New Islands Council Leaders Reaffirm Commitment to Islands Bill

Cllr James Stockan (Leader, Orkney Islands Council), Humza Yousaf MSP, Cllr Roddie Mackay (Leader, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar), Cllr Cecil Smith (Leader, Shetland Islands Council)

The new Leaders of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, Orkney Islands Council and Shetland Islands Council yesterday reaffirmed their commitment to the Islands Bill at a meeting of the Islands Strategic Group chaired by Humza Yousaf, Minister for Transport and the Islands.

Leader of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, Roddie MacKay, said: "Yesterday’s discussions marked the continuation of productive political engagement between the Councils and the Scottish Government. We are committed to fully utilizing our islands’ resources and to see the islands thrive and contribute to national wellbeing throughout the 21st century in Scotland. The measures in the Islands Bill underpin this aim.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank the Islands Minister, Humza Yousaf, the Scottish Government, our Island colleagues and all those who are contributing to this historic, empowering and progressive step forward in the futures of island communities."

Leader of Orkney Islands Council, James Stockan, said: "We will continue working together with our islands’ colleagues to ensure that the Islands Bill works in a tangible manner. As we come to the challenging process of having the Bill pass through Parliament, we need to ensure that we get the results which directly benefit our communities. We believe that increased local accountability, decision making and control is critical to future management of resources."

Leader of Shetland Islands Council, Cecil Smith, said: "We look forward to developing the positive work undertaken by our predecessors in these roles. Yesterday’s discussions with the Minister were very productive and set the agenda for transformational change for the future welfare of our islands."