MSPs call for views on draft national islands plan
People living on Scotland’s islands will be asked for their views on the Scottish Government’s proposed national islands plan, as part of a consultation launched by the Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee.
The consultation will call for views from islanders, as well as local authorities and others with an interest in island communities, to inform the priorities contained in the draft plan.
At present, it contains 13 objectives aimed at addressing population decline and promoting sustainable economic development, as well as improving housing and transport services.
The plan aims to expand digital connectivity and to improve and promote health and well-being and education, to support arts, culture and language, and to empower diverse communities.
It will help attempt to improve and promote environmental well-being and help tackle climate change.
Convener Edward Mountain said: “A key recommendation in our report on the Islands Bill was that the Scottish Government must ensure that the priority areas featured in the national islands plan reflect the actual priorities of islanders.
“To that end, this call for views gives islanders the opportunity to express their opinions on the objectives set out in the draft plan.
“The committee has a limited timeframe within which to consider the proposed plan. It is therefore crucial that we hear as wide a range of views as possible in order that we are able to fairly judge the Scottish Government’s proposals.”
The draft plan was put before parliament earlier this week, with MSPs given 40 days for consideration before a final version is published.
The proposed plan follows an extensive consultation which saw more than 60 events and meetings being held on islands across Scotland and attended by almost 1,000 people of all ages and backgrounds. The connected online consultation also received over 400 responses.
The call for views is open until 31 October 2019.