1. The Island (Scotland) Act 2018 places a duty on the Scottish Ministers and other relevant authorities, including a number of public authorities, to have regard to island communities in exercising their functions, and for the Scottish Ministers this will also include the development of legislation. This duty is often referred to as 'island proofing'.
2. The importance of island-proofing was recognised in the 'Empowering Scotland's Island Communities' prospectus published in June 2014. The principle of island-proofing is one of building a broad-based islands awareness into the decision making process of all parts of the public sector.
3. Guidance on how an ICIA should be carried out is not present in the Act. Rather, the Act enables Ministers to develop guidance about the duty to have regard to island communities, of which the ICIA forms part (Section 11). The Scottish Government's Islands Team are consulting with islanders and those with an interest in islands on the development of guidance on how these assessments will operate. This follows on from the online consultation on Citizen Space that closed on 26 July 2019. In the meantime, Ministers have asked that ICIAs are undertaken in the spirit of the Act in respect of any new policies, strategies and services.
4. In recognition of the importance of island-proofing, this islands assessment is being produced to highlight issues raised from the consultation and other issues that were highlighted by the consultation on the Fuel Poverty Bill which are particularly relevant to island communities, and explain mitigating action aimed to address these issues.