Scottish Liberal