Sturgeon urges public to speak about future of isles
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has called for islanders to give their views on proposals that could see the devolution of additional powers to Scotland’s island councils and communities.
Speaking ahead of a visit to Skye to encourage island communities and other interested stakeholders to offer their views, Ms Sturgeon said she had made a commitment that the government would be open and transparent and that was why she was encouraging everyone living in island communities to consider what the future bill should look like.
She added: “I know all too well that life on our islands can be very different compared to living on the mainland. Who better then to help influence this area of work than those who live, work and study there.
“Our islands have proud and vibrant traditions which have contributed to making Scotland the nation that it is.
“This consultation marks the next step in informing our work to ensure we can make our islands more prosperous and fairer in the future, and I would encourage everyone with an interest to respond.”
The consultation on a future Islands Bill, launched last month by islands minister Derek Mackay, seeks views on a range of issues including:
• more autonomy;
• a national islands plan;
• dedicated councillors for all populated islands;
• a legal duty to island-proof legislation;
• constituency boundary protection for Na h-Eileanan an lar.
Ms Sturgeon was in Skye to open the new Kilbeg village development and her first Sabhal Mòr Ostaig [Gaelic College] lecture where she will highlight the role Gaelic has to play in the economic and cultural future of Scotland’s islands.