April 6, 2016
While living on a Scottish island may have an idyllic ring to it, there will be inherent challenges that those of us who reside on the mainland can scarcely imagine. These island communities are, by necessity if nothing else, some of the best organised and resilient anywhere in the country and they work hard to make sure their voices are heard at every level. Now, after many years of being thwarted by a lack of resource, the islands have the chance to develop a more collective voice as well.
The Scottish Islands Federation has been awarded £18.500 by the Scottish government, a sum which will allow its voluntary board to employ the staff it requires to fulfil its ambitious targets.
Federation chair Camille Dressler said: “we warmly thank the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Food and Environment, Richard Lochhead MSP, for his recognition of the part that the Scottish Islands Federation has played in helping to raise islands needs and issues at all levels of governance. We are now looking forward to promote a greater engagement of island grassroots organisations in all the issues that are important to them, and help and help them make their islands leaders in low carbon, sustainable communities.”
Michael Russell , MSP for Argyll & Bute which has more inhabited islands than any other Scottish constituency, and invited the Scottish Islands Federation to the Scottish Parliament in 2013, said : ‘ I am delighted that the Scottish Government has recognised the importance of the Scottish Islands Federation and the work that is done to bring together those who live and work on the islands in order to share experiences and find ways of moving forward. The links that exist with islands in other parts of Europe are also important and the collaborations on energy, employment, tourism and other issues that are already arising are pointing interesting ways forward,. The Scottish Government knows that islands need special support and this grant is not only proves that point, but also opens the door to new possibilities.”
The Scottish Islands Federation is now recruiting staff to carry out the tasks agreed with the Rural Communities team. A description of the job and its responsibilities can be found here.