Emma Roddick MSP “delighted” with positive developments regarding the future of Highland and Islands airports

Emma stands in a Holyrood corridor smiling into the camera

Emma Roddick MSP is pleased with the announcement made today, the 25th of October, regarding a ‘Framework for discussion’ being reached in the Highlands and Islands air traffic control dispute.

Roddick said:

“I am delighted to hear that Prospect and HIAL have been able to come to an agreement regarding the future of the airports of the Highlands and Islands that respects the central role these airports play in the livelihoods of many people across the region.

“I have been urging HIAL since the start to listen to the concerns of its employees in their drive for modernisation and I am heartened to see this significant development in reaching a solution that guarantees no jobs are lost across our islands.”

Emma Roddick MSP reacts to prison overdoses tripling in five years

Emma stands in Parliament giving a speech. Her hands are together in front of her body. Her expression is determined.

Emma Roddick MSP has expressed grave concerns over troubling information, regarding ambulance calls to prison overdoses tripling in five years.

The figures released by the Scottish Ambulance Service show that between 62 and 89 calls were made in 2020-2021 and that this is up from 24 to 33 calls in 2016/17.

Roddick has reacted:

“The rise in prison overdoses is deeply concerning.

“Scotland has unacceptably high numbers of annual drug-related deaths and we have to consider all routes to tackling this issue.

“Last week I visited an organisation in the Shetland Isles called Dogs Against Drugs.

“There I discussed not only detection of drugs entering the Isles and reaching vulnerable members of the community but also the importance of looking at the underlying issues of trauma, poverty, adversity, and lack of support and understanding.

“These factors are key to tackling the core issues, the removal of stigma, and are imperative in helping people to heal and regain a better quality of life.

“I believe we must ensure we do everything possible to prevent further suffering and find the best way to look at the surrounding health and social issues involved with drug misuse”.

Emma Roddick MSP shows her support to community food projects

Emma Roddick spent Tuesday the 19th of October visiting 6 different community groups in the Inverness area who all share a keen focus on food poverty, support, and helping others.

These groups were: Food for Families, Café 1668, Crown & City Community Cupboard, Inverness Food Stuff, GoodNESS Community Fridge, and Incredible Edible Inverness.

Speaking following these visits, Roddick said:

“It truly was amazing and encouraging to see the level of kindness shown by volunteers and third sector organisations in Inverness.

“Each place had its own unique framework and had an obvious passion for others and the work that they do.

“A lot of work is still to be done surrounding stigma and food poverty. These places are essential resources to so many people who are struggling to make ends meet.

“I want to help tackle core social justice issues and encourage inclusivity during my time as an MSP.

“I believe that these projects are important, and I am glad to offer each of them my support”.

Emma Roddick MSP for Highlands and Islands ‘frustrated’ by proposed changes to Scotland’s electoral map

Emma Roddick has expressed grave concerns due to current discussions regarding the proposed alterations to Scotland’s electoral map which would see troubling changes made to the Highland area.

These talks are ongoing via consultation, public hearings, and MP debate. The suggested changes would mean a major shift for constituents in many areas across Scotland including dramatic changes to the Highland region.

The current set of Westminster boundaries have been in place since 2005 when Scotland dropped from 72 constituencies down to 59.

Speaking on this subject, Roddick says:

“These current proposals are crude and do not consider, or have any added benefit, to what is best for many areas including the Highlands.

“The Lib Dems can’t absolve themselves of any blame given the rules they introduced are what forced the monstrosities that are Highland North, Highland Central, and Highland East and Elgin into being.

“When you put arbitrary limits on geography and electorate above communities and logic with no regard for areas like the Highlands, this is the result.  

“My hope is that the Highlands never have to elect parliamentarians on these ridiculous boundaries because Scotland will be independent by the time they’re introduced”.

Highlands and Islands MSP Emma Roddick “organisations could learn a lot” from Anchor

Emma Roddick, MSP for the Highlands and Islands has stated that organisations “could learn a lot” from Anchor – Shetland Islands Council’s pioneering family support service. Roddick met yesterday with the organisation which provides support to families facing difficult situations, helping them to navigate their struggles before reaching crisis point by providing advice, food packages and clothing.

Voluntary Action Shetland, who Roddick also met, are being included as the third sector representatives in Anchor’s work, helping to provide well-rounded support to struggling families.

Discussing the meeting, Roddick said:

“I was heartened to hear about the incredible work Anchor do to support families in the Shetland Isles.

“Early years intervention is crucial to forming healthy familial relationships, addressing challenging behaviour and promoting emotional management before it reaches crisis point.

“Especially during the pandemic, families have been facing an unprecedented strain on finances and relationships. The work of Anchor in providing emotional and practical support to struggling families is truly invaluable.

“It was really great to hear some success stories coming out of the pandemic. Amidst all the pain and loss, I’m glad to see some progress in breaking down the stigma surrounding social security and third sector involvement.

“I believe that organisations throughout the region could learn a lot from Anchor, Voluntary Action Shetland and Shetland Islands Council’s work, and I will take forward the knowledge they’ve shared with me as a member of the Social Justice and Social Security Committee in the Scottish Parliament.”

Highlands and Islands MSP Emma Roddick “delighted” with her visit to Shetland Soap Company

HIGHLANDS AND ISLANDS MSP EMMA RODDICK “DELIGHTED” WITH HER VISIT TO SHETLAND SOAP COMPANY

Shetland Soap Company is part of Cope Ltd, who works with adults with learning disabilities to produce various handmade products, including skincare and soaps.

