MSP on fact finding mission to isles
Highlands and Islands list MSP Maree Todd was in a fact finding mission to Shetland this weekend where she had a number of constituency meetings lined up.
The 43-year-old first time parliamentarian, originally from Ullapool, emphasised she would be holding the Scottish Government to its manifesto promise of lower ferry fares for he Northern Isles, having seen the tremendous boost RET (road equivalent tariff) had given the Western Isles.
But she said that RET was clearly not the right solution for Orkney and Shetland and would make travel dearer, a fact she coaxed out of Transport Minister Humza Yousaf in general questions in the Scottish Parliament yesterday, along with a commitment to pursue the issue in a visit to the Northern Isles later this summer.
Ms Todd said that it was her duty as an SNP back bencher to keep the pressure on the Scottish Government to deliver on this commitment as much as anyone else.
She had discussed the importance of freight, and especially fish, for Shetland at a meeting with Mr Yousaf following yesterday’s parliamentary session.
Her other main concern is of course the outcome of next Thursday’s referendum on EU membership. She believes, in line with the SNP, that it is crucial for the Highlands and Islands, Scotland and the UK to remain within the European Union that has delivered a host of benefits to the Highlands and Islands as well as having preserved peace in Western Europe since the Second World War.
Ms Todd, a psychiatric pharmacist by trade, was also to meet with NHS Shetland, Shetland Amenity Trust, Isles freight interests, the women for independence group and an SNP branch meeting and conducting a job interview for a staff member.