Holyrood Highlights - 17.09.21

Holyrood Highlights - 03.09.21

Holyrood Highlights 28.02.20

The big news of the week is that the Scottish Government secured support from the Green Party to get its budget over the line. To the surprise of pretty much no-one, and despite their earlier tough talk, Greens MSPs agreed to support the SNP’s budget ahead of the Stage 1 vote on Thursday.

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Holyrood Highlights 21.02.20

As ever, parliamentary recess provided the ideal opportunity for me to spend a bit more time in Orkney than usual. Despite the challenging weather, I did manage to travel to North Ronaldsay for a surgery and to meet with Sian Tarrant, who is taking on the task of rebuilding North Ronaldsay’s Grade-A listed Sheep Dyke. It is a mammoth task but one that she is clearly relishing. If you’re up for lending a hand, you can see more here.

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Holyrood Highlights 07.02.20

Unfortunately, due to heavy cold, I have spent much of this week in bed, with precious few ‘highlights’, Holyrood or otherwise! Nevertheless, I thought it might be helpful to offer some thoughts on the events of the week, even where I didn’t manage to witness them first hand.

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Once again, the Orkney Sports Awards on Friday evening more than lived up to expectations as we celebrated Orkney’s many sporting successes over the last year. It was encouraging to see so many sports represented and appropriate that the contribution made by the ‘unsung heroes’ who volunteer to coach, officiate and support our athletes was also recognised.

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Holyrood Highlights 24.01.20

My week has unfortunately been dominated by the disappointing news from HIAL that they plan to press ahead with the centralisation of air traffic control (ATC) services in Inverness. On Monday, I met local air traffic control staff who will be affected by this decision and who have repeatedly raised concerns around safety, reliability and the costs attached to this decision. These concerns have been ignored by HIAL’s management, who seem determined to press ahead, despite the risk of staff choosing to leave which in turn could put Orkney’s lifeline air services at risk. You can read about HIAL’s announcement here.

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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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