Shetland’s new MSP Beatrice Wishart was sworn in at Holyrood on Tuesday and immediately vowed to try and improve nursery care in the isles.
Her first act as a parliamentarian was to write to childcare and early years minister Maree Todd, demanding she take immediate action to ensure that the government’s childcare roll-out did not squeeze out private providers who delivered early years care and flexible provision.
Ms Wishart had visited the Peerie Foxes nursery in Lerwick, which feared closure, alongside Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie during the by-election campaign.
Ms Wishart said: “I’m delighted to have been sworn in as Shetland’s newest, and first female, MSP. It’s been a hectic summer of campaigning and I’m excited to be getting to work.
“The SNP threw promises around like confetti when they were campaigning in Shetland and I intend to hold them to every single one of them. That starts today with nursery care.
“Every family living in Shetland should be able to access the 1,140 hours of childcare without struggle or uncertainty. The SNP’s sloppy mismanagement of the expansion is putting treasured local nurseries at real risk.
“The minister for childcare has a responsibility to confront the failings in her approach that are endangering jobs and services across the isles.”
Mr Rennie said it was a great by-election to be part of. Ms Wishart had run an uplifting and positive campaign and she was already hard at work holding the government to account, he said.