No Funds for East Lothian Communities

The Scottish Government have been criticised this week after it emerged that it’s been two years since it made any payments through the Coastal Communities Fund (CCF).

In a letter to the SNP’s Environment Secretary, Michelle Ballantyne MSP outlines that, for the past two years, communities in East Lothian have been unable to apply for the funding currently available in England and Wales.

Last June, the South Scotland MSP wrote to the Cabinet Secretary asking when funding would become available. Roseanna Cunningham wrote back saying that a review was taking place.

Yet, a Freedom of Information (FOI) response from the Scottish Government shows that that no contact was made between the Scottish Government and local authorities during 2018 to discuss these plans, despite the fact they were “under review”.

Earlier this year, the SNP Environment Secretary responded to a parliamentary question saying that she “expects to announce the way forward on funding for coastal communities this summer”. However, no such plans have been brought forward.

Michelle Ballantyne has questioned the Scottish Government over whether CCF will be available to East Lothian’s communities and has called on the SNP to provide transparency and clarity on their plans for the funding.

Michelle Ballantyne MSP commented:

“For two years, our communities in East Lothian are going without CCF funding due to the SNP Government’s inaction, while communities in England and Wales are benefitting.

“For the past year, SNP officials have been ducking and dodging my questions on whether the funding will continue and when it will be available.

“Once again, I have written to Roseanna Cunningham to try and find some answers. The SNP Government owe it to our constituents in East Lothian and across Scotland to be forthcoming about the future of CCF funding and how they’ll provide the support that our coastal communities deserve.”