Chairman of Anti-Poverty Group Calls for Urgent Discussions

The Chairman of the Outer Hebrides Community Planning Partnership Anti-Poverty Group, Cllr Angus McCormack, has described the cessation of insulation measures in the Western Isles as ‘devastating news’.

Cllr McCormack said: “The announcement by Tighean Innse Gall that it is to cease installation of insulation measures is devastating news. This service was a key part of the strategy to alleviate fuel poverty which stands at 40% in the Western Isles – the highest in Scotland. This action is forced upon them by intransigence in regulations enforcement shown by both the UK and Holyrood governments. No consideration has been given to the unique factors relating to island communities. If this decision cannot be reversed, it will mean the loss of fourteen jobs as well as the knock on affect on employment. That is disgraceful and unacceptable. It will also contribute to the growing pressures being placed on homes by rising fuel and living costs.

“How can the Poverty Action Group be expected to make progress in eradicating poverty when the Scottish Government is starving the Western Isles of resources and supporting regulations which undermine good work being carried out?

“Losing 14 good jobs in the Western Isles is like losing a small factory in the Central Belt. What has happened to Island Proofing? I see no evidence of its application in the TIG scenario nor in the awarding of revenues to the Western Isles. There is a need for urgent discussion between the Scottish Government and the Comhairle.”