The council’s Argyll Islands Strategic Group has welcomed a pilot initiative that will see five Scottish Government employees volunteering as ‘Island Liaison Partners’ to improve the Scottish Government’s understanding of the specific challenges facing Argyll and Bute’s islands.
The role of the Island Liaison Partners will be to build knowledge, understanding and relationships with communities and local partners on the islands. Specific objectives will be to:
- Improve the Scottish Government’s understanding of the specific challenges, circumstances and opportunities that exist on our islands
- Shape and influence local empowerment and improvement programmes to better meet the needs and interests of our island communities
- Use the experience and knowledge to inform the implementation of the Islands (Scotland) Bill and the Local Governance Review
- Provide broader intelligence to colleagues on how Scottish Government policy priorities and reforms are playing out locally
Argyll and Bute has 23 inhabited islands and members at this week’s (August 28) meeting of the Argyll Islands Strategic Group heard from Scottish Government civil servants about how they intend to engage with island communities.
Councillor Robin Currie, Policy Leads for Islands, said: “We welcome this new initiative and I’m especially pleased that the five Island Liaison Partners will be in post for long enough that they will be able to build up a real understanding of the challenges of island life, as well as the fantastic opportunities that exist on our islands. Their presence and the relationships they build with communities on the islands will provide useful information to the Scottish Government that can be used to inform their future priorities and policies when it comes to the islands.”
The five Island Liaison Partners will carry out the roles on a voluntary basis, not impacting on their existing responsibilities with the Scottish Government.
Their first steps in the role will be to work with national, local and third sector partners and engage directly with communities on all inhabited islands in Argyll and Bute.