Holyrood Highlights 17.01.20

It seems only right to start this week’s newsletter by expressing thanks to those in the Orkney Local Emergency Co-ordination Group, local police officers and others for their efforts in response to the recent flooding and adverse weather. As well as ensuring public safety, and minimising disruption, they also worked hard to community information as widely and promptly as possible. Updates on travel, flood warnings and any other services affected by the weather can be found on the Orkney Islands Council Updates page here, Radio Orkney Facebook page here and the Orcadian page here.

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Holyrood Highlights 10.01.20

Let me start by wishing you all the best for 2020. I hope you all enjoyed a restful festive break after what has been a busy and eventful 2019 for everyone. The last couple of weeks has been a welcome opportunity for me to spend some time at home and, amidst the highlights of a couple of epic Men’s Ba contests which saw the Doonies and Uppies share the spoils, which you can read about here, there have been some other notable newsworthy moments.

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Holyrood Highlights 20.12.19

So the dust is beginning to settle after last week’s General Election. Boris Johnson has the majority he craved and the UK’s departure from the EU will happen on 31 January 2020. Early hopes that, free from having to rely on the European Research Group hardliners in his own party, the Prime Minister might opt for a ‘softer’ version Brexit were quickly shattered as he moved to rule out any possibility of an extension of the transition beyond 31 December 2020. Given the amount of work required if agreement on a future trading relationship with the EU is to be reached, this move has inevitably increased significantly the likelihood of a ‘no deal’ Brexit.

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Holyrood Highlights 29.11.19

A dreary Monday was certainly brightened up this week with news that Kirkwall town centre had been voted Scotland’s Most Beautiful High Street 2019, fending off stiff competition from seven other towns across Scotland, including our Shetland neighbours in Lerwick.  While no great surprise, of course, this award is nevertheless testament to the outstanding work by the team at Kirkwall BID as well as local businesses and the wider community, all of whom have played a part in making the town centre such a thriving environment. To highlight this success, I lodged a motion in parliament, which you can see here.  You can also read my further comments here. You can read more about the competition here and the announcement of Kirkwall as the winners here.

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Holyrood Highlights 22.11.19

It may not be beginning to look a lot like Christmas just yet, but it’s certainly starting to feel like a General Election.

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Holyrood Highlights 15.11.19

It was a cool, crisp Sunday morning for the Remembrance commemorations last weekend, with the public turning out in force at events across the county. I had the privilege, once again, of being invited to attend proceedings on the Kirk Green and in the Cathedral in Kirkwall, following an excellent parade led by the Kirkwall City Pipe Band.  You can read more about the commemoration here.

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Holyrood Highlights 08.11.19

The crowds were out in force last weekend for the Kirkwall ‘Big BID Day Out’ and it was fantastic to see the town and local shops bustling with people.  The event was brilliantly organised, with a great variety of attractions, although the carousel undoubtedly stole the show!  Congratulations to everyone involved at Kirkwall BID on a highly successful weekend, despite the atrocious weather on Saturday, and you can read more here.

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Holyrood Highlights 01.11.19

It was really only a matter of time until a General Election was called.

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Holyrood Highlights 11.10.19

As if my recent foray into the worlds of cookery and ballet weren’t enough, I found myself speed dating on Monday evening. Political speed dating that is, but a new experience nonetheless.

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Holyrood Highlights 04.10.19

I can finally relate to the well-known line from cookery programmes that the contestants are ‘feeling the heat.’ As the day of the Orkney Celebrity Masterchef competition drew closer, the nerves grew and so last weekend saw me desperately getting in some much-needed, last minute practice.

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