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North Ayrshire hosts Convention of the Highlands and the Islands

Posted on 12 Mar 2018

The island of Cumbrae played host to the Convention of the Highlands and Islands today (Monday, 12 March).

North Ayrshire Council Chief Executive Elma Murray and Council Leader Joe Cullinane welcomed Scottish Ministers and delegates from local government and other public bodies to the meeting, at the Field Studies Council headquarters in Millport.

Among those attending the meeting were Deputy First Minister John Swinney, Minister for Transport and the Islands Humza Yousaf, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Connectivity Fergus Ewing, and Minister for Local Government & Housing Kevin Stewart.

The Convention of the Highlands and Islands aims to strengthen the relationship between the Scottish Government and member organisations to support sustainable economic growth. It also seeks to enable the exchange of ideas on strategic issues affecting the people of the Highlands and Islands.

Among the issues discussed during Monday’s meeting was housing, digital and economic development.

Elma Murray said: “We were delighted to welcome Ministers and delegates to such a beautiful setting for what is always an important meeting.

“As well as giving us the chance to show off Cumbrae and the North Coast, it was also an opportunity highlight what we are doing to help our island communities and their economies.”

Council Leader Joe Cullinane continued: “It was a very informative and fruitful meeting which gave us a chance to discuss issues which affect us directly here in North Ayrshire.

“This included issues like housing in locations such as Arran and the pressing need to provide affordable accommodation. We are already taking steps to help address this through our plans to build the first new Council Houses on the island for a generation and meetings such as this allow us to share ideas and best practice.”

The Convention of Highlands and the Islands meets twice a year, in spring and autumn, and is attended by Scottish Ministers, local authorities from the Highlands and islands and other interested bodies.