Council takes steps on devolution
The SIC has set up a project board to make sure the commitments by Westminster and Holyrood in response to the Our Islands Our Future campaign are honoured.
At a special council meeting this morning, where councillors also noted Westminster’s A Framework for the Islands, a plan of action emerged with the most urgent business to try and influence the Smith Commission which is furthering the transfer of power from Westminster to Holyrood.
The council has sent a letter to each political party urging them to promote the “localism” agenda to the Commission, headed by Lord Smith of Kelvin. This would strengthen devolution across all levels of government in Scotland and broaden the focus from transferring powers top the Scottish Parliament.
Councillors also heard that some useful support was coming from the Commission on Strengthening Local Democracy that was set up following the launch of the three islands councils’ OIOF campaign.
The councillors, one from each district, who will form the project sounding board, are: North Isles – Steven Coutts; North – Alastair Cooper; West – Frank Robertson; Central – Mark Burgess; South – Billy Fox; Lerwick North – Michael Stout and Lerwick South – Jonathan Wills as well as political leader Gary Robinson.
The council also agreed that chief executive Mark Boden should chair the officer project board which will consist of the executive managers of executive services, transport planning, governance and law, finance, community planning and development, economic development and the executive project manager and senior communications officer.