Northern Isles MSP’s Tavish Scott and Liam McArthur have today reiterated calls for crofting reforms to be tailored to better fit local circumstances.Read more
Tavish Scott has welcomed a new initiative to prevent nuisance calls in Scotland by the consumer’s rights charity, Which?, who recently launched a new campaign calling on the Scottish Government to take action against the ongoing epidemic of nuisance calls in Shetland. Statistics published by Which? revealed that nine out of ten Scots received a nuisance call on their landline phone and that three quarters had been discouraged from answering the phone as a result.
The Scottish Government’s determination to make every school the same is wrong says Shetland MSP, Tavish Scott. This week the government have railroaded fixed teacher numbers, Gaelic education, class sizes ratios and a Head Teacher qualification through Parliament. On some of these crucial issues there has been no consultation with parents, teachers or local authorities. Tavish Scott is supporting the concerns expressed by Shetland Islands Council over the imposition of a one-size- fits all Scottish education policy.Read more
In yesterday’s Fisheries Negotiations debate in Parliament Shetland MSP, Tavish Scott, pressed Minister Richard Lochhead over his Government’s implementation of the discard ban and to confirm that the Scottish Government would work closely with the fishing industry. Richard Lochhead responded that the Government intends to work with the industry, although the question as to which species would included in the discard ban will be decided over the years ahead.Read more
NHS Shetland spent 24% more on temporary medical staff in 2014/15 than in 2013/14 says Audit Scotland. There has also been a 84% increase in spending on agency nursing staff. Shetland MSP Tavish Scott will raise this at today’s (Wednesday) Public Audit Committee meeting in the Scottish Parliament. A major Audit Scotland report has found that the NHS missed 7 of its 9 key waiting time targets in 2015. This says Audit Scotland, reflects a general decline in performance in recent years.Read more
Tavish used yesterday’s debate in the Scottish Parliament on the tendering of Clyde and Hebrides ferry services, currently operated by Caledonian MacBrayne (CalMac), to raise the issue of fairer ferry fares for Shetland residents. CalMac is competing to retain the contract against Serco, who currently operate NorthLink routes. CalMac and Serco are required to submit their final tenders next month, with awarding of the contract scheduled for May 2016. Last month saw the expansion of the Road Equivalent Tarriff (RET), which saw the remaining 14 Clyde and Hebrides ferry routes benefit from a 55 per cent cut in fares.Read more
In discussions earlier this week with senior management at the Civil Aviation Authority, Alistair Carmichael MP, Tavish Scott MSP and Liam McArthur MSP sought clarity on safety measures in relation to lifeline air links servicing their island communities.
In recent weeks, both in the House of Commons and the Scottish Parliament, all three Northern Isles parliamentarians have raised the concerns of islanders about problems affecting lifeline air services to and from Orkney and Shetland.Read more
Post session update:
Speaking after Question Time in Holyrood today, Tuesday, having questioned Agriculture Minister Richard Lochhead on CAP payments, Shetland MSP Tavish Scott said,
“Richard Lochhead accepted today that hundreds of Shetland crofters will receive a lower CAP payment than they were promised. His officials told a CAP meeting in Lerwick that areas of reseeded and improved croft land would get a higher payment than they are now going to receive. The Minister could not explain why Shetland crofters were given that advice by his government. Mr Lochhead now says that crofters will be able to appeal their land classification during 2016. I am now pressing him to explain exactly how that will work.
“These CAP payments will be later than promised and in many cases will be lower than promised. Crofters and farmers across Shetland will be disappointed that the government’s position on croft land payments has changed.”Read more
The proposed agreement between the UK and Scottish Governments over devolving the Crown Estate was discussed in the Scottish Parliament today. Shetland MSP Tavish Scott, who is a member of the Devolution (More Powers) Committee pushed that the transfer of powers from London to Edinburgh cannot stop in the Scottish capital. He wants control and management of the seabed around Shetland to be passed to the Islands. The cross party Smith Commission recommended that responsibility for the management of the seabed be further devolved to Shetland, Orkney and the Western Isles.Read more
Scottish Liberal Democrat agriculture spokesman Tavish Scott MSP has today criticised the Scottish Government for its handling of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) payments issue.
Since June 2014 the Scottish Government has spent £178m putting the new support scheme for farmers in place with payments due to run from December to June.Read more