The Leader of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar has welcomed the draft National Islands Plan.
Cllr Roddie Mackay said: “I very much welcome the publication of the draft National Plan for Scotland’s Islands which came about as a direct result of the Our Islands: Our Future campaign.
Based on consultation with island Authorities, individuals and other agencies, the draft Plan sets out the priorities for Islands including improving outcomes for Island communities. These outcomes include:
- Increase in population levels;
- Improving and promoting: Sustainable economic development; Environmental Wellbeing; Health and Wellbeing; and Community Empowerment;
- Improving Transport Services;
- Improving Digital Connectivity;
- Reducing Fuel Poverty;
- Ensuring effective management of the Scottish Crown Estate; and
- Enhancing Biodiversity.
It is recognised from the introduction to the Plan that the overall purpose is to improve meaningfully outcomes for Island communities, aligned with a commitment to sustainable development goals, and, critically, a human rights-based approach.
The Comhairle looks forward to continuing to work with the Scottish Government and our other partners in improving lives for those in our communities, and developing the actions to be taken to implement the Strategic Objectives . The Islands Plan is an important step in taking that forward and we hope that that is complemented by appropriate resourcing, for instance through the Islands Deal. We also look forward to seeing the guidance on Community Impact Assessments which are due in December of this year and will be an integral part of ‘Island Proofing’
We will now examine the draft Plan in detail and respond to Government as appropriate.”