Scottish Conservative MSP Douglas Ross was visiting the Orkney this week which is part of the Highlands and Islands’ region he represents.
As well as holding surgeries for constituents in Kirkwall and Stromness, the MSP met with various key figures.
Mr Ross, who is Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Justice had a positive meeting with Chief Inspector Gordon Deans from Police Scotland during his visit.
Commenting afterwards, Douglas said:
“It is always useful to get a local perspective on things and as we have recently passed the four year anniversary since Police Scotland was established and I was very keen to hear the impact of the single force in Orkney. While there will always be some benefits from change I remain to be convinced that the single force has been positive for Orkney and many other areas. We are still served locally by excellent police officers and staff but their successes are often in spite of, rather than, because of, the single force.”
“I was very pleased that Chief Inspector Deans was able to find the time to meet with me, during my visit so I could hear more about the issues which are of most concern here.”
“As well as tackling road safety and the logistics of policing an island, I appreciate the work which is being done to tackle the problems which impact directly on the local community, specifically related to alcohol and drugs misuse and supply.”
Douglas Ross was also invited to visit the Orkney Alcohol and Counselling Service, to see for himself the vital work being done by Simon Gordon who manages the service and his team.
“I very much welcome the efforts that are being made by the service to work with individuals and families to tackle the problems of drug and alcohol addiction, as well as other conditions for example depression, which could send people down the path of excessive alcohol consumption.”
“It’s clear that funding for this service remains a key priority going forward and I hope that partners can contribute to the work to ensure this vital service can continue its good work.”
Mr Ross also held meetings with Cathie Cowan, the Chief Executive of NHS Orkney where he saw the start of works on Kirkwall’s new combined £64 million hospital and health care centre. (for about that meeting Douglas Ross MSP Welcomes £64million Orkney Medical Facility )
A visit to Highlands and Islands Enterprise was also on the MSPs visiting ticket.
Douglas Ross said:
“I enjoyed meeting with representatives from HIE Orkney and learning about valuable work being done there to support the island’s economy.”
“The range of projects which local staff assist with shows how diverse the local economy is and it’s encouraging to hear what HIE are doing in Orkney but it’s also useful to understand the challenges that businesses and sectors are currently facing.”