Submission to the Smith Commission from Islands’ Councils

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The Our Islands Our Future (OIOF) campaign has submitted its views on the devolution of more powers to Scotland to the Smith Commission.

The three Island Councils have made a series of proposals founded on the principle that devolution should be an ongoing process and that powers devolved to the Scottish Parliament should enable more powers for Island areas.

The OIOF submission asks that the Smith Commission supports its critical objective of onwards devolution of power from London and Edinburgh to the Scottish Islands.

The Island Councils also ask that the Commission should acknowledge the UK Government’s ‘A Framework for the Islands’ and Scottish Government’s ‘Empowering Scotland’s Island Communities’ documents and that both Governments should fully implement all possible commitments given in these documents.

Councillor Steven Heddle, Convener of Orkney Islands Council, speaking on behalf of Our Islands Our Future, said: “The OIOF campaign has always been of the view that more powers for island areas will benefit our communities and enable us to compete on a level playing field.

“There is an opportunity now for the Smith Commission to back the principles of the campaign and ensure that the devolution of more powers to Scotland is an ongoing process which will result in more powers for Island areas in such crucial areas as Crown Estate revenues, Grid connections, Fisheries and Oil and Gas development.”

The three Leaders of the Island Councils are seeking an opportunity to directly address the Smith Commission given the particular challenges facing island areas and the opportunities afforded by further devolution of powers to Scotland.