Views sought through consultation process

The word Voice highlighted in a dictionary use a pink highlighter pen
Alan Robertson

There are several Scottish Government online consultations currently open, which are of direct relevance to rural and island communities.

Consultations are an important part of government policy development, where views and insights garnered are used by policy areas to develop and inform policies that in turn can be progressed into new Bills or Laws.  Online consultations are a key tool in supporting this activity.

In order to help inform people taking part in the online consultation process, accompanying consultation papers are published which contain full background information to the consultation and it is recommended that these papers are read or referred to while responding.

There are a range of online consultations currently open however we are highlighting four that are particularly relevant to rural and island communities: 

National Good Food Nation Plan - This consultation seeks views on the national Good Food Nation Plan. This Plan is the first of many steps to progress food system transformation in Scotland. This consultation covers the content of the first national Good Food Nation Plan and asks your views on the national Good Food Nation Outcomes; ways of measuring progress; and how different groups envision life in a Good Food Nation.

This consultation closes 22 April 2024.

Climate change - draft Scottish National Adaptation Plan 3: consultation - The effects of climate change are already being felt by people in Scotland. That is why, as well as reducing emissions, we must also take steps adapt to climate change.

This consultation seeks your views on the Scottish Government's draft plan for adapting to climate change (Scottish National Adaptation Plan 2024-29). Local and lived experience is fundamental to shaping an effective response to climate change and its impacts. Your views will help ensure the final Adaptation Plan in Autumn 2024 is reflective of your priorities.

This consultation closes 24 April 2024

Islands Connectivity Plan: Strategic Approach and Vessels and Ports Plan - The Islands Connectivity Plan (ICP) will set out a long-term vision of how ferry services, supported by other transport modes, will be delivered and improved in the future. It will replace the current Ferries Plan but will be wider in scope, also taking account of aviation and fixed links, as well as onward and connecting travel.

This consultation covers two areas:

  • Strategic Approach paper proposes the overall Strategic Approach to island transport connectivity including ferries, aviation and fixed links.
  • The updated Vessels and Ports Plan provides detail on the Scottish Government’s objectives for the Clyde & Hebrides Ferry Services and Northern Isles Ferry Services.

This consultation closes 3 May 2024.

Enabling powers for Scotland's Environmental Impact Assessment regimes & Habitats Regulations - views are sought on proposed enabling powers that would better allow for future amendments to Scotland’s Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) regimes and Habitats Regulations. These are key legislative frameworks which underpin environmental protection and assessment processes. The proposed enabling powers would help replace powers lost as a result of the UK’s exit from the European Union (EU) and would help ensure the relevant legislation can remain fit for purpose in future.

This consultation closes 13 May 2024

Call for Views

The Scottish Parliament also seek input and views into Bill development as they go through the parliamentary process and scrutiny by various committees. This is often referred to as a ‘Call for Views’ and are issued through the Scottish Parliament website – details here.

Of interest to rural and island communities and stakeholders is the current call for views by The Scottish Parliament’s Net Zero, Energy and Transport Committee, who are seeking views on the Land Reform (Scotland) Bill – details here – and which closes on the 21 May 2024.

You can find the dedicated Scotiish Government consultation website at Scottish Government consultations - Citizen Space and which contains details of open and closed consultations.