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Liberal Democrat MSPs seek ‘island proofing’

MSPs Tavish Scott and Liam McArthur want to ensure the promises that have been made to islanders during the independence referendum campaign are honoured. Picture: TSPL

MSPs Tavish Scott and Liam McArthur want to ensure the promises that have been made to islanders during the independence referendum campaign are honoured. Picture: TSPL

  • by LYNSEY BEWS
 

SCOTTISH Liberal Democrats have announced plans to introduce legislation at Holyrood aimed at safeguarding the rights of island communities.

Orkney MSP Liam McArthur and Shetland MSP Tavish Scott want to ensure the promises that have been made to islanders during the independence referendum campaign are honoured.

They will publish a consultation in the autumn seeking views from the public on “island proofing” of future Scottish Parliament legislation and the work of public bodies.

The consultation will also look at community benefit in areas such as aquaculture, fisheries management arrangements, relocation of posts and islands innovation zones.

It will also consider steps which could be taken to protect lifeline air and ferry provision.

Mr Scott said: “The islands have lost many powers and responsibilities since the nationalist government took power in 2007.

“Police, fire, colleges and crucial transport decisions are all now taken in the central belt with little reference to the needs of the islands. Liam McArthur and I are determined to reverse this damaging approach to self-government in the islands.

“SNP ministers have been busy making all sorts of promises in a bid to persuade islanders to vote for independence. In most cases, however, there is nothing stopping the SNP from delivering these promises now. I don’t want to see the nationalists backsliding after September 18 and this Bill should help make sure this doesn’t happen.”

SEE ALSO:

Scottish independence: SNP targets islands

 

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