Scott raises Fair Isle Bird Observatory Fire at Holyrood


During First Minister’s Questions today, Shetland MSP Tavish Scott raised the Fair Isle Bird Observatory Fire. He asked Nicola Sturgeon to ensure that the Scottish Government provides all assistance possible to help rebuild the Observatory as well as ensuring any lessons can be learnt for future emergency service responses to major incidents on islands where there is no full time fire cover.

Tavish also highlighted the case of the three French volunteer fire fighters from Fair Isle who find themselves having to apply to the UK Government to stay in their homes because of their European Citizenship and the “omnishambles” of Brexit.

Responding, Nicola Sturgeon told the Chamber her thoughts were with the Fair Isle community and praised the bravery and professionalism of the fire fighters. She recognised the joint response from emergency services in Shetland but understood there must be reflection on what can be done to further help islands with no full time fire cover. She also gave an assurance that the Scottish Government stands ready to do everything it reasonably can to help the community. 

Speaking afterwards, Tavish said:

“I am genuinely grateful to Nicola Sturgeon for her helpful reply. Her offer of government assistance is important and welcome.

“There are lessons to be learnt from the fire itself but looking towards a new Bird Observatory building for the future will need help from every quarter. The Scottish Government’s help is therefore a good thing.”


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