Shetland Times Column 20th May 2022

Whether through provision of food, energy, or fascinating wildlife, the coast and seas of Scotland have for centuries been bountiful, but as we continue to expand our use of the seas we are met with increasingly difficult challenges.

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Shetland Times Column 6th May

Last Friday was one of those all too rare glorious calm evenings, sea like a millpond, with a hint that summer was on the way. Standing outside what is still called the “fisheries college” in Scalloway I reflected that only a few weeks ago I was stood there during an apprenticeship visit on a bitterly cold and windy day. It was quite a contrast of weathers, something those who make their living from the sea know only too well.

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Shetland Times Column Friday 22nd April

Transport. “Why do you keep speaking about it?” I was surprised I had to explain that without good transport links to the Mainland and beyond islands cannot survive and thrive.

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Shetland Times Column Friday 8th April

Holyrood is now in Easter Recess and although business in Parliament stops, constituency work continues.

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Shetland Times Column 25th March 2022

This week the Good Food Nation (GFN) Bill completed stage 1 in the Parliament. As Deputy Convener I had to step in to convey the Committee’s stance on the bill after the Convener became unwell.

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Shetland Times Column 11th March 2022

Stay and fight, or flee to protect your family and home, your freedom and way of life. We see on our screens the terrifying and difficult decisions people in Ukraine are being forced to make. The endless flow of refugees spilling into neighbouring countries, over 1.5 million people now displaced in the biggest humanitarian crisis in Europe since the Second World War. It’s hard to believe this is Europe in 2022.

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Shetland Times Column 25th February 2022

Parliamentary recess last week and a time to get out of the office and meet face to face with organisations and businesses in the community, something that has not been easy to do these last two years, but with Covid restrictions easing people seem glad to be able to resume some sense of business normality.

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Shetland Times Column 11th February 2022

Transport. It’s the biggest issue for us all whether it’s travelling within Shetland or to the Mainland. Links must be robust and reliable for the lives we lead today. It impacts every aspect of life whether its accessing hospital appointments, going to school or exporting salmon to the world.

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Shetland Times Column 28th January 2022

The First Minister’s Covid statement on Tuesday saw some restrictions lifted and people who have been able to work from home will be able to make a phased return to their workplace. It’s encouraging but the virus is still around and appears prevalent in schools.

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Shetland Times Column 14th January 2022

HIAL’s centralising remote tower procurement tender exercise has now been cancelled. We need modern, robust infrastructure and systems for safe lifeline air services but ignoring the findings of your own consultants, staff, and an island impact assessment, is not the way to successfully introduce such wide-ranging change.

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