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Community / Have your say on islands plan

The Muckle Roe bridge. Photo courtesy of Shetland Islands Council.
Photo: SIC

THE PUBLIC is being asked for their thoughts on the Scottish Government’s draft national islands plan.

Local authorities are also encouraged to offer their views on the plan, which was unveiled in the Scottish Parliament last week.

The plan features 13 objectives which are aimed at improving outcomes for island communities in areas like transport, the economy and education.

The Scottish Parliament’s rural economy and connectivity committee is now seeking opinions from islanders on the priorities set out in the plan.

The plan, which was formed after consultation with communities earlier this year, follows on from the first islands bill becoming law last year.

It has, however, already come under scrutiny for not mentioning fixed links in its transport section, while Shetland MSP Beatrice Wishart also used the draft plan as a springboard to press the government on ferry funding for Shetland’s internal ferries.

Rural economy and connectivity committee convener Edward Mountain MSP said: “A key recommendation in our report on the islands bill was that the Scottish Government must ensure that the priority areas featured in the national islands plan reflect the actual priorities of islanders.

“To that end, this call for views gives islanders the opportunity to express their opinions on the objectives set out in the draft plan.

“The committee has a limited timeframe within which to consider the proposed plan. It is therefore crucial that we hear as wide a range of views as possible in order that we are able to fairly judge the Scottish Government’s proposals.”

The deadline for submissions is 31 October. More information can be found here.