Billy McKenzie, Scotland Rural Development Programme Manager blogs about the consultation for the next Rural Development Programme.
At the time of writing this I am preparing for our roadshow in Tarbet, Argyll on the next Scotland Rural Development Programme (SRDP) which will run from 2014 to 2020.
As some of you will know we launched our first consultation on the next SRDP on 1 May. Although the regulations are still be negotiated in Europe we can’t sit back and wait until they are agreed. We need to keep working on the next SRDP to make sure we can have it in place as quickly as possible after the current programme ends on December 31 this year.
Since the consultation launched I, and colleagues, have been travelling the length and breadth of the country holding roadshows to discuss the consultation. So far we have spoken to over 400 people, with lively and interesting discussions. I am pleased to see people so engaged in this, even if it does make it challenging at times! We have a number of big issues to grapple with including where and how do we focus spending with the expected reduced budget, and how can we improve administration of the grant schemes.
We still have five roadshows to go – so hopefully you will be able to come along if you have not already been to one. I know that not everyone can get to the roadshows so to help provide some more information I have prepared a podcast outlining what the consultation is all about and a short video from the roadshows. I also thought it would be helpful to produce a simple summary document which highlights the key points in the consultation. All of these can be found on our website along with the full consultation document and details of the rest of the roadshows