Orkney’s SNP MSP, Emma Roddick, has celebrated the actions of South Ronaldsay and Burray Church in providing a warm space for locals ahead of what could be a very difficult winter for many, with fuel prices expected to continue to rise over the coming months.
While acknowledging that “this shouldn’t be necessary”, the MSP pointed to the community as an example of the type of caring society Orkney and Scotland want to be.
“I was heartened to see the quick, decisive action taken by communities in Orkney to support people to stay warm and keep in touch with neighbours over the next few months.
“The winter looks bleak for so many across the Highlands and Islands, and the biggest levers of power which can change this – energy policy, social security, borrowing powers – lie with Westminster, who show no signs of acting to help. While it can’t vary energy policy, the Scottish Government has made the positive choice to support people and put money straight into the hands of those who need it most through this week’s Programme for Government, which increases the Scottish Child Payment, freezes rent, and introduces a new Winter Heating Payment.
“There is a fundamental disagreement between the UK Government and Scottish Government about what sort of society we want to be. One that looks after each other, or one that protects the wealthiest in society and engages in a race to the bottom on employment, housing, and even human rights for the rest of us.
“The actions of the community in South Ronaldsay, while they shouldn’t be necessary, show that people here in Orkney want to live in a society where people look out for each other.”