Council urges islanders to take part in consultation

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar is urging islanders to take part in the Scottish Government’s consultation on an Islands’ Bill.

The consultation asks for views on issues such as ‘Islands proofing’ (the concept of new legislation being scrutinised before being enacted to ensure it does not adversely affect island communities), extra powers for Island authorities, protection in law to retain the Western Isles parliamentary constituency, the possibility of a different local authority ward system to the current 3 or 4 member constituencies, and the formation of a National Islands Plan.

Comhairle Leader Cllr Angus Campbell said: “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for the people of the Islands and I would urge everyone to make the most of this chance to shape the future of island life.

“The Comhairle has responded to the consultation but the Scottish Government also wants to know the views of people in the community.

“Whilst the issues may sound complex the Bill and the ongoing Our Islands Our Future campaign is all about improving people’s lives and providing decent housing, good employment opportunities, first rate services and improved transport links.

“In the current financial circumstances this will be challenging but an Islands Bill is about the years and generations to come.

“I would urge people to go to the consultation on the Scottish Government website and indicate whether you support an Islands’ Bill. You don’t need to complete all the questions and it will only take five minutes of your time.

“There are also links on the Comhairle website that will take you to the consultation and to the Comhairle’s response. This is a fantastic opportunity – let’s take it”.

The Islands’ Bill Consultation document can be found: here

The Comhairle’s response to the Consultation on the Islands’ Bill can be found: here

The deadline for the consultation is the 23rd December.