Thursday, January 05, 2017

The remarkable difference between Drew and Fergus when it comes to supporting the stop the proposed S2S oil transfers in the Moray Firth Campaign.

Drew Hendry MP has written a letter to Margaret Davidson, the Leader of the Highland Council, outlying his opposition to the S2S proposals for the Moray Firth and urging her to support the campaign. The final paragraph of his letter reads:

"Therefore, I hope that, as a statutory consultee, the Highland Council will join me in raising concerns about the environmental and economic impact on these coastal communities. Nairn in particular relies heavily on tourism, particularly focused on the beach and entire water front area."

Gurnites can read a copy of this letter which has appeared on social media here.   Drew also published details of his survey which we featured in the previous post. Nearly 300 constituents have responded and 98% of them are against S2S oil transfers in the Moray Firth. This would suggest that a similar percentage of Fergus Ewing's constituents in his Scottish Parliamentary patch would reflect a similar result if he were to run a similar survey on his site. 

Before Christmas Fergus put out a letter to those who had contacted him on the S2S issue, a copy of that letter can be seen here.   In his letter Fergus mentions Marine Scotland - why, why, why did they not put in a strong objection to the proposal?  They were invited by the Westminster apparatus to participate in the consultation but they declined to do so. 

We have heard great disappointment expressed by several of those who contacted him, his response is seen as wishy-washy fence sitting by many including some of his own party members. 

Remember a motion from the Nairn branch of the SNP strongly against S2S oil transfers in the Moray Firth was passed unanimously at last year's SNP party conference. This makes it doubly difficult in understanding why Fergus is not jumping into proactive support for the campaign. 

What we need now is the same kind of support from the Scottish Government that Drew Hendry has demonstrated.  And we need the Scottish Government to make sure that Marine Scotland will put in a strong objection when the second application for S2S in the Moray Firth goes in.

Come on Fergus, it is time to say unequivocally if you are for or against the proposal for ship to ship oil transfers in the Moray Firth. Sitting on the fence isn't good enough!


Anonymous said...

Okay Gurnmeister ....
You've given us the views of the local Branch of the SNP. Its is great that we have their support locally and at Westminster.
But what about the Nairn branch of the Labour party or the Tory party or even the local SDP branch?

Graisg said...

The views of the Scottish Government would be very helpful just now. Hopefully they support the motion put forward last spring at the SNP conference? Maybe Fergus does too? And maybe somebody knows why Marine Scotland didn't put anything into the consultation?

Anyway anon, I don't think there is a Labour Party branch in Nairn but there may still be a Tory one. We did contact Ed Mountain MSP for his views but have had no reply. Dave Stewart MSP did reply for Labour though and we published this on the 19th of December 2016


Thank you for your message on Twitter re ship to ship oil transfers. (I’m replying also on behalf of my colleague Rhoda Grant)

I realise the issue is one that is rightly is exercising a lot of debate as highlighted by the big turn-out in Nairn recently.

Rhoda and I are listening to both side of the argument and debate and looking in more depth into this whole issue.

However decisions relating to ship to ship transfers and oil transfer licences rest with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, who are a part of the UK Government.

Given the Scottish Government’s responsibility for environment protection in Scotland, the Scottish Government considers it necessary for Scottish Ministers to have a clearly defined role in the licensing process for any ship to ship transfers in waters adjacent to Scotland. Furthermore all enforcement and authorisation decisions made by the UK Government in relation to Scottish waters must be in accordance with the National Marine Plan.

Notwithstanding the above, we have to listen to the views of constituents on both sides of the argument and that is currently what we are doing.



David Stewart probably didn't know that Marine Scotland were consultees?

Anonymous said...

Would you not expect an MSP of David Stewart's experience to know a bit about Marine Scotland? If Drew has 2% in favour ......... I wonder what all David's constituents are telling him?