Monday, 17 February 2014

Isolating Islands

Isolating Islands.

My sincere thanks for your tireless efforts to reintroduce the air service.  My thanks also for highlighting the controversial but all too real issue of isolating island communities.  Of course it is true that people do not wish to be where they are not welcome but that is not true of the Hebrides, the council attitude does not reflect the view of the people of the Western Isles on this issue.  

The Long-island is inhabited from Ness to Vatersay by the people of the Hebrides and Castlebay is the southern gateway of the Hebrides, that is a geographical fact.  It is the Western Isles Council which is dividing the islands, something it's founding fathers must be recoiling in horror from.  It's not even the entire council but a very influential few.

With the Scottish Government preparing to introduce legislation to further empower communities and hopefully individual islands, to take a greater role in running their own services, the future is positive.  In this age there is no reason why government can't fund properly structured communities directly.  The refrain I hear most often is "If we don't do it ourselves, it won't get done".  That is no longer a moan, indeed it could be a boast, except of course we don't boast.  The people of the Hebrides, like the people of Scotland will not continue to accept being held back.

Presently, flying visits between HQ and Barra are done via Glasgow, completely oblivious to how that reflects on the definition "Local? Government".

Councillor Donald Manford