Wishart seeks assurances on fishing industry involvement in proposed offshore wind developments

Shetland MSP Beatrice Wishart has sought assurances from the Scottish Government that the fishing industry will be fully involved in discussions regarding offshore wind farms, following concerns about proposed developments near Shetland.

Speaking virtually in Holyrood Ms Wishart said:

“Parts of the fishing industry are frustrated that fisheries organisations are not being approached about proposed sites for offshore wind farm development. The fishing industry isn’t against renewable energy but it needs to be included early in discussions. Fishermen with historic ties to fishing grounds know the seabed and can help with offshore windfarm location in appropriate areas.

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Wishart: Government must not let outdoor education centres close for good

Scottish Liberal Democrats have today called on the Scottish Government to reverse their decision not to offer financial support to the residential outdoor education sector. 

The Deputy First Minister confirmed that no funding would be made available to providers, despite warnings that centres are in danger of closing down for good. 

Scottish Outdoor Education Centres have been told that the Education Secretary is “unable to agree financial support for the sector given continued pressure on Scottish Government budgets.”

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Merchant Navy Day

Wishart criticises lack of ambition for Shetland in Programme for Government

Shetland MSP Beatrice Wishart has criticised the SNP government’s lack of ambition for Shetland in a debate on the Programme for Government.

In her speech Ms Wishart highlighted the government’s failure to address delays to the rollout of superfast broadband and the failure to act on its commitment to fair ferry funding. She said the high costs of travel for the isles are “the result of years and years of choices by a government that prefers to look elsewhere.”

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Wishart: island communities must be ‘fully included’ in Scotland’s technology future

Commenting today on the Scottish Government’s response to the Scottish Technology Ecosystem Review (the Logan Review), Shetland MSP Beatrice Wishart said:

“The Logan Review sets out an exciting vision for Scotland’s future with high-skill high-wage jobs and opportunities for world-leading innovation.

“However, failure to deliver on the promise to deliver superfast broadband to every premise by the end of 2021 is not a track record of a government that is ambitious for Scotland’s digital future. It is a continual source of frustration that its two years behind.

“Rural and island communities, like Shetland, must be fully included in the government’s plans to develop Scotland’s technology future. Slow internet speeds in parts of Shetland are hampering opportunities for people to develop and grow digital businesses, wherever they live.

“People in living in rural and island communities have the talent and ambition to be successful tech entrepreneurs but basic infrastructure like superfast broadband has to be readily in place to help them succeed and scale-up their businesses.”

Wishart says adult day care guidance is “welcome, but well overdue”

Commenting on the publication of Scottish Government guidance for re-opening adult day care services, Shetland’s MSP Beatrice Wishart said:

“The publication of this guidance is welcome, but is well overdue. It’s over a month since I first raised this with the First Minister, when families were already telling me they couldn’t cope.  

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Island patients risk being “cut adrift” from healthcare services under current guidance

Today, Orkney’s MSP Liam McArthur and Shetland’s MSP Beatrice Wishart have called on the Scottish Government to “urgently reconsider” its advice to patients who are required to travel from the islands to mainland hospitals for operations.

At present, patients are required to shield for 14 days before surgery, which includes a prohibition on using public transport. Yet islanders undergoing more specialist treatment usually need to travel to the Scottish mainland, which involves a ferry journey or a flight.

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Refusal to refund childcare costs a "slap in the face" for families

Scottish Liberal Democrat education spokesperson Beatrice Wishart MSP has today revealed that the Scottish Government has refused to reimburse the parents who have been penalised for exercising their right to defer their child starting primary school.

Following the campaign run by ‘Give them Time’ and pressure at the Scottish Parliament, the Minister for Children and Young People Maree Todd made a commitment “to introduce legislation to entitle all children whose school start is deferred to access funded early learning and childcare in their deferred year”. However, the necessary changes have yet to be made.

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Wishart: School mask policy has been slow off the ground and confusingly presented

Speaking after the Education Secretary answered questions on the government's new policy to make mask wearing mandatory in Scottish secondary schools from Monday, Scottish Liberal Democrat education spokesperson Beatrice Wishart commented: 

"The Education Secretary was slow off the mark with this policy and the reality on the ground has been outpacing his guidance. Schools took the initiative on face coverings between classrooms and on buses before ministers did.  

"As we urged last week, it's the right thing to do to introduce face coverings outside the classroom. Teachers, parents and pupils saw an opportunity to make their school day safer. 

“As well as clearing up the lingering confusion on face coverings, the Education Secretary must now listen to other pleas including those for more staff and space to increase the capacity for social distancing."

Wishart: face coverings “a sensible precaution” on school transport

Shetland’s MSP Beatrice Wishart MSP has said face coverings would be a “sensible precaution” on school transport, and questioned the Education Secretary about government advice on the matter.

Speaking virtually in Parliament Ms Wishart said she had been contacted by parents wondering if the right precautions are in place to keep pupils safe and reduce the risk of COVID-19 spreading in schools. Current guidance says mask are to be worn on public transport, but are not mandatory on dedicated school transport.

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