Islands Bill announcement

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Welcoming Islands Minister Humza Yousaf’s announcement on an Islands Bill to be introduced within the next 12 months, Cllr Angus Campbell, Leader of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar and speaking on behalf of the OIOF campaign, said: “Together with our colleagues in Orkney and Shetland we have worked closely with the Scottish Government with the aim of bringing forward an Islands Bill for the benefit of island communities in Scotland.

“I am delighted that we are now in a position where the Bill is imminent. This will form the basis for island-proofing in future legislation and policies and the creation of a National Islands Plan.

“The whole basis of the Our Islands Our Future campaign has been to empower island communities and this is a practical and meaningful next step in that process.”

Western Isles MSP Alasdair Allan added: “The SNP have shown we are serious about empowering island communities. The proposed Islands Bill will devolve an unprecedented level of decision-making powers to island communities such as ours.

“While there is widespread agreement about the need for islands to have more of a say over public services locally, we must also be sure that this means powers for communities and not just for councils.

“This has been an ongoing process over the last few years with the Scottish Government working closely with the Comhairle and other island councils to get us to this point.

“I am very pleased to see how quickly this has progressed and look forward to seeing the Bill put before the Scottish Parliament.”