Scottish Conservative Rural Affairs Spokesperson, Rachael Hamilton MSP, highlighted the importance of giving rural Scotland a voice in politics at this year’s Conservative Party Conference.
The Borders MSP hosted a discussion about the challenges facing people living and working in Scotland’s towns, villages and rural communities alongside representatives from the NFUS, Countryside Alliance and Scottish Land and Estates.
The event was attended by members of the Scottish, Welsh and UK parliament, as well as councillors and delegates from across the country.
The wide-ranging conversation touched on issues from ferries and road infrastructure to agriculture policy and rural depopulation.
During her opening address, Ms Hamilton set out her priorities for rural Scotland, outlining policies on food production, transport, healthcare, housing and the rural economy.
Scottish Conservative shadow rural affairs secretary Rachael Hamilton MSP, said: “It is my job to stand up for Scotland’s rural communities that are so often forgotten about by an SNP-Green Government with a central belt obsession.
“That is why I wanted to host an event at this year’s Conservative Party Conference to show that we have the interests of the whole of Scotland at our heart.
“We have got a plan to make Scotland’s rural towns, villages and communities a better place to live and work – with more opportunities, improved services and an approach to policy making that doesn’t ignore the needs of rural Scotland.
“With our plan for rural Scotland, we have launched practical policies like Scotland’s Food Future which would help farming communities flourish; support for rural GPs to place them on a more sustainable footing; and a rural planning overhaul to boost stock of affordable homes.
“My Conference event was all about making a positive case for the SNP/Green Government to stop turning their backs on our rural communities which make up almost 20% of Scotland’s population. That is exactly what I will continue to do in my job in Holyrood.”