Well, this is going to be a short oil leak because Marine Scotland didn’t say a thing. They are an arm of the Scottish Government. They are the mechanism for consultation with the Scottish Government. Who in the Scottish Government told them to not to respond? Why were they told not to respond? Who got to the Scottish Government? In response to the last question, we have our ideas and are working to uncover this tangled web. We find it suspicious that response after response from the Scottish Government claims that this is not a devolved issue so there is nothing that can be done. Defence is not a devolved issue but you don’t hear the government staying quiet on that one!
Don’t believe us? – we asked the MCA why Marine Scotland were not consulted as that was what we were originally led to believe, we even had Ian Blackford MP ask questions in the House of Parliament – read the letter we received for yourself HERE. Interesting isn’t it – Marine Scotland were sent the application but didn’t intend submitting a response, even when phoned after the application has closed. What is going on here? Marine Scotland are the body trusted with the protection of our Marine Environment. Why would they choose not to respond to what they must have known would be an extremely contentious application, given the furore surrounding the Firth of Forth application a decade earlier. We have proof obtained via a Freedom of Information request to the Highland Council that Marine Scotland were preparing a response 2 weeks before the initial consultation deadline – who got to them? Read it for yourself HERE. Five local councillors signed a letter of complaint to Marine Scotland on 1st July – it took until the 23rd September for them to acknowledge receipt – nearly 3 months later!
MSP Kate Forbes, when she spoke at our Inverness meeting and stated publicly that the acting head of Marine Scotland had told her that they would be willing to come up to Cromarty or Inverness to meet us or host a public meeting (watch her for yourself HERE – about 4 minutes). She also said “Marine Scotland should have submitted to that consultation and it didn’t.” Gail Ross MSP with our local councillor to say “I have been in touch with the Cabinet Secretary for Environment and she has agreed that a meeting between the Cromarty residents and Marine Scotland to discuss ship to ship oil transfers would be beneficial.” We understood that meeting would take place before Christmas – well here we are, no working days left until Xmas, and no contact whatsoever from Marine Scotland. It is difficult to have any faith in an organisation that have consistently failed us since the start of this process. That said, a New Year beckons, and we hope that will signal a new level of engagement for Marine Scotland and indeed the Scottish Government. We have plans to facilitate that……..all will be revealed on a future oil leak!