Emma Roddick MSP “whatever your results, support is there.”

Emma Roddick at Scapa Beach with the sea of Scapa Flow behind her

I know that many young Orkney folk will still be coming to terms with their exam results that arrived electronically or by post from the SQA on Tuesday, and I want to congratulate all those who have gained the grades they will have worked so hard for.

Of course, it can be an anxious time, and it is important to keep in mind that there is advice available from Skills Development Scotland’s results helpline for those who didn’t quite achieve the results to do what they originally intended. There are options whatever your results and support is there.

I was in Shetland as SQA envelopes would have been dropping onto doormats across the country, but I am heading south on the ferry to Orkney as I write this, where I am looking forward to three full days of visits, surgeries, and meetings.

I’m excited to be getting out to Hoy on Friday before heading to the Bignold Park on Saturday for the highlight of Orkney’s agricultural calendar, the County Show, where I’m sure I’ll hear about all the key issues facing local farmers and the wider community.

As thousands gather to celebrate the best of Orkney livestock, as well as what I know will be a strong presence from the producers of quality food and drink and the tremendous variety of crafts that are turned out across the county, my main concern will be having enough room in my car for some goodies for the trip home!

As this busy summer recess period started, Orkney was in the national headlines due to a vote by councillors to investigate alternative models of governance and I’m sure that this might crop up in conversations over the three days in the islands.

While I don’t doubt that the Scottish Government and Orkney Islands Council need to continue dialogue on how we can change and improve the way we work together on shared priorities, Orkney is already doing well out of funding settlements.

In 2023-24, Orkney will receive the third highest revenue funding per head, of £3,981. By comparison, the average revenue funding per head across Scotland is £2,447.

Similarly, Orkney Islands Council will receive the fourth highest capital funding per head, of £265 in 2023-24, compared to the average capital funding per head across the country of £137.

I’ll be happy to discuss how the Scottish Government is helping Orkney during my visit.

My Orkney surgeries are today, Thursday 10th in Kirkwall and on Friday 11th in Hoy.

If you are in need of help, please contact my office to book a slot.

You can email emma.roddick.msp@parliament.scot including your name, address and contact number, or phone 01463 563036.

I’ve also included online surgeries for the first time this summer, with one remaining on 18th August. Appointments will take place over Teams or Zoom, depending on your preference.

But you don’t have to wait for a surgery to ask for help. I can be contacted by phone or email at any time.

This is a regular column by SNP MSP Emma Roddick. All Highlands and Islands Regional MSPs have been offered the same space in The Orkney News to share their personal views.

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