Police To Investigate Assignation Document

Northern Constabulary confirmed yesterday it was to investigate Robbie the Pict's complaint that the Toll Order Assignation Statement was flawed.

A police spokesman said: "Robbie the Pict has made a complaint which Northern Constabulary has appointed an officer to investigate."

Robbie the Pict accused MSPs of "betraying the Scottish people" when the Scottish Parliament's public petitions committee yesterday heard an emergency motion petition from Robbie calling for immediate action to have the tolls scrapped in time to "save" the summer tourist season.

He wanted the committee to refer his petition to the full Parliament and have the tolls immediately suspended. However, that was procedurally impossible as Parliament has just one sitting today before breaking for the summer recess and the agenda is fixed.

The committee decided to write to the Executive asking for a timetable on the discussions and how it planned to proceed. Robbie refused to accept that the matter had been fully explored by the legal system and Scottish Parliament.

Labour MSP for Dumbarton Jackie Baillie said it was a matter of fact that the issue had been addressed by the statutory instruments reference committee in the Commons, the Auditor General and controller, and the Appeal Court. The Lord Justice General had ruled that Robbie's appeal against the Appeal Court ruling was incompetent, and in doing so said that Lord Sutherland had addressed the matter on the assignation statement being undated and unsigned.

Robbie has long campaigned to prove that the assignation document and the whole toll regime is illegal. His dogged determination that the only way to remove the tolls led to disagreements between himself and fellow anti toll campaigners in SKAT and ultimately led to the parting of his company from SKAT a few years back. Robbie has continued his legal challenge, while SKAT searched and campaigned in other ways to have the toll remove.

Meanwhile, Highland councillors are to press the Scottish Executive for a timetable for the removal of tolls on the Skye Bridge. The authority has been encouraged by the recently announced plan to review the tolls and enter into negotiations on scrapping them. However, they are anxious to maintain the pressure, and the Council convener Alison Magee is to write to Transport Minister Nicol Stephen seeking a firm date for removal of the tolls.

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Copyright Ray Shields, 2003.

Most recent revision, 27 June 2003