Scotland passes Islands Bill

The Islands (Scotland) Bill has been published by the Scottish Parliament to help create the right environment for sustainable growth and empowered communities.

The Bill includes measures to ‘island proof’ future legislation and policies, as well as legislate the creation of a National Islands Plan. The move will also enforce greater flexibility around councillor representation within island communities and extended powers to island councils in relation to marine licencing.

Humza Yousaf, Islands Minister, said: “This government is committed to promoting islands’ voices, to harnessing islands’ resources and enhancing their well-being. The measures in this bill underpin this ambition. In particular, the provision to ‘island-proof’ decision-making across the public sector will ensure the interests of islanders are reflected in future legislation and policy from the very outset.

“The National Islands Plan will set out the strategic direction for supporting island communities, continuing the momentum generated by the ‘Our Islands Our Future’ campaign and the work of the Islands Strategic Group. This is the first ever bill for Scotland’s islands, marking an historic milestone for our island communities. I am proud and privileged as Islands Minister to be guiding the Bill through Scotland’s Parliament.”