2. To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide an update on any progress being made in developing proposals for remedial action to clean up the Tarbolton Moss landfill site. (S5O-05002)
Tarbolton Landfill Ltd, the operator of the site, remains in liquidation. The Scottish Government is not directly responsible for the site. However, on 4 February, officials met the Scottish Environment Protection Agency and South Ayrshire Council to discuss how those public authorities can work together to move matters forward. Following that constructive meeting, the Scottish Government is actively considering how barriers to progressing with remediation work at the site could be overcome.
Does the cabinet secretary accept that there is considerable frustration in the local community? It is two years on since the Government sought a report from SEPA on possible options for remedial work at the site, and there is still no clear plan in place to carry out that work. Have options been presented to the Government? Given the apparent continuing deterioration at the site, are those options still viable? Who does the Government ultimately believe will carry out work at the site? This environmental mess will just get worse until somebody carries out that work.
I understand the frustration of everybody who has any connection with the situation. We are aware that issues have not moved forward in the way that local residents would have hoped, but we are committed to working with partners, as I have indicated.
The liquidation process is still on-going, and I am afraid that the legal position regarding the future ownership of and responsibility for the site remains to be determined. However, there is regular monitoring, and we are looking at what potential options there are. They are under active consideration.
I understand the frustration, but the period of time that has passed has included significant other challenges that we have had to deal with. I hope that what we are able to move forward with on the basis of the 4 February meeting will better satisfy local residents.