Speaking following the visit, Roddick said:

“It was fantastic to meet the Shetland Soap Company team earlier today!

“It was a joy to see a focus on ability and an example of an inclusive work environment; where people thrive and create wonderful local products, free of stigma and discrimination.

“It is clear their creations are all very much inspired by the abundance of beauty and scenery that the Shetland Islands have to offer.

“I loved hearing about the team’s ambitions for the future and am ready to help them in any way I can.

“Thank you for such a warm welcome and I am looking forward to using my new soap”.

Emma stands in the middle of the photo with seven employees from the Shetland Soap Company. There is blue soap being made in the foreground.
Emma stands with soap-making staff at the Shetland Soap Company
A hand-written sign at the Shetland Soap Company which reads "We work alongside adults with learning disabilities to produce a range of handmade soap and skincare products, inspired by our islands"
A sign at the Shetland Soap Company

Emma Roddick welcomes ‘Island Community Funds’ for Shetland; supporting local projects

Highlands and Islands MSP Emma Roddick was pleased with the announcement made today by the Scottish Government regarding the £2 million Island Communities Fund. Twenty-nine successful community groups and businesses across twenty-three islands have been awarded grants of up to £150,000 each. This fund is managed by Inspiring Scotland and comes from the £9.5 million committed to the Islands Programme for 2021/22.

Roddick highlighted the importance of supporting island communities and projects with a core emphasis on developing sustainable economic activities on the islands.

She said:

“I am delighted that so many of our beautiful islands will benefit from this funding which has a keen focus on creating resilient and sustainable projects, with many also having a net-zero theme.

“Shetland will receive £399,308.74 of funding for six fantastic projects.

“One of which includes the installation of a range of spinning mills to allow full processing of fleece into yarn on Foula, which will use electricity from Foula’s off-grid renewable network.

“Empowering our islands to continue to flourish and stay sustainable is very important to me in my time as an MSP. I feel very encouraged by the news of funds to support island communities and I look forward to seeing how all of these brilliant projects progress”.

Highlands and Islands MSP Emma Roddick “keeping endometriosis on agenda”

Emma Roddick, MSP for the Highlands and Islands, has advised that she is keeping endometriosis on her agenda following a meeting with Kirsteen Campbell from Endometriosis UK North Highland branch.

Roddick, who has spoken in the past about the need for better diagnosis times and treatment for endometriosis, said that improving access to medical care continues to be a focus for her, particularly in rural areas.

Following the meeting, Roddick said:

“It was great to meet with Kirsteen to talk about the barriers women face when trying to access diagnosis and treatment for endometriosis in Caithness and Sutherland.

“It is well known that there are significant barriers to women’s healthcare, and endometriosis, which affects roughly 10% of women, is notoriously one of the most difficult conditions to have investigated, diagnosed and treated.

“There is a clear inconsistency in support and care for sufferers in the region – something I am dedicated to improving.

Highlands and Islands MSP Emma Roddick visits Dogs Against Drugs Shetland

Highlands and Islands MSP Emma Roddick made some four-legged friends in Lerwick, on Wednesday the 13th of October, during a meeting with Dogs Against Drugs Shetland.

Dogs Against Drugs Shetland is an organisation that was created by the people of Shetland in 2001 to help detect and deter drug misuse in the isles.

Their specially-trained dogs can sniff out drugs being smuggled in by ferry or flight passengers before they reach vulnerable members of the community.

Speaking following the visit, Roddick said:

“Dogs Against Drugs has been vital in trying to stop unregulated and harmful substances from being used in Shetland by creating a barrier to them entering the islands at all.

“I welcome that, at its core, this is a service created to tackle Scotland’s prolific issue with drug misuse and the harm that these substances have on people’s and their loved ones’ lives.

“Scotland has unacceptably high numbers of annual drug-related deaths and we have to consider all routes to tackling the issue.

“Looking at underlying health and social issues of trauma, poverty, adversity, and lack of support and understanding is key in helping people to heal and regain a better quality of life.

“I believe we must ensure we do everything possible to prevent further suffering and Dogs Against Drugs have that motivation, along with community welfare, at their core.

“It was wonderful to meet the team today including, of course, the dogs! I look forward to working with and supporting the group more in future.”

Emma Roddick MSP visits Scapa Flow to hear of their ground-breaking plans

Emma, a young dark-haired woman, looks into the camera. The seafront is behind her with ships in the background. She is wearing a tartan face covering.
Emma Roddick MSP

Highlands and Islands MSP Emma Roddick visited Orkney Harbour Authority yesterday to discuss their Masterplan for Scapa Flow. The plan details their vision for a new multi-user deep-water pier and quayside facility at Scapa Flow, with the end goal of delivering a just transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy, and also a large-scale, wind-powered hydrogen production facility in Flotta.

Discussing the visit, Roddick said:

“I was so impressed to hear of the unique opportunities that Scapa Flow presents, it is the only area of its type in Scotland, and the scope for development is almost endless.

“The Orkney Harbour Authority had such refreshing new ideas to continue developing Orkney as a destination for clean energy.

“It was also great to hear that countries around the world are interested in working with OHA on their ambitious plans. I look forward to seeing the future of these exciting developments and what they mean for the people of Orkney.”