Results 221–240 of 8600 for speaker:Fergus Ewing

Scottish Parliament: Eat Out to Help Out Scheme (13 Aug 2020)

Fergus Ewing: Of course I sympathise with the point that Claire Baker makes. As it happens, I studied that issue this morning. I am acutely aware that artists who make their living from performance in particular have really suffered. That is why I am delighted that Fiona Hyslop is providing assistance to the arts sector in Scotland that will really help a number of people who have made their livelihood...

Scottish Parliament: Eat Out to Help Out Scheme (13 Aug 2020)

Fergus Ewing: Although I sympathise absolutely with the points that Claire Baker makes, “caution” should be our watchword for the time being.

Scottish Parliament: North Coast 500 (13 Aug 2020)

Fergus Ewing: Through its agencies, the Scottish Government continues to support businesses and communities along the route. That includes engagement with Highlands and Islands Enterprise and a number of community organisations around the north coast 500 area. Areas along the route have already benefited from the rural tourism infrastructure fund—for example, through new parking and viewpoints at...

Scottish Parliament: North Coast 500 (13 Aug 2020)

Fergus Ewing: Yes, the NC500 has been a great success, but there are pressures that we need to deal with, and the rural tourism infrastructure fund is the right vehicle for that. However, I am very happy to discuss with Mr Stewart, who I know has been an advocate and long-standing supporter of the route, how we can further develop it and increase the benefits to businesses and communities along its length.

Scottish Parliament: Tourism (Showpeople and Funfairs) (13 Aug 2020)

Fergus Ewing: We recognise the significant and long-standing heritage of Scotland’s showpeople and funfair operators. They form an important and valued part of our tourism sector as well as bringing fun and enjoyment to communities across the country. I know that the pandemic has hit our funfairs extremely hard, and I am pleased that we now have an indicative date for funfairs and showpeople to resume...

Scottish Parliament: Tourism (Showpeople and Funfairs) (13 Aug 2020)

Fergus Ewing: Of course we will. As with all sectors, we do not want restrictions to remain in place any longer than is absolutely necessary to protect public health and to continue to make progress in suppressing the virus. I can absolutely assure David Torrance that we are seeking to ensure the safe reopening of funfairs as quickly as it is safe to do so.

Scottish Parliament: Rural Economy (Tourism) (13 Aug 2020)

Fergus Ewing: We acknowledge that tourism plays a key part in rural economies. In addition to our £2.3 billion package of measures to support businesses, we are working with local authority partners and the United Kingdom Government to support a wide range of economic development projects that will harness local and regional strengths to create jobs and attract investment.

Scottish Parliament: Rural Economy (Tourism) (13 Aug 2020)

Fergus Ewing: I agree with Dr Allan, who has been a champion of, for example, the crofting grants scheme that has, during the lifetime of this party’s period in Government, enabled us to provide 1,000 families with new homes. That is a really significant creation and, thanks to Dr Allan’s representations, it is continuing. We also recognise through our national islands plan the necessity of having a...

Scottish Parliament: Wedding Industry (Support) (13 Aug 2020)

Fergus Ewing: We know how challenging the position on weddings and events has been for couples who planned to get married this spring and summer, and for hospitality businesses that are largely dependent on weddings. Our package of support for business overall totals £2.3 billion. Many events-related businesses, including some that have been affected by the inability to host wedding receptions, for...

Scottish Parliament: Wedding Industry (Support) (13 Aug 2020)

Fergus Ewing: I am happy to do so, and I confirm that I have been in contact quite regularly with individual businesses that have been most affected, particularly in the Gretna area, which is substantially reliant on hosting weddings, wedding receptions and everything else relating thereto. One of the individuals in business who is most prominent in that area also serves on our tourism task force and is...

Scottish Parliament: Wedding Industry (Support) (13 Aug 2020)

Fergus Ewing: I absolutely understand the sector’s wishes, and that is precisely because, as I indicated in my response to Emma Harper, I have engaged directly with the businesses concerned. In one case, I think that there was a 45-minute discussion. I know well that they want to reopen. Members will be aware that the difference between a group of strangers in a restaurant and a group at a wedding is...

Scottish Parliament: Wedding Industry (Support) (13 Aug 2020)

Fergus Ewing: I am afraid that I do not accept the premise of the member’s question. We have shown that we trust people. Since 15 July, I have attended many businesses in the accommodation and visitor attraction sector, and the vast majority of them are taking the situation absolutely and scrupulously seriously. We are trusting them and we are asking them to maintain high standards. Of course I trust the...

Scottish Parliament: Dirty Camping (11 Aug 2020)

Fergus Ewing: Scotland’s landscapes and natural environment are among our most precious assets. Many people have taken the opportunity to enjoy them and the outdoors, particularly after such a sustained period of lockdown. Most people are doing so in a responsible fashion by obeying both the law and the terms of the access code. However, it is unfortunate that a small minority of people are spoiling that...

Scottish Parliament: Dirty Camping (11 Aug 2020)

Fergus Ewing: I am limited in what I can say about a specific incident that may be subject to police investigation at the moment. However, in general terms, any such attack on an individual by a group of people is cowardly, disgusting and completely unacceptable. The City of Edinburgh Council is the managing authority for Pentlands regional park and, as Mr MacDonald has said, SNH has a statutory...

Scottish Parliament: Dirty Camping (11 Aug 2020)

Fergus Ewing: Our policy is to support local authorities through delegation to the local level as much as we possibly can. Against that backdrop, local government funding is distributed directly by means of a block grant, and it is the responsibility of local authorities to allocate financial resource based on their assessments of local needs. Through the funding package of £11.8 billion in 2020-21,...

Scottish Parliament: Dirty Camping (11 Aug 2020)

Fergus Ewing: The member is correct that that particular crime is causing many concerns around Scotland at the moment. I have engaged with the police in relation to the general issues—for example, some weeks ago, I chaired a conference call on which Police Scotland was represented in relation to particular problems in the Morar and Arisaig areas. As I referred to in my answer to Gordon MacDonald, I know...

Scottish Parliament: Dirty Camping (11 Aug 2020)

Fergus Ewing: We have already increased the fines for littering: the spot fine was increased from £50 to £80 a few years back. I have also mentioned the maximum fine for fly-tipping, which is £40,000. However, Christine Grahame is quite right to raise the issue. I and other ministers have received many complaints about dirty camping, fly-tipping and other types of behaviour. I should say that, although...

Scottish Parliament: Dirty Camping (11 Aug 2020)

Fergus Ewing: Mr Wightman makes a perfectly fair point. I do not think that anyone would wish to see a move to make wild camping illegal. It is simply camping outwith permitted regulated areas such as caravan sites. It is a part of our human freedoms and of people’s enjoyment of the countryside. When walking around Loch Morlich, for example, I have observed that the vast majority of wild campers are law...

Scottish Parliament: Dirty Camping (11 Aug 2020)

Fergus Ewing: Emma Harper is quite right to raise concerns regarding her region, and I join her in whole-heartedly condemning behaviour of the sort that she has described. I indeed think that there is a role for increased training. I know that Scottish Natural Heritage is working with the Scottish Countryside Rangers Association and other organisations towards that end. Forestry and Land Scotland has staff...

Scottish Parliament: Farmers and Crofters (Financial Stability) (24 Jun 2020)

Fergus Ewing: The Scottish Government’s decision to move to home working for all staff as part of our national efforts to prevent the spread of Covid-19 came at the worst possible time for rural payments. In mid-March, the rural payments and inspections division was about to ramp up its 2019 common agricultural policy payments schedule, ensuring that farmers, crofters and land managers got their pillar 1...


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