Cunningham takes over department considering statutory deposit and return scheme
MEMBERS of the Scottish Parliament from all parties have been urged to support retailers following last month’s election.
On the day of the vote, the SNP emerged as the winner but fell short of an overall majority.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s victory was followed shortly after by a cabinet reshuffle that saw deputy first minister John Swinney moved from finance to education. The newly-created post of environment and climate change was given to veteran SNP MSP and former minister Roseanna Cunningham.
The post includes responsibility for matters previously handled by outgoing environment secretary Richard Lochhead, who introduced the carrier bag charge and had recently been looking at proposals for a new bottle deposit and return scheme.
The Scottish Grocers’ Federation has called on the new SNP government to deliver a policy agenda which supports the independent convenience store industry in Scotland.
SGF head of public affairs Dr John Lee said: “We need the small business bonus scheme to become permanent. We need new legislation to give shop workers the protection they deserve.
“We need the proposals for deposit and return to be scrapped urgently. We will also lobby MSPs to support the setting up of a cross-party group on convenience stores to give retailers a direct voice in the Scottish Parliament.”