1.1 The Scottish Rural Development Programme (SRDP) is a programme of economic, environmental and social measures designed to develop rural Scotland. It is of interest to many rural stakeholders, including those with interests in farming, forestry and primary processing sectors, rural enterprise and business development, farm diversification and rural tourism as well as those interested in support for local communities.
1.2 The second consultation set out proposals for the new SRDP (2014-2020), including proposals on budgets, schemes, delivery mechanisms and communications. It also discussed data for the purpose of monitoring and evaluating the programme and included equalities and business regulatory impact assessments. The consultation built on the proposals outlined in the Stage 1 consultation held in Summer 2013. It took account of feedback from the first consultation and stakeholder engagement. The second consultation closed on February 28th 2014.
1.3 The consultation was primarily online, although respondents were able to submit paper copies of the online form which were entered onto the online system by Scottish Government staff.
1.4 Many questions were quantitative in nature and required only a tick box response with no opportunity for respondents to enter free text. However, respondents used boxes assigned to other questions to make a range of comments. All comments were considered for the final analysis. Some stakeholders also provided additional separate commentary which has been considered, where relevant, in the consultation analysis.
1.5 Open text questions only asked for comments if respondents were dissatisfied with the proposals or wished to make additional proposals. The consultation did not specifically ask respondents to provide support for the proposals as set out, however, respondents often took the opportunity to make comments whether satisfied, dissatisfied or neutral. The level of support for proposals is apparent from the quantitative findings but the qualitative findings are also critical to understanding the nature of either opposition or support and the caveats attached where support has been tentatively given.
1.6 This report provides a summary of responses. A detailed analysis of each question is available in a separate report. Some respondents gave very lengthy and detailed responses for specific questions. This additional detail was made available to relevant policy teams to assist with the development of the programme.
1.7 There were 947 responses to the consultation, including 148 responses from organisations and 799 responses from individual members of the public. The latter included a campaign response of 607. The campaign response was related to the Scottish Wildlife Trust's views on the budget with some individuals entering their response under Question 1 and some entering their response under Question 9. The full text of the campaign response is available in the detailed analysis of Question 1 in the published Annex report (paragraph 2.9).
Table 1.1: Respondents to the Consultation
|Number of responses|
|Individuals (not Campaign)||192|
1.8 Organisations and individuals were asked to self-select their interest from a pre-determined list. Organisations covered the key sectors in rural Scotland with reasonably equal responses from farming (19), forestry (20) and environmental or heritage bodies (17), slightly more derived from community (28) and also 28 responses derived from an 'other' category which included private land managers, land agents and academic organisations. There were 10 responses from national public agencies.
Fig 1.1 Organisation respondents by their selected primary interest
1.9 Individuals also covered a range of key sectors in rural Scotland including farming, forestry, land management and rural community interests, but the picture is heavily influenced by the campaign response with the 607 campaign respondents identified as 'other'. The 'other' category tended to be rural or urban dwellers with an interest in an aspect of the SRDP not specifically included as a group eg. crofting, renewable energy, local woods. The campaign response which comprised the vast majority of responses in the 'other' category were individuals whose views suggest a personal interest in environmental issues (607 of 614).
Fig 1.2 Individual respondents by their selected primary interest
1.10 Excluding the campaign response, there was a much stronger response from farming individuals (87) with forestry (32), land management (27) and community issues (37) reasonably equally represented.
Fig 1.3 Individual respondents by their selected primary interest (excluding the campaign response).
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