Highlands & Islands MSP Emma Roddick has been out and about in Uist speaking to several local organisations, parents, and employers with colleagues from the Scottish Parliament’s Social Justice and Social Security Committee as part of its Poverty and Parental Employment Inquiry.
Ms Roddick, Deputy Convenor of the Committee, delivered an introduction on the first day of visits at the Caladh Trust in which she emphasised the importance of political engagement with local communities and understanding those affected by policy changes.
The inquiry, which began in the Autumn of 2022, is examining the importance of suitable employment for parents when tackling child poverty and is considering the range of policies required to support the employment of parents.
Commenting on the visit, Ms Roddick said:
“The issue of child poverty is complex, and challenges differ from one community to the next. That is why it is so important that we have been able to visit folk in Uist and hear first-hand about the difficulties they face when it comes to employment, transport, housing, and issues exacerbated by the cost-of-living crisis.
“As a representative of the Highlands & Islands, I know all too well that communities like the ones here in Uist can feel distant and detached from political decisions being made on their behalf.
“That is why we have been engaging with not only parents but also local employers and organisations that provide employability services. We know that there is expertise here and we must ensure they are being used.
“I am very grateful to all who took the time to come out and speak to us and share their views. This visit has been incredibly valuable and will form an important part of the inquiry’s recommendations.”