Local Control

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament at on 22 March 2016.

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Photo of Dave Thompson Dave Thompson Scottish National Party

It is up to other people to argue for their areas, but my remit is for the Highlands and Islands. We must ensure that people engage again with their local communities.

Community councils are failing all over the Highlands. They are disbanding; people are resigning in disgust. They have no power and no money. We would not need more politicians, because we would not need community councils if there were small councils covering populations of 10,000 to 50,000; neither would we need to elect people to the strategic element, because we would nominate from the small councils up to that level. We would need only to elect people to the small councils.

Why does the Government not give the Highlands and Islands a wee pilot project? We could pilot the approach there, and then we will see whether it works and could be used elsewhere in Scotland.

I am conscious of my time, Presiding Officer. I could say an awful lot more, but I will stop there. I wish Rob Gibson and everyone else in the chamber all the best for the future as I head off into the twilight, too. [Applause.]