Leaders Win Scottish Politician Of The Year Award

by Alastair Hamilton -

Gary Robinson, Leader of Shetland Islands Council, has shared an award for Scottish Local Politician of The Year with his counterparts in Orkney and the Western Isles.

The three won the accolade, bestowed by the Glasgow-based Herald newspaper, for their joint initiative known as "Our Islands, Our Future". The aim is to persuade the Scottish and UK governments to extend the powers of the three local authorities before and after the Scottish independence referendum in September 2014.

Following the launch of the campaign in June, the Scottish Government set up a Ministerial Working Group to look at the issues raised by the Councils. The UK Government has also held high level talks with representatives from the three local authorities.

Shetland Islands Council Leader, Gary Robinson, said: “It's tremendous to win this award. It's a tribute not only to what we have put into this but also the small but dedicated team of people across the three Councils that have been supporting the work behind the campaign so far.”

Orkney Islands Council Convener Steven Heddle said that the campaign's strength stemmed from the fact that “the three island groups are working together with such shared purpose and commitment” and Angus Campbell, Leader of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (Western Isles Council), asserted that “through continued co-operation we can move forward with confidence that the work can bring real benefits to our island communities.”

The awards were presented at Prestonfield House in Edinburgh. You can read more about the campaign and its aims in this joint position statement (pdf)

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