The SNP has launched a manifesto for the Western Isles which lays out key commitments for an SNP-led Comhairle nan Eilean Siar.

Nine candidates are standing for the SNP in next month’s elections and the party hopes to create an administration which will lead the Comhairle with a clear strategy.

Donald Manford, SNP Group leader and candidate for Barraigh, Bhatarsaigh, Eiriosgaigh agus Uibhist a Deas, said: "To be in the driving seat of our own destiny and to shape our own future is a natural desire. It is what the SNP believes is right for Scotland.   It is what your local SNP Group believes is right for the Hebrides.

“There are big issues facing us.  We want a better future for all our Islanders.  Support for an SNP led Administration will ensure that no locality advances at the expense of another.

“If our candidates are elected, we want to form an SNP led coalition so that there is strong, policy-led leadership, where we will work together and with others to deliver commitments that are clearly stated before local elections.

“An SNP led Administration will work directly with you, with Scottish Government, with Westminster and with other public sector agencies, with the voluntary sector and with other elected members to ensure the survival of these islands and a better future for all. 

"It is only by working together that we can ensure the best use of resources to tackle the big issues facing us.”

Commitments include the introduction of locality planning bodies across the Hebrides; reviewing the Comhairle’s structure as part of the Council’s budget process for 2018/19; specific policies to address depopulation and poverty; along with transport initiatives such as re-introduction of concessionary fares on the Sound of Barra and Harris, and efforts to secure an additional night freight vessel for Stornoway.
 
The SNP candidates are:

Ward 1 - Barraigh, Bhatarsaigh, Eiriosgaigh agus Uibhist a Deas - Donald Manford and Calum Macmillan

Ward 2 - Beinn na Faoghla Agus Uibhist A Tuath - Roslyn Macpherson

Ward 3 - Na Hearadh Agus Ceann A Deas Nan Loch Fiona Macleod and John Mitchell

Ward 6 - Steornabhagh A Deas - Rae Mackenzie

Ward 7 - Steornabhagh A Tuath - Gordon Murray

Ward 8 - Loch A Tuath - John A Maciver

Ward 9 - An Taobh Siar Agus Nis - Kenneth Macleod