The SNP’s council candidates in the islands are to fight on a platform of keeping public sector jobs in the islands and striving to avoid compulsory redundancies.
The SNP’s council candidate in Benbecula and North Uist, Andrew Walker, has indicated that the future lies in encouraging all public services in the islands to work more closely together, and working with the Scottish Government to maximise public sector employment in the islands.
Andrew Walker commented: “The Western Isles is unusually dependent on public sector jobs, and the SNP is determined in this election to ensure that - despite unprecedented cuts from the UK Government to Scotland’s budget - we find new ways of working and strive to avoid compulsory redundancies.
“In communities like the Western Isles, where the health board, council and other agencies all represent an area with the same boundaries, there has long been a recognition of the need for closer working between all agencies.
“Most importantly the SNP believes in this because it’s in the interests of the public for social care and health, for instance, to cooperate closely.
“But we also see that bringing different agencies into closer partnership offers by far the best prospects of ensuring public sector work stays here.
“I also support the important role played by Tagsa Uibhist as a Third Sector provider, and would like to see more of the Scottish Government “Change Fund for Older People” being channelled through the Voluntary Sector.
“These agencies are working in the front line of service provision with the most vulnerable in our community. This is also the stated aim of the Cabinet Secretary, Nicola Sturgeon.
“The SNP’s council group after the election will work with these positive aims in mind, and will seek to be fair employers, paying all council staff at least the recognised living wage.”