Liberal Democrat candidate for Orkney and Shetland, Alistair Carmichael, has called for all parties to work with local authorities and business groups to win the strongest possible "Islands Growth Deal" for Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles. Speaking while campaigning in Kirkwall, Mr. Carmichael said the bespoke growth plan, backed by national funding and developed jointly by the local authorities of Orkney, Shetland and the Outer Hebrides, was "the right way forward".
Mr. Carmichael said:
"These Growth Deals were started under the Coalition Government and many of them have given a great boost to the local economies affected. An Islands Deal is inevitably more complex and has to reflect the extra costs of public service provision and economic development in the isles. To make this case will require the closest possible working between everyone who cares about the future of our island communities.
"This not about asking for favours or special treatment, but allowing island communities to lead the way in maximising the potential to build world class, innovative net-zero carbon economies for the future."
"The ambassadors for our "Our Islands, Our Deal" have challenged the parties to make clear their support for a much more ambitious Islands Growth Deal which will allow the tremendous potential of our islands to be realised. I have no hesitation in making that commitment as this is in fact part of the Scottish Liberal Democrat manifesto. I would hope that this is something on which all parties and candidates can agree."