Sottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale visited businesses in Lewis this morning as part of the campaign leading up to the Scottish Parliament elections next month.
Accompanied by local candidate Rhoda Grant, she spent much of the morning at the Harris Tweed Hebrides plant in Shawbost and went on to visit Lewis Crofters in Stornoway.
While in Shawbost, she was brought to date on expansion plans at the plant where a series of new buildings are under construction to create a new dyeing plant and other facilities. She also had a chance to try out the work on a loom.
Earlier she declared that “the Labour Party I lead aspires to represent in every corner of this country”and announced specific action that the manifesto will set out to help island communities including:
- A commitment to build 60,000 new homes to tackle the housing crisis in Scotland, including thousands of new homes for Scotland’s island communities. £100 million investment over the lifetime of the next Parliament, to extend coverage of superfast broadband.
- The establishment of Skills Scotland, a new agency for jobs and work,which would work in partnership with trade unions and local government to promote local economic development and build the jobs of the future.
- More freedom for local government to raise revenues, including the option to introduce a tourist tax.
- Keeping CalMac in public hands and immediately halt the unnecessary tender of the Clyde and Hebrides services.
She added:“We have bold and ambitious plans that will change the lives of people who live in our island communities – whether that’s investing to build thousands of new homes or extending the coverage of superfast broadband across the country.
“We are also absolutely clear that a Labour Scottish Government would keep CalMac in public hands and one of our first actions in Government would be halting the tender of the Clyde and Hebrides services and taking our argument straight to the EU."