Liberal Democrat candidate for Orkney and Shetland, Alistair Carmichael, has vowed today to hold the Government to account after its promises before the election of a £1bn Shared Rural Network to improve connectivity in low coverage areas. Speaking while campaigning in Sanday, the candidate highlighted the need to keep an islander perspective at the heart of the project.
Mr. Carmichael said:
"Coverage "not-spots" affect people in all corners of the Northern Isles but they are particularly problematic in the outer isles. These networks often act as a lifeline service and cannot be easily supplemented with other options.
"Proper network coverage for remote areas is not something which can be written off as a "luxury". It is a necessary part of engaging with the wider world and getting the services we rely on. People living in all parts of the isles should have the same access to these opportunities as anyone else in the UK."
"It is important to give credit when the Government does something right and I was glad to discuss the new initiative with Ministers before Parliament was dissolved. These conversations must be continued in the new Parliament to ensure that islander voices are heard as the policy goes forward. Governments in Westminster and Holyrood must both be held to account to ensure that this initiative is neither neglected nor held hostage to other issues."