Residents of Scalpay have voted overwhelmingly to take community ownership of their island.
Current owner Fred Taylor had offered the estate to them as a gift and they were asked whether to go ahead with community ownership through a postal ballot.
The count took place in Scalpay Community Centre tonight (Tuesday).
The residents have also agreed to go ahead in collaboration with North Harris Trust rather than set up a seperate community trust.
Results were as follows:
Should the community accept the offer of free community ownership of the island of Scalpay from the current landlord?
Yes = 197 No = 8 Turnout = 78.2%
Subject to the community proceeding with the acquisition, should the estate be managed via a standalone Scalpay Trust or ask to merge with North Harris Trust?
Stand Alone Scalpay Trust = 96 Merge with North Harris Trust = 110 Turnout = 78.6%
The steering group will meet shortly to discuss the next stage of this process, and if there are any further issues, ideas or inputs anyone wishes to put forward please contact any member of the steering group who will be happy to assist.
Local MSP Alasdair Allan commented: “Last night people in Scalpay decisively voted to accept the offer made by the Islands owner Fred Taylor to gift the island to the community. I believe that this opens up new opportunities for an island which knows that it needs new economic development.
“I congratulate the people of Scalpay on this move, which is possible thanks to the very public spirited attitude of Mr Taylor.
“It is now up to people in both Scalpay and North Harris to decide what arrangements they wish to see for the future administration of the land, but I believe that yesterday was a decisive and positive step towards a better future for Scalpay and its people.”
See this week’s Stornoway Gazette, out tomorrow Thursday 8th, for more on the historic vote.