Islands Summit talks in Kirkwall for Comhairle

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar convenver Norman A Macdonald was in Kirkwall this week for talks at the second annual Islands Summit.

Scotland’s three Island Councils have been holding talks in Orkney with UK Government Minister Andrew Dunlop at the Islands Summit.

The summit provided the local authorities representing the Western Isles, Orkney and Shetland with the opportunity to discuss issues of key importance to the Our Islands Our Future campaign.

Areas covered included renewables, digital connectivity, islands proofing, emergency towing vessels, and plans for an ‘Islands Deal’.

The annual summit is one of the commitments set out in the Framework for the Islands, published in August 2014 as part of the UK Government’s response to the Our Islands Our Future campaign.

Speaking on behalf of the three Councils, Councillor Heddle said: “There is a European dimension to many of the areas we discussed and coming so soon after the Referendum this, not surprisingly, featured strongly in out talks. 

“The Islands Summit provides us with a channel of contact and communication with the Westminster Government and, given recent events, it is more important than ever that we continue this dialogue with the Government at Ministerial level. 

“It was acknowledged by all that the islands’ voice must be heard in the discussion and negotiation that follows the Referendum result.” 

He added: “I welcome the Minister’s commitment to ongoing support for our efforts to overcome the particular challenges our islands face – and further strengthen our economies for the good of our communities and the country as a whole.”