Scottish Liberal Democrat candidate for Shetland Beatrice Wishart has today called for an end to centralisation that damages island communities citing the recent centralisation of air traffic control as another example of it not working for island communities.
The call comes after mounting pressure to reverse the current plans to centralise air traffic control. Ms Wishart has led a campaign against the project and launched a petition which gathered over 1200 signatures from people in Shetland within a few weeks.
While in Government the SNP have a tried to centralise multiple public bodies. Most notable was the centralisation of the police force which resulted in several issues being brought to the surface over accountability and funding.
Additionally, the Scottish Government plans to abolish the board of Highlands and Islands Enterprise [HIE] was also a flashpoint in the last Parliament where opposition MSPs forced two votes to end the plans.
Commenting Ms Wishart said:
“The centralisation of HIAL is just another chapter in the long book for the SNP. They have a track record of hoarding power and responsibility away from those it will actually impact. I don’t believe that is right when better alternatives exist.
“The response to the plans around air traffic control has been incredibly vocal and should be sending a signal to Holyrood that such projects are not welcome in Shetland and I welcome other candidates who have chosen to stand against the Scottish Government on this. I do not believe it is too late to turn back on this and find alternative solutions to modernising air traffic management in the Highlands and Islands. If re-elected I will continue to rail against this project and protect local jobs.
“Power is best served when it is as close to the people it intends to support, and I do hope the next Scottish Government stop these types of projects which do nothing but damage to local communities. Stopping centralisation means we choose to keep things local and empower our local authorities who are best placed to serve their communities.”