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.’