Tourist Boards

Scottish Executive – in the Scottish Parliament at 2:30 pm on 24th June 1999.

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Photo of Bruce Crawford Bruce Crawford Scottish National Party 2:30 pm, 24th June 1999

To ask the Scottish Executive what plans it has to ensure that the funding of area tourist boards operates on a sustainable basis for the next financial year. (S1O-72)

Photo of Alasdair Morrison Alasdair Morrison Labour

I intend to seek views as to whether any change should be made in the method by which area tourist boards are funded.

Photo of Bruce Crawford Bruce Crawford Scottish National Party

Years of local authority cuts have had an impact on many services, including support for area tourist boards. Several area tourist boards are on the verge of bankruptcy-or they were at the end of the previous financial year-and that makes it extremely difficult for them. It is also difficult for local authorities to maintain their previous levels of support.

What is required is a funding package, stretching over three years, as promised by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in some of his early statements to the House of Commons. When can we expect the Scottish Executive to introduce plans for three-year budgeting for local authorities and other bodies-on an individual council basis-to ensure sustainability and security not only for ATBs, but for other public service organisations?

Photo of Alasdair Morrison Alasdair Morrison Labour

I understand and appreciate the concerns of the ATBs. However, any review that we undertake will be done properly and will be well thought out. We will not be rushed or forced to arrive at hasty conclusions. We will initiate a review and, most important, we will listen to the views of local partners over the next few months.