The Scottish Labour Party is offering a range of talents to represent you on the regional ballot. Along with experienced politicians, we have a care worker, artist, teacher and a small business owner. A wealth of knowledge and experience.
I am Rhoda Grant and I have had the privilege of representing you in the Scottish Parliament for 18 years, be it fighting for a better deal for crofters, supporting your necessary aspiration for an MRI scanner, to trying to retain high value air traffic control jobs, I have endeavoured to serve you and listen to your needs.
I have also supported Shetland GP Susan Bowie in her plea to have the automatic right to full care to die at home, which would allow people full care at home day or night for their last days of life, backed by suitable palliative care.
Shetland is a vibrant community, it’s self-reliant but has suffered of late from the galloping centralisation that has happened partly due to control and due to austerity.
The pandemic has touched all our lives and the priority must be for a fair recovery, leaving no one behind. It has shown many of the inequalities in our society in sharp relief and while we prioritise the recovery, we must also protect the most vulnerable.
I truly believe we need to empower our communities. I constantly tell constituents to tell me what they need, as I cannot represent their needs without learning from their experience.
This is the case with decisions affecting us. We have had an Islands Act that was wished for to redress that balance and yet I have not seen one whit of difference.
Councils, who know their communities well, must be trusted, financed and empowered to do what is best for their own communities. Policy devised for the central belt is not a good fit for Shetland. Therefore, policy made for Shetland must be made in Shetland.
This is not just about empowering the council, they must in turn empower their communities. Devolution is not about Holyrood getting powers from Westminster, it is about allowing decisions to be made as close to the people they affect as possible.
We must also look to achieving our climate goals, as climate change is affecting us all with changing weather patterns, but it disproportionately affects countries that are already poor. We must be global citizens and help all countries and contribute toward saving our planet.
We must create services that are fit for purpose, an NHS that is pandemic ready, a National Care Service that cares for people with dignity and respect, both at home and in our care homes.
Access to broadband must be treated the same as access to other crucial utilities, we have waited too long for this.
Our transport links must be sustainable, and we must help our businesses recover from the pandemic and get back on their feet.
Recovery must be the priority for this election, and I look for your support to make it happen.