Empowering Scotland's Island Communities

‘Empowering Scotland’s Island Communities’ is a prospectus for Scotland's islands, recommended jointly by Scottish Ministers and Islands Council Leaders.

Appendix 1 Island Areas Ministerial Working Group

Members of the Island Areas Ministerial Working Group were:

Derek Mackay MSP Minister for Local Government & Planning (Chair)
Paul Wheelhouse MSP Minister for Environment & Climate Change
Councillor Angus Campbell Leader of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar
Councillor Dr Steven Heddle Convener and Leader, Orkney Islands Council
Councillor Gary Robinson Leader of Shetland Islands Council
Mark Boden Chief Executive of Shetland Islands Council
Alistair Buchan Chief Executive of Orkney Islands Council
Malcolm Burr Chief Executive of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar

Additionally the following Ministers attended certain meetings of the Group appropriate to their portfolio responsibilities:

Richard Lochhead MSP Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs & Environment
Keith Brown MSP Minister for Transport & Veterans
Fergus Ewing MSP Minister for Energy, Enterprise & Tourism
Dr Alasdair Allan MSP Minister for Learning, Science & Scotland's Languages

The Group at its first meeting agreed its focus as being to:

  • Consider how the Islands Councils are and can be supported to use existing powers available to them and engage communities to deliver improved, more responsive public services and better outcomes for communities;
  • Consider the development and extension of local democracy in the island groups and opportunities in the context of the referendum, including the issues raised by the Our Islands - Our Future joint position statement; and
  • Agree a prospectus outlining opportunities for island communities in the future, with the Scottish Government firmly of the view that independence offers the best opportunity for such progress.

The Group was supported by a secretariat drawn from officials in each Council and the Scottish Government. The Group met on six occasions:

29 August 2013 Edinburgh
29 October 2013 Glasgow
21 November 2013 Edinburgh
17 February 2014 Lerwick
24 March 2014 Stornoway
2 June 2014 Kirkwall

Each meeting was supported by significant joint working by Islands Councils and Scottish Government officials to develop and explore the range of subjects set out in the Our Islands Our Future campaign.

We believe that the people who live and work in Scotland are best placed to make decisions about our future - the essence of self-determination; therefore we support subsidiarity and local decision making.

"Lerwick Declaration",
First Minister, Alex Salmond MSP, 25 July 2013


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