Tavish welcomes island housing fund

Shetland MSP Tavish Scott and Orkney MSP Liam McArthur have welcomed a new £5 million islands housing fund as ministers confirmed during a Holyrood debate that they would adopt the Scottish Liberal Democrat proposal.

The Scottish Lib Dems tabled an amendment to a Scottish Government motion calling for the introduction of an islands housing fund. Housing Minister Kevin Stewart today confirmed that the Government is set to take the idea forward.

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Protect our health boards, say Northern Isles MSPs

Scottish Government plans could threaten local NHS services in the Northern Isles, according to Tavish Scott and Liam McArthur.

The Scottish Government’s Programme for Government, launched recently, states “We will also begin work to examine the number, structure and regulation of health boards, as well as their relationship with local authorities…”

Writing to the Cabinet Secretary for Health, the two MSPs want assurances that both NHS Orkney and NHS Shetland will not be “mothballed by further top-down SNP centralisation” in the government’s upcoming review.

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Tavish slams lack of plans for seabed powers to islands

Tavish has today criticised the Scottish Government’s lack of plans over the future transfer of control of the seabed to the Islands.

MSPs from Parliament’s Environment Committee questioned civil servants on the devolution of the Crown Estate on Tuesday morning.

The 2014 Smith Commission, of which Tavish was a member, recommended that local authorities and harbour authorities be given powers over the seabed.

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Letter from Edinburgh - Friday 2nd September 2016

Tavish writes about smartphones and schools. 

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Tavish calls for action to address GP shortages

Following reports that more than a quarter of training jobs for GPs and specialists have been left unfilled for this academic year, Shetland MSP Tavish Scott has called on the Scottish Government to take action to prevent further GP shortages in the Northern Isles.

Earlier this year, Tavish urged the Health Secretary to consider introducing a rural placement for junior doctors to ensure smaller GP practices in remote communities remain viable.

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Letter from Edinburgh - Friday 19th August 2016

This week, the possibilities of sport and super-strength sheep. 

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Tavish criticises Scottish Government for broadband comments

Northern Isles MSPs Tavish Scott and Liam McArthur have urged the Scottish Government to clarify comments made by Rural Economy and Connectivity Secretary, Fergus Ewing, which suggest that rural and island communities are likely to be the last to benefit from superfast broadband.

In a letter to Tavish Scott, Mr Ewing wrote that “any approach which sought a superfast solution for the most remote premises in the first instance would be unlikely to maximise market interest and might therefore actually deliver a sub-optimal outcome for the communities in question.”

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Northern Isles are disadvantaged without cheaper ferry fares, say MSPs

Orkney and Shetland are at a disadvantage without access to the Scottish Government's cheaper ferry fares scheme, say the islands’ MSPs Liam McArthur and Tavish Scott.

Following news that the Road Equivalent Tariff (RET) has increased car crossings on the Western Coast by up to 80%, the Scottish Liberal Democrat MSPs for the Northern Isles have called on Scottish Ministers to level the playing field and deliver on the SNP’s commitment to fairer costs will be met.

Recent reports have also indicated that ferry services on the West Coast have been struggling to handle additional traffic.

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Tavish responds to Scottish Government announcement on ferry fares

The Scottish Government's Transport and Islands Minister, Humza Yousaf, has today announced that ferry fares to and from the Northern Isles will be frozen for 2017 despite his party promising to reduce fares in its manifesto earlier this year. 

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Tavish raises signal problems with Vodafone

Following ongoing problems with Vodafone's signal in the Delting area, Tavish Scott this week spoke to the company's senior government affairs manager, Graham Dunn, to press for solutions. 

Tavish also invited the company up to Shetland for the next Digital Forum due to be held in August. Further details of the event will be released in due course. 

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