National Islands Plan
On 27 December 2019 the first ever National Islands Plan was officially published by the Scottish Government. Previously, on 3 October 2019, the National Islands Plan was laid before the Scottish Parliament and on 8 October the Minister for Energy, Connectivity and the Islands, Mr Paul Wheelhouse, presented the PROPOSED National Islands Plan to Parliament. The Plan lays out 13 strategic objectives that touch upon many crucial sectors that have been identified by island communities throughout a consultation, which SCELG contributed both to shape and to deliver. Transport and tackling depopulation are particularly important areas, but the Plan recognises that island communities do not work and live in silos and that all issues need a holistic and integrated policy approach. The Plan, to which SCELG has provided technical advice, presents itself as a fair, integrated, green and inclusive Plan. Noticeably, the Plan makes a strong reference to the human rights developments in Scotland, in which SCELG is also heavily involved. The Scottish Government Islands Team has started a rigorous process to develop an implementation strategy that will accompany the Plan in order to make it a meaningful tool to improve outcomes for island communities.