maximise available resources.
Name withheld (Organisation)

There is a need to have a much clearer idea of what constitutes rural policy (as opposed to sectoral polices which have 'rural' dimensions). More robust cross-cutting links need to be made between different policy areas to remove siloed policy-making.
Community Land Scotland

If the new strategy is to be effective, it is also important that the new strategy is ‘owned’ by a single policy department of the Scottish Government and with direct oversight by a Government minister.
Name withheld (Organisation)

Key rural activities lie across several Ministerial portfolios: Farming, Tourism and Culture, Environment. At the same time, Housing, Transport, Economy, Employment and Welfare have an impact across the whole of Scotland.
Association of Scotland’s Self-Caterers

Rather than ability to call into account, Lantra would much rather see active conversation and collaboration continue.

It is important to take the time to understand the places and trends, collect baseline data and involve the people who live, work and have businesses in the area at every level through: consultation with rural local authorities, health boards, enterprise agencies, regional transport partnerships etc. is critical as these organisations understand the challenges of delivering services in rural areas.
Name withheld (Organisation)

In order to take opportunities and allow farming and crofting businesses to take up new forms of support that enable innovation, restructuring and greater market focus, a new agricultural policy must be developed between Scottish decision-makers and food producers which enables every agricultural business to seize opportunity, by becoming more productive, more profitable and delivering more for the environment.
National Farmers Union

Government should ensure that it is engaged with representative organisations and rural businesses in a regular, meaningful and timely way to gauge views and priorities [...] and to gather feedback [...] This kind of iterative consultation process could inform and be integrated into a “rural-proofing” of Government policies going forward.
Name withheld (Organisation)

It should seek to understand the main pressures on household incomes across the different constituencies by engaging directly with residents. This can be done either through community councils, community land trusts or other community groups.

Going forward a regular framework of discussion and consultation should be put in place to allow the ever-changing needs of the rural economy to be captured and addressed.

Look at relocating some government agencies from the central belt into rural areas to reduce property costs and give a much-needed jobs boost to rural areas.
Name withheld (Organisation)

'Road testing' policies to see how they will affect/ benefit rural areas.

Link all strategies into an urban-rural framework where rural issues have to be dealt with for each.

Without accountability, a strategy is just good intentions. It is very easy for the policies that suit the urban majority to override the needs of the rural minority, particularly when the rural minority's needs are in opposition to government policy ( IE transport & environment).

The process/method should combine "bottom-up" experiences and pragmatism with "top-down" capabilities, resources and government power.
Name withheld (Organisation)

The Highland region [needs] its own say on the direction forward… We all thought when we voted for a Scottish parliament the first step would be to achieve via Brussels a less costly animal slaughter process…Who speaks for us?

It is crucial that a rural economic strategy covers all aspects of the rural economy … we do believe strongly that the rural economy will be stifled if the non-land based economic sectors are not given a focus or not identified as in need of support.
Name withheld (Organisation)

Scotland needs one over-arching economic strategy that reflects the diversity of the country and ensures that the whole of the whole of the country has access to relevant services, resources and advice. A separate Rural Economic Strategy could lead to further marginalisation of rural issues and funding.

The rural economy also differs markedly between remote and accessible rural areas, and within these areas themselves. We therefore question whether a strategy solely focused on the economy would be appropriate or effective.
National Trust for Scotland

Our view is that the interests of Scotland’s rural economy might not be best served by creating a separate Rural Economic Strategy but that there may be an opportunity to develop a rural economic action plan as a supplement of the National Economic Strategy.
Scottish Enterprise

We would recommend that rather than a Rural Economic Strategy there should be a Rural Sustainability Strategy which deals with the economic, social and environmental needs of these communities within one, holistic document. This should be a key element of an over-arching Land Use Strategy which takes a strategic approach to better integrated land uses.
Woodland Trust Scotland



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