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Election 2016 / Robina Barton – straight talking, honest politics

Robina Barton.

My great great grandfather came from Shetland and moved to Sunderland in the 19th century. I was born in Sunderland to staunchly Labour parents and grew up in North Yorkshire. After gaining a degree in archaeology and ancient Hebrew, working with homeless people in Glasgow, and a brief spell as a HGV driver, I moved to Shetland for a career in heritage.

Most recently I coordinated the activities of Shetland UNESCO Global Geopark and chaired the Scottish Geoparks Partnership. I live with my husband and my cat Evy and am currently setting up a tourism business. I enjoy adventure sports, reading, dancing and singing.

Working together is a core Labour value, and it’s a value that is close to my heart. We must work together to foster a fair, inclusive society, free from racial, gender-based and other intolerance.

We can take real pride in our islands with their unique natural and cultural heritage, but securing a sustainable future for peripheral communities is a challenge. Imagination is needed to deliver healthcare, education and transport services that are practical, affordable and meet our needs. Investment in housing and communications infrastructure is vital to support economic development.

I welcome Scottish Labour’s promise to end austerity by using Scotland’s new powers to increase income tax for those who can afford it. I share Scottish Labour’s conviction that investing in education is our best economic policy and their determination to close the attainment gap between the richest and the rest in our classrooms and universities.

I applaud their commitment to build 60,000 affordable homes over the course of a Labour government, of which 45,000 would be social housing in line with Shelter Scotland’s manifesto.

I endorse their guarantee of a living wage for care workers and their drive to create an NHS that can meet the challenges of the future.

In Shetland I oppose any narrowing of the Curriculum for Excellence, I seek an imaginative solution to rural GP recruitment, I am proud to support our quality fishing and aquaculture industries and I suggest a new approach to the agri-environment which would provide financial support to crofters in return for good peatland management.

In the Highlands and Islands I want to see investment in affordable air and ferry services on which our region depends, delivery of the quality broadband we need for economic development, an end to fuel poverty, which is most severe in our area and the return of the decision making powers the SNP has taken away from our local authorities.

I am secretary of Shetland Heritage Association, secretary of Bressay History Group, vice-chair of Bressay Development Ltd, a member of Shetland Tourism Association, and a hostess for Sound School Up Helly Aa.

I was formerly secretary of Climb Shetland, secretary of Sustainable Shetland, trustee of Shetland Arts Development Agency and vice-clerk of the national charity Quaker Homeless Action.

I applaud ‘straight talking, honest politics’, and am eager to work with you to build a strong, resilient future for all Shetland’s communities.

Robina Barton
Parliamentary Candidate for Shetland
Scottish Labour Party