Is­lan­ders suf­fer most

Argyllshire Advertiser - - YOUR VIEWS -

Sir, I was pleased to at­tend the lat­est Ar­gyll Is­lands Strate­gic Group meet­ing in Kil­mory re­cently.

I was able to speak to Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment and Ar­gyll and Bute Coun­cil rep­re­sen­ta­tives about the chal­lenges fac­ing our is­land com­mu­ni­ties.

While we on the is­lands of Is­lay, Jura, Colon­say and Gigha are right­fully en­joy­ing strong lo­cal eco­nomic growth, fu­ture growth will be sti­fled by poor lo­cal in­fra­struc­ture, at times un­re­li­able ferry links and the nev­erend­ing trou­bles with the A83.

Re­gard­less of what po­lit­i­cal stripe the lead­er­ship of the Scot­tish and UK par­lia­ments have, all should be united in get­ting our vi­tal links to the main­land and wider the UK econ­omy back up to scratch.

With­out large-scale in­vest­ment from cen­tral gov­ern­ment to fix Ar­gyll and Bute’s roads and Trans­port Scot­land’s trunk roads, our fu­ture pros­per­ity is at risk and, as ever, it will be is­lan­ders who suf­fer the most.

While po­lit­i­cal bun-fights in the lo­cal press let­ters pages are en­ter­tain­ing, what we re­ally need is ac­tion from our MSPs and MPs.

If we were talk­ing about road and trans­port

links be­tween Scot­land’s cities, it is highly likely th­ese prob­lems would al­ready be fixed. The Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment must in the fu­ture not be so ur­ban-cen­tric in its al­lo­ca­tion of re­sources. Coun­cil­lor Alas­tair Red­man, Kin­tyre and the Is­lands ward.

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