Western Isles

The Oban Times - - Community News -

WESTERN Isles res­i­dents are be­ing en­cour­aged to take part in a con­sul­ta­tion into the fu­ture of the is­lands.

The project is part of the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment’s Is­lands’ Bill and asks for views on ex­tra pow­ers for lo­cal au­thor­i­ties and the for­ma­tion of a na­tional is­lands plan.

An­gus Camp­bell, leader of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, said: ‘This is a once in a life­time op­por­tu­nity for the peo­ple of the is­lands and I would urge ev­ery­one to make the most of this chance to shape the fu­ture of is­land life. The comhairle has re­sponded to the con­sul­ta­tion but the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment also wants to know the views of peo­ple in the com­mu­nity. Whilst the is­sues may sound com­plex, the bill and the on­go­ing Our Is­lands Our Fu­ture cam­paign is all about im­prov­ing peo­ple’s lives and pro­vid­ing de­cent hous­ing, good em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties, first rate ser­vices and im­proved trans­port links. In the cur­rent fi­nan­cial cir­cum­stances this will be chal­leng­ing but an Is­lands Bill is about the years and gen­er­a­tions to come. I would urge peo­ple to go to the con­sul­ta­tion on the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment web­site and in­di­cate whether you sup­port an Is­lands’ Bill. You don’t need to com­plete all the ques­tions and it will only take five min­utes of your time. This is a fan­tas­tic op­por­tu­nity – let’s take it.’

The con­sul­ta­tion is avail­able via http://tinyurl.com/ hfy­bk4y.

A COMHAIRLE nan Eilean Siar (Western Isles) coun­cil­lor has backed calls by the lo­cal MP to ex­tend the con­sul­ta­tion on re­stric­tion changes on im­por­tant fish­ing grounds.

Coun­cil­lor Alas­dair Macleod, chair­man of Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment, said the con­sul­ta­tion pe­riod should be ex­tended by at least six weeks to give fish­er­men the chance to re­spond.

He con­tin­ued: ‘The new mea­sures could have se­ri­ous fi­nan­cial im­pli­ca­tions on the Western Isles and it is of ut­most im­por­tance that those af­fected have the time to re­spond to the con­sul­ta­tion.

‘I would call on the agen­cies in­volved to re­spect lo­cal opin­ion, re­verse th­ese pro­pos­als and stand up for the is­lands, the lo­cal econ­omy and our com­mu­ni­ties.’

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