Scotland’s three island councils meet the UK Government today (Monday 27 June] in Kirkwall, for the second annual Islands Summit.

The summit brings together the Western Isles, Orkney Islands and Shetland Islands Councils to discuss key economic development issues.

The meeting will be chaired by UK Government Minister Andrew Dunlop. The councils will be represented by:

  • Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (Western Isles Council): Councillor Norman A MacDonald
  • Orkney Islands Council: Councillor Dr Steven Heddle
  • Shetland Islands Council: Councillor Gary Robinson

Andrew Dunlop said on Friday afternoon: “I am very much looking forward to meeting Scotland’s three island councils on Monday. The Scottish islands make a unique contribution to the United Kingdom, with a range of industries from renewable energy, food and drink and tourism through to textiles and culture. The UK Government is committed to supporting the islands to thrive and develop, and to assist wherever possible in overcoming the challenges posed by their geographical remoteness.

“I am also keen to discuss with the islands councils whether, as in many other areas, there is a need to see the Scottish Government devolve more power to a local level, strengthening the powers of local communities.”

Issues to be discussed at the summit will include renewables, digital connectivity, the Crown Estate and a possible ‘islands deal’.

The annual Islands Summit is one of the commitments set out in the Framework for the Islands, published by the UK Government in August 2014.  The first summit was held in March 2015. 

There was no mention of the European Union in the official statement.