Letter from Edinburgh - Friday 17th February 2017

This seems a good week to say well done to the media. Some claim that politicians and journalists have a love-hate relationship. That is a gross exaggeration. People who write or broadcast need the actions and thoughts of those involved in politics and government at all levels. Councillors and MSPs need news outlets to report what they are saying. 

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Tavish criticises oil worker retraining failure

As the Scottish Liberal Democrat spokesperson for education, Tavish is calling for a review of the Scottish Government's Transition Training Fund after it emerged that a scheme to retrain oil workers as teachers supported by the fund had aided just twelve workers since it launched last year.

The Scottish Government launched the Transition Training Scheme in June 2016 to help former oil and gas workers get back into work.

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Tavish calls for investment in ports and harbours

Responding to comments made by the First Minister in Aberdeen today, Tavish said that the Scottish Government needed to invest in ports and harbours to ensure off shore decommissioning work comes to Scotland.

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Tavish: Forensic standards must recognise island circumstances

Tavish today called for new national forensic standards to recognise island circumstances. Last month Tavish received an assurance from First Minister Nicola Sturgeon that the Scottish Government would invest in medical equipment and specialist training to ensure victims of sexual assault can be assisted in the islands rather than being forced to travel to the Scottish mainland for medical examinations.

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McArthur and Scott: Open door to piloting seabed powers around islands

Management of the sea bed around Orkney and Shetland could be tried later this year, say Isles MSPs Liam McArthur and Tavish Scott. 

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Northern Isles MSPs to press Environment Secretary on Crown Estate

Shetland MSP Tavish Scott and Orkney MSP Liam McArthur will today meet with Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham to discuss the devolution of the Crown Estate.

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Letter from Edinburgh - Friday 3rd February 2017

As the ashes settle on another Lerwick Up Helly A', this week's festivities gave me a badly needed reality check.

The constant danger of politics is being stuck in the Parliamentary bubble. All of life revolves around the ups and downs of politics, policy changes and whether a government minister is up to the job or not.

There is nothing like a night on a squad bus to provide a healthy degree of reality about local or national issues.

Obviously Squad 42 operates to the, "what's said on the bus stays on the bus" rule. But suffice to say that Up Helly A' is a highly therapeutic experience.

Politics is way down the list of priorities and fun is poked at the ruling elite whether in Edinburgh, London or Lerwick. That is as it should be.

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Scott & McArthur: Government must press ahead with cheaper ferry fares

Northern Isles MSPs Tavish Scott and Liam McArthur this week urged the Scottish Government to press ahead with reductions to Northern Isles ferry fares “no matter what”.

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Tavish presses First Minister on forensic facilities for sexual assault survivors

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Tavish today pressed the First Minister over the provision of forensic services for survivors of rape and sexual assault in Shetland.

During First Minister’s Questions, Tavish asked Nicola Sturgeon to ensure that facilities allowing for forensic evidence to be gathered in Lerwick are made available as soon as possible, noting that current travel requirements are serving as a barrier to victims coming forward.

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Tavish comments on BP Sullom Voe Sale

Following the news that BP is to sell part of its stake in the Sullom Voe terminal to EnQuest, Shetland MSP Tavish Scott said: 

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