THE SCOTTISH Greens say no new open cage salmon farms should be allowed in inshore waters until the industry is governed by stricter regulations.
This extends to proposed expansions of existing farms, the party said.
Mark Ruskell, the lead Scottish Green candidate for Mid Scotland and Fife, said that industrial salmon farming is “increasingly out of control, posing an ever-growing threat to wildlife, our natural environment, and local communities”.
“The industry needs to become sustainable if jobs are to be supported for the long term,” he said.
“Urgent action is needed. Parliament was very clear that the status quo was not an option, but the SNP remain wedded to the status quo.
“Scottish Green MSPs will instead be listening to the creelers, to those concerned about the effects on wildlife, including wild salmon, and on marine tourism, and we will be listening to the science.”
LIBERAL Democrat candidate Beatrice Wishart said she is “determined to speak to as many people as possible” as polling day draws closer.
People can get in touch with her team to organise a chat.
She said education and the easing of Covid restrictions have been two topics at the forefront of local people’s minds.
Following a day on the west mainland Wishart said on Wednesday that “broadband and the failed promises of the Scottish Government were high up on the list of issues on people’s minds here”.
The Lib Dem added that her party is “putting recovery first” as the country recuperates from the impact of coronavirus.
FIRST minister and SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon says her party “recognises that not all communities are the same and our islands have unique status”.
The SNP says its manifesto for the next parliament includes a pledge to invest £30 million in island infrastructure, to look at fixed links and establishing a scheme to offer money to young people and families to stay in or move to islands threatened by depopulation.
Sturgeon said: “In the last parliament, the SNP delivered the Islands Act, giving specific legal rights to Scotland’s islands to ensure that government works with and for our island communities – and we will continue in that vein if re-elected.”
Shetland SNP candidate Tom Wills added that “island communities are at the heart of our plans to protect and support the NHS, to create jobs and opportunities for our young people, to grow the economy, to improve the way we live and to meet our ambition to become a net zero nation as soon as we are able to”.
SHETLAND Labour candidate Martin Kerr has highlighted the number of food parcels provided to children during the pandemic and claimed it is due to the SNP’s “failure to secure family finances”.
He said 382 food parcels have been given to children in the isles during the pandemic.
Labour is pledging to support families by doubling the Scottish child payment, with an additional £5 increase for families with a disabled child or parent.
Kerr said: “Children across Shetland deserve better than a distracted government which is focused on constitutional arguments not securing their futures.
“Scottish Labour will support families in our community by doubling the Scottish Child Payment and providing the free childcare that parents need to return to work boosting our economic recovery.”
THE CONSERVATIVES are pledging to guarantee 10 per cent of the health budget will be ring-fenced for mental health treatment.
Shetland candidate Nick Tulloch highlighted a range of proposals from party leader Douglas Ross which would ensure people in Shetland could access mental health support when they need it.
The plans include increasing mental health spending to 10 per cent, from the current level of eight per cent as well as expanding community mental health services such as social prescribing, cognitive therapy and peer support.
Tulloch said local leisure facilities should also be supported in their efforts to re-open.
He said: “The pressures on people’s mental health has been immense over the last year during the pandemic.
“Even before the pandemic, far too many people in Shetland were waiting too long for mental health treatment.”
The Scottish Parliament elections take place on 6 May. There are six candidates contesting the Shetland seat. They are in alphabetical order: Martin Kerr (Labour), Brian Nugent (Restore Scotland); Peter Tait (Independent), Nick Tulloch (Conservatives), Tom Wills (SNP) and Beatrice Wishart (Liberal Democrats).
To find out more about all of the candidates standing in the election, including those on the regional Highlands and Islands list, visit our Scottish Parliament election 2021 page here.
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