Western Isles MSP Alasdair Allan, has today (Tuesday) invited the new Environment Minister, Stewart Stevenson, to Barra to meet the community regarding the on-going debate about the proposed mSAC designations at East Mingulay and the Sound of Barra.
Dr Allan issued the invitation after being approached again by those in the community who have been opposing the designations.
Alasdair Allan commented: “The issue of the designations has of course been the subject of much debate in Barra, and my remarks made about them some months ago as constituency MSP, during the consultation processes, are on the record. I also successfully called for an economic impact study into the effects of any potential designation which confirms the importance of the fishing industry to the Barra economy.
“Those opposing the designations attended a recent surgery I held in Barra, and following this I feel that it would now be helpful to invite the new Environment Minister to the island to hear local arguments for himself.
“For that reason I have issued an invitation to Stewart Stevenson to come to Barra and to speak to people who have been engaged in this issue, including those with local fishing and crofting interests, as well as other representatives of the community. It would not be the first time Stewart Stevenson has been to Barra, having been here as Transport Minister in the course of the negotiations for replacement planes for the islands. I hope he will now be able to make the trip again to discuss this important issue.”