Agreement on way forward for Islands’ future

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Leaders of the three Island Councils and the Secretary of State for Scotland have agreed to work towards a Concordat to take forward the ‘Our Islands Our Future’ initiative.

Discussions are covering issues such as the development and management of Island resources including renewable energy, oil and gas, fisheries and the Crown Estate.

The move was agreed during the latest discussions on the Our Islands Our Future initiative which seeks greater powers for Island areas.

It was also confirmed that the Scotland Office would host an Islands’ desk, a dedicated resource for working with the Islands.

The Island Councils of Shetland, Orkney and the Western Isles are in ongoing discussions with both the Scottish and UK Governments.

They believe that the constitutional debate taking place in Scotland offers a once in a generation opportunity for islands to seek additional powers and improve lives for island communities, irrespective of the outcome of the referendum.

Speaking on behalf of the three island Councils, Angus Campbell, Leader of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, said: “This is an important step forward in the Our Islands Our Future campaign. We have made significant progress and we are confident that real benefits will accrue for our communities from these discussions with both the UK and Scottish Governments.

“We very much welcome the creation of an Islands’ desk which will provide a dedicated point of contact for dealing with the relevant issues and working with the islands Councils. We remain on target with the campaign and we look forward to working with both Governments as we progress the work to gain more powers for the benefit of those living in the islands.”