By Lucy Ashton
Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton has today used a visit to the Highlands to say thatScottish Liberal Democrats will promote Scottish tourism on Loch Lomondside, Helensburgh and the Rosneath Peninsula and ensure that it works for the communities who call the place home.
The party’s local election manifesto calls for adopting new tourism strategies to take advantage of more people choosing holidays in Scotland and give businesses the best chance of capitalising.
It also calls for a substantial programme of capital works in tourist areas to provide better car parking, electric charging points, public toilets and waste disposal points.
Alex Cole-Hamilton, right, said:“We are so lucky to live in a beautiful country with a fascinating history.
“Lifestyles, services, travel patterns and choices have changed, sometimes permanently, whilst many local businesses have adapted to new opportunities.
“There are major opportunities to keep “leisure pounds” local and to back good local businesses which provide sustainable local jobs
“The Scottish Government have barely tapped the surface of the potential of our world class food and drinks industries for example.
“However, amid all of these opportunities, it is important to ensure that the communities who live in these locations all year round are not forgotten about.
“That means making sure cities like Edinburgh have appropriate licensing regimes in place and providing new amenities in areas like the Highlands so that they are not overrun by tourists.
“Every Scottish Liberal Democrat councillor elected on 5th May will offer new hope to Scotland’s tourist businesses and the communities that they sit among.”
The Scottish Liberal Democrats, who are fielding candidates in Helensburgh and Argyll and Bute but not in West Dunbartonshire, say their manifesto also commits to helping local businesses by:
- Securing the connections to superfast broadband which communities need to work, learn and thrive. Our plans for community connection managers will broker bespoke solutions for communities, particularly in remoter and island areas that have been left out of the main central government programmes.
- Create a new restitution order, the proceeds of which would help victims with the costs of clearing up fly-tipping and increase efforts to catch tippers
- Encouraging more diverse, small and micro businesses through council enterprise support, valuing community impact and getting them beyond the start-up phase.
- Support food strategies designed to reduce food miles, encourage greater use of local produce in schools, back community food initiatives and champion our regional specialties.