Our action for island communities

By , 25/01/18

Scotland has over 790 islands and more than 10,000 miles of coastline. Our islands are home to stunning scenery, world-famous whisky distilleries, and fantastic musical and cultural festivals.

 

Here are just some of the ways the SNP are delivering for our island communities.

 

  • An Islands Bill is making its way through Parliament, to require the creation of a National Islands Plan and to place a duty to ‘island-proof’ future government policies, strategies and legislation.

 

  • We have introduced a Crown Estate Bill that will, if passed, give communities more of a say in how assets are managed and open open up the possibility of local authorities and communities taking control of the management themselves.

 

  • We’ve invested a record £1 billion in vessels, ports and ferry services, reduced ferry fares across all routes in the Clyde and Hebrides network.

 

  • We’ve frozen fares on Northern Isles ferries and, in 2018, we’ll introduce a scheme to reduce fares. Foot passenger fares will fall by an average of more than 40 per cent and car fares by an average of more than 30 per cent.

 

  • Residents of Caithness and north-west Sutherland, Colonsay, Islay, Jura, Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles are also eligible for a 50 per cent discount on air fares.

     

  • To support the building on new affordable housing in island communities, we are investing £5 million in an Islands Housing Fund. We’re also investing £25 million to build new homes and refurbish existing ones through our Rural Housing Fund.

 

  • We’re committed to promoting food and drink from our islands with a £5 million fund.

 

  • Our MPs are standing up for islands communities at Westminster too. We will continue to call on the UK government to regulate for fair delivery charges for rural communities.

 

  • SNP MPs will campaign for better mobile phone coverage, supporting a summit on mobile phone “not spots” to bring service providers and the UK government together to improve mobile connectivity.

 

  • And we’ll campaign for a UK government funding commitment to a Deal for the Islands of Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles.

 

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