John Finnie MSP, Scottish Greens, has called on the Scottish Government to establish an Islands’ task force to ensure that the unique needs of islands communities are at the forefront of Scottish Government thinking for the duration of the coronavirus crisis.
John Finnie highlighted a number of unique concerns faced by island communities including:
- the difficulties faced by health boards and social care services to replace staff who are off ill
- the additional complexities of transferring goods by ferry
- the knock-on effects faced by smaller islands of panic buying on the mainland.
Crucially the huge economic impact associated with the total shut down of the tourism industry was also noted as a key island concern by Mr Finnie.
John Finnie said:
“Island communities face many unique challenges as a result of this unprecedented crisis and it is vital that these specific issues are raised constructively and in a timely manner with Ministers.
“Normal party-political differences are immaterial at a time of national crisis and it is in that spirit that I raised with the Scottish Government the serious issue of establishing an islands task force to ensure that the very precise needs of islanders can be catered for.”