Home Business News Orkney councillors vote to back a motion to explore future governance including previous ‘Nordic connections’

Orkney councillors vote to back a motion to explore future governance including previous ‘Nordic connections’

by LLB political Reporter
4th Jul 23 3:52 pm

Orkney Islands Council leader Councillor James Stockan has said that councillors have voted to back a motion to explore the future governance.

Stockan insists that it is not about the Orkney Islands “joining Norway” and that the motion is instructing local authority officers to publish a report of options that are available including their previous “Nordic connections.”

This comes as the Orkney Islands Council said that they are being “failed dreadfully” by both governments in London and Edinburgh and they are receiving less finding per head that what Shetland and the Western Isles get.

Orkney still considering constitutional future despite Downing Street saying they will not allow ‘devolution change’

Stockan told the councillors, “I say enough.

“I say it is time for government to take us seriously, and I say it’s time for us to look at all the options we’ve got.

“There is a far bigger suite of options here – this could even be that we could get our money direct from the Treasury in London and look after our own future.”

Stockan said in a speech, “I have been a councillor now for 20 years, but for the last number I’ve been in negotiation with our governments to get what I believe is an equitable solution of position for the Orkney Islands in funding and in the opportunity that we have in and around these islands to benefit not just us, but to benefit our neighbours, to benefit our nation and to benefit the world.

“But we have been restricted in every conversation, we have been held down, and what I would say is we all know most of what I could say with regard to the discrimination that we’ve had against this community from governments in the funding settlement we have.”

He added, that if no motion was passed then “we will never get anywhere.”

He continued, “For us to get change today, for us to get traction today, for us to be able to engage today for the benefit of our citizens, I’m going to ask you to support this motion.”

Orkney MSP Liam McArthur said people on the Islands “may be concerned at the time and resource that could be taken up exploring different constitutional models, particularly when council resources are already under real pressure due to Scottish government cuts.”

Councillors voted by 15 votes to six against an amendment to block the motion.

On Monday, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said that there is “no mechanism for the conferral of crown dependency or overseas territory status on any part of the UK.”

He added, “Fundamentally, we are stronger as one United Kingdom, we have no plans to change that.”

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