Lib Dems concerned government has abandoned R100 timetable
Orkney’s MSP Liam McArthur has called on the Scottish Government to clarify if it has now abandoned its commitment to deliver access to high speed broadband to every household and business in Scotland by 2021.
The latest update on the so-called R100 programme published by the Scottish Government excludes any mention of the earlier 2021 target for completion.
Questioning from the Scottish Liberal Democrats revealed in May that the contract tendering process will only be completed by the “end of 2019”.
Following this, Mr McArthur wrote to the relevant Minister, Paul Wheelhouse seeking reassurances that the programme was still on track to meet the SNP commitment of 30 mega-bits-per-second internet speed to every home in Scotland by the end of 2021. Mr McArthur is yet to receive a response, and has written to Mr Wheelhouse again to express his disappointment at this lack of reaction.
Meanwhile, in the progress report, published by the Scottish Government today, all reference to the 2021 target date has been quietly dropped.
Swinson and Wishart highlight scandal of broadband provision in Shetland
Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson and Scottish Liberal Democrat candidate for Shetland Beatrice Wishart have today criticised the Scottish Government for “delays and mismanagement” of the R100 programmes and highlighted the problems poor broadband is causing Shetlanders, following a visit to software firm Mesomorphic on the campaign trail in Lerwick.
Questioning by the Scottish Liberal Democrats earlier this year revealed that the tendering process for delivering the R100 programme would take almost two years.
Jo Swinson campaigns alongside Beatrice Wishart in Shetland
Liberal Democrat Leader Jo Swinson is in Shetland today campaigning alongside Scottish Liberal Democrat candidate for Shetland Beatrice Wishart. The pair will be visiting a local tech firm, celebrating Shetland Boat Week and campaigning in central Lerwick.
Rennie: Wishart will be a strong voice for the islands
Scottish Liberal Democrat Leader Willie Rennie is in Shetland this week campaigning alongside Scottish Liberal Democrat candidate for Shetland Beatrice Wishart in the upcoming by-election.
Willie Rennie said:
“I’m delighted to be in Shetland campaigning alongside Beatrice. She has an incredible track record of solving problems for local people and will be a strong voice for the islands in Holyrood.
“Over the last few days we have met people in Fetlar, Sumburgh, Lerwick and Yell who are passionate about staying part of the UK and angry about the SNP’s failure to keep its promises on transport to the isles.
“Beatrice has a keen grasp of the issues facing people in Shetland. What islanders want is an MSP who will stand up for the issues facing their community, not a nationalist who will always put independence first.”
Wishart demands government address freight capacity issues for the seafood sector
Scottish Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate, Beatrice Wishart, has today called on the government to expand freight provisions following a meeting with the Chief Executive of Seafood Shetland, Ruth Henderson, who voiced concerns about freight capacity in the Northern Isles.
Beatrice Wishart presses Government for clarity on Northern Isles Ferry Service
Following the rejection of Pentland Ferries’ appeal against the Scottish Government over the tendering for the Northern Isles Ferry Service, Scottish Lib Dem candidate for Shetland, Beatrice Wishart has written to Islands Minister Paul Wheelhouse to seek clarity over the timetable for awarding the new contract and the steps being taken to reduce fares after the failure to deliver RET on time.
The Scottish Liberal Democrats have today announced Cllr Beatrice Wishart has been selected as the parliamentary candidate for Shetland.