New MSP Emma Roddick, who won a Highlands & Islands list seat for the SNP last month, arrives in Shetland today to consult council leaders and local residents about the community’s welfare during recovery from the pandemic. The three-day tour marks her first official visit since being sworn in at Holyrood.
First call for Scotland’s youngest MSP will be Lerwick Town Hall to hear from council leader Steven Coutts and deputy leader Emma MacDonald about the SIC’s priorities.
After her discussions with the council, the 23-year-old MSP is set to meet with Hjaltland Housing Association, Shetland Women’s Aid, and Ability Shetland.
The MSP’s surgery is in Islesburgh Community Centre tomorrow from 2-4pm.
Ms Roddick said:
“Because of the pandemic, it was impossible to visit during the election campaign, so Shetland is the first stop on my tour of the vast region that I now represent. People in isolated island communities have suffered badly from the unavoidable Covid restrictions. Now that we’re moving into recovery, it’s vital that MSPs stay in touch with what’s happening on the ground, so we can advise the Scottish Government on what’s needed here.”
“People should be able to afford to stay where they have grown up, especially in the Highlands and Islands. It’s absolutely central to the concern about depopulation in the region.”
On meeting with Shetland Women’s Aid: “I’ll be discussing with the staff the best way to address the difficulties we face in tackling violence against women in Shetland and other island communities. This is an issue very close to my heart.”
“I am looking forward to holding my first MSP surgery in Lerwick on Saturday, and I am delighted to have the opportunity to meet with community activists and Leaders of Shetland Islands Council. It is crucial to maintain open and active lines of communication among MSPs and local leadership, especially as we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.”