I was pleased to attend the latest Argyll Islands Strategic Group meeting in Kilmory recently. I was able to speak to Scottish Government and Argyll and Bute Council representatives about the challenges facing our Island communities. While we on Islands of Islay, Jura, Colonsay and Gigha are enjoying strong local economic growth, future growth will be stifled by poor local infrastructure, at times unreliable ferry links and the never ending troubles with the A83.
Regardless of what political stripe the leadership of the Scottish and U.K Parliaments have, all should be united in getting our vital links to the mainland and wider the U.K economy back up to scratch.
The hard and uncomfortable fact is that without large scale investment from central government to fix Argyll and Bute's local and roads network and Transport Scotland's trunk roads then our future prosperity is at risk and as ever it will be we Islanders that suffer the most. While political bun fights in the local press letters pages are entertaining what we really need is action not words from our MSP's and MP's.
If we were talking about road and transport links between Scotland's cities then it is highly likely these problems would already be fixed. The Scottish Government must in the future not be so urban-centric in their allocation of resources.
With Argyll and Bute now being such a marginal constituency any inaction or piecemeal token gestures from the Scottish Government will have electoral consequences for them.
Cllr Alastair Redman