Jackie Baillie, Nicola Sturgeon, Patrick Harvie and Ross Greer.
By Bill Heaney
Jackie Baillie, MSP for Dumbarton constituency, has raised the issue of Flamingoland with the First Minister following the appointment of two new Scottish Greens as Scottish Government ministers.
Following the appointment of Dumbarton man Patrick Harvie MSP as Zero Carbon Buildings, Active Travel and Tenants’ Rights [what a mouthful that is] and Lorna Slater MSP as Minister for Green Skills, Circular Economy and Biodiversity [how much paper will that title waste?], Jackie Baillie raised the issue of the Scottish Greens now being bound to the Scottish Government by collective responsibility over issues relating to planning applications.
Whilst in opposition, the Scottish Greens, and Ross Greer campaigned against the planning application from Flamingoland, a position that Jackie shares.
The number of names on a public petition against Flamingoland ran to more than 50,000 – highest ever since devolution.
But First MinisterNicola Sturgeon failed to say whether the Scottish Greens would now side with the government, citing that they were choosing to focus on matters which they agreed on. However it is the case that collective responsibility extends to planning matters.
Jackie Baillie MSP said: “We are faced with a new planning application from Flamingoland, which was rejected by the local community and the National Park last time around.
“The Greens opposed the planning application, as did I, but I am concerned that their hands may be tied because of their coalition with the SNP in government, should the application be called in by Ministers.
“I hope that it won’t come to this, but there is a real possibility that Green Ministers might be overruled by the SNP Scottish Government and local views will get trampled underfoot.”