Call for all Highlands and Islands politicians to support HIE board



15 December 2016

Highlands and Islands Labour MSPs, Rhoda Grant and David Stewart, have contacted every Highlands and Islands based MSP, MP and Councillor asking if they oppose the Scottish Government’s proposal to scrap the HIE board in favour of an overarching joint national board.

 Commenting, Rhoda Grant said “Since John Swinney announced in Parliament on 23 November that the board of HIE would be scrapped and replaced by a new single Scotland-wide board there has been outrage throughout the Highlands and Islands.

 Rhoda  continued,

“It is a wrong decision to take away powers from a region that the present board is there to represent and develop. 

In addition, creating one board to co-ordinate the activities of four different agencies makes no sense.  Each of these agencies has specialities and specific roles and expecting members of the board to have a full and detailed understanding of all of these disciplines is a huge ask.”

 David Stewart said “People are outraged that the specialist knowledge we have in the Highlands and Islands will be lost to a board sitting in Glasgow or Edinburgh who cannot possibly know the unique needs, logistics and cultures of the Highlands and Islands region.”

 Mr Stewart continued,

“I said from the start I would oppose any move to wind up the HIE board.  I stand by that today and I would hope every other elected representative throughout the Highlands and Islands will stand up and do the same.”