Thu 9 Apr, 2020

The Scottish Government must put plans in place to protect rural communities from a potential influx of tourists over the Easter weekend, according to Scottish Greens Rural and Island Communities Spokesperson John Finnie MSP.

The Highlands and Islands MSP highlighted concerns that the limited health services in rural areas could be put at risk if a considerable number of people decide not to adhere to guidance and emergency regulations.

John Finnie MSP said:

“The overwhelming majority of people must be commended for following official guidance, adhering to regulations, and staying at home. We do know however that some irresponsible individuals have continued to travel to second homes and that unbelievably properties are still being advertised on sites like Airbnb. The police have also raised concerns around a considerable number of large gatherings and house parties still taking place.

“The Highlands and Islands and other rural places thrive on tourism in ordinary times, but the current situation is far from ordinary and people must realise that these rural areas are living, breathing communities.

“There is considerable concern in rural communities that people may flock there over the Easter weekend. By travelling to these areas people put pressure on the already limited health infrastructure, risk leaving nothing in shops for local people, and potentially spread the virus too.

“The Scottish Government must explore every option to ensure that rural communities are protected at this time of crisis.

“Restricting ferry services to essential journeys has brought much needed relief for island communities and I’d urge Ministers to consider what equivalent measures may be required on the mainland to protect those communities.

“All measures, up to and including closing the snow gates, must be considered to protect communities during this unprecedented emergency period.”

Get involved

More like this

Immediate action on drugs crisis needed to save lives

Wed 20 Jan, 2021

Scottish Greens have welcomed the announcement of significant additional funding to tackle Scotland’s drug deaths crisis, but warned that while long term action is essential, immediate action is also required to save lives now.

Responding to the First Minister’s statement the party’s justice spokesperson John Finnie MSP also called for parties to come together to urge the Lord Advocate to exempt safe drug consumption facilities from prosecution.

John Finnie MSP said:

Greens call for drug services to be exempt from prosecution

Wed 20 Jan, 2021

Scotland’s top law officer must use his public interest discretion to exempt staff overseeing lifesaving public health interventions from prosecution, the Scottish Greens have said.

The Scottish Government is expected to outline its plans to tackle Scotland’s drug deaths crisis in a statement to parliament this afternoon. Scottish Greens justice spokesperson John Finnie MSP has said that interventions such as safe drug consumption rooms must play a part in this response, but this can only happen if the Lord Advocate exempts them from prosecution.

John Finnie MSP said:

Spycops: Scottish Greens will reject “appalling” legislation

Tue 19 Jan, 2021

The Scottish Greens will vote against granting legislative consent for the UK Government’s Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill when it comes before the Scottish Parliament today, the party’s justice spokesperson John Finnie MSP has said.

The “appalling” piece of legislation would grant police, intelligence services and public authorities the power to commit criminal offenses and human rights abuses.

Speaking ahead of the debate, Mr Finnie said: