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Members to Attend St Boswells Hustings Event

Union puts rural issues at heart of Scottish elections

NFU Scotland will host an elections hustings event at the Buccleuch Arms, St Boswells on Monday 4 April.  The event will provide a platform for debate and allow members to make an informed decision in the Scottish Parliament election on 5 May.

The Borders hustings, open to all NFU Scotland members from Lothian & Borders, is one of 11 being held across the country to allow members to engage with political parties ahead of the Scottish Parliamentary elections. Candidates from all the main Scottish parties standing in the region in May will be attending.

Following a difficult year for the farming and crofting sector, the views of those with interests in rural affairs have never been more important. And as agriculture, rural affairs, food and environment policy is devolved to the Scottish Parliament, this election is even more relevant to the agricultural sector, and the rural vote cannot be underestimated.  The Union is encouraging its members to take the time to meet and put questions to the candidates vying for their votes in this important election.

NFU Scotland will also formally launch its manifesto next week, detailing key policy areas it wishes to see Scottish parliamentarians address in the new parliament. These include a support system fit for the future, land reform and biodiversity, making the food chain work, telling Scotland’s good food story, supporting crofting and assistance in managing costs.

NFU Scotland’s Regional Chairman for Lothian & Borders Stuart McNicol commented: “This election comes at an unprecedented time for farmers in the Lothians and Borders. Global forces added to the well-versed problems concerning delivery of support payments have combined to create a perfect storm.

“That was the key message that politicians took away from NFU Scotland’s rally at the Scottish Parliament in March, where a significant number of farmers and businesses from the region were represented. Now is the time for us to ask our politicians whether they can step up to the plate and fight for farming and the food and drink sector within the sea of other voices.

“Seventeen years on from the advent of devolution in Scotland, rural affairs and agricultural policy has become ingrained within Scottish political life.  We have enjoyed a good working relationship with our MSPs across the political spectrum, regularly hosting well-established meetings across the region.

“We look forward to continuing this close and very positive engagement in the new parliament, and to welcoming the candidates fighting for a seat at Holyrood at this event so they can inform the members of their plans to take forward the interests of Lothians and Borders and rural Scotland.”

Notes to Editors

  • NFU Scotland’s regional hustings events will take place as follows. Events start at 7.30pm (unless otherwise stated): To book call: 0131 472 4000.
    • 31 March Argyll and Islands - Corran Halls, Oban
    • 31 March Shetland - Shetland Hotel, Lerwick
    • 4 April      Lothians and Borders - Buccleuch Arms, St Boswells
    • 7 April      National Hustings - MacRobert Pavilion, Royal Highland Centre, Ingliston (7pm)
    • 11 April    Forth & Clyde - Radstone Hotel, Larkhall
    • 12 April    Ayrshire - The Black Bull Hotel, Tarbolton
    • 18 April    East Central - Huntingtower Hotel, Perth
    • 20 April    Highlands - Dingwall Mart, Dingwall
    • 19 April    Dumfries and Galloway - Douglas Arms, Castle Douglas
    • 28 April    North East - Kintore Arms, Inverurie (7pm)
  • National Hustings – Royal Highland Centre, Ingliston – Thurs 7 April, 7pm. NFU Scotland and other stakeholders are to host a cross-party hustings event.  Book at: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/holyrood-elections-2016-national-rural-hustings-tickets-24007748823  This hustings will feature a panel from the Scottish Conservatives (Peter Chapman), Scottish Labour (tbc), Scottish Liberal Democrats (Willie Rennie), Scottish Greens (tbc) and SNP (Richard Lochhead). If you would like to attend any of the events email: media@nfus.org.uk

Ends

Contact Bob Carruth on 0131 472 4006
 

Date Published:

News Article No.: 79/16


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