Council makes case for taking over development agency

WESTERN Isles Council yesterday told MSPs it should take on the functions of the development agency for the Highlands and Islands to help save costs in the public sector.

The council was one of a number of bodies giving evidence to the Scottish Parliament's economy, energy and tourism committee, which is reviewing the running of Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise amid fears that the organisations could merge.

In its submission, the council said a merger would be the worst possible outcome as it would inevitably lead to all focus being lost in relation to the critical issues that face island economies and communities. The council said that policy formation has to become more islands-based.