SNP candidate for Na h-Eileanan an Iar, Alasdair Allan, has described the next Parliament as an opportunity for “legislation to pass real power to island communities”.
Commenting on the SNP’s manifesto commitment to an Islands Bill, Alasdair Allan said: “The Scottish Government has worked closely with the Comhairle and other island councils to ensure that, if re-elected, an SNP government can now legislate on this issue.
“There is widespread agreement about the need for islands to exercise more say over public services locally, but we must also be sure that this means powers for communities – not just for councils. Legislation has to recognise that many island communities are a very long way from their local authority’s headquarters.
“The SNP’s commitment to deliver new rights for communities of this kind can be seen already in the Community Empowerment Act, and also in the manifesto commitment to deliver to islands a power that has only just been devolved to Scotland from Westminster, namely the power to decide how revenues from the Crown Estate are spent.
“In the future, all government action needs to be ‘island proofed’ – in other words politicians should ask whether a new law will actually work in an island setting.
“The SNP offers very clear commitments about the need for action in this area, and the election offers the chance to ensure that all this now happens. Combined with the 10 point manifesto for our islands this further demonstrates the SNP’s commitment to our island communities.”