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Hebrides News


New council leaders commit to Islands Bill

12 July 2017

The new leaders of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, Orkney Islands Council and Shetland Islands Council have reaffirmed their commitment to the Islands Bill.


The agreement came at a meeting of the Islands Strategic Group chaired by Humza Yousaf, Minister for Transport and the Islands.


Leader of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, Roddie MacKay, said the discussions marked the continuation of “productive political engagement” between the councils and the Scottish Government.


Mr MacKay added: “We are committed to fully utilizing our islands’ resources and to see the islands thrive and contribute to national wellbeing throughout the 21st century in Scotland. The measures in the Islands Bill underpin this aim.


“We would like to take this opportunity to thank the Islands Minister, Humza Yousaf, the Scottish Government, our island colleagues and all those who are contributing to this historic, empowering and progressive step forward in the futures of island communities.”


The councils say securing increased local accountability, decision making and control is “critical” to future management of local resources.


Mr Yousaf met with various business owners and organisations during his two day visit to the islands.


He also heard about specific Western Isles issues during a meeting with council leader Roddie Mackay and comhairle chief executive Malcolm Burr.


Mr Yousaf said: “Scotland’s islands are fantastic places to live and work however I am aware of the particular needs of local communities, which is why I am delighted to be visiting the Isle of Lewis, to hear the views of local people and businesses.


“This is a great opportunity to support our work on the first ever Islands Bill, published last month, which will meet the unique needs of Scotland’s islands now and in the future.”



Islands’ Minister Humza Yousaf and council leader Roddie Mackay discussed Western Isles issues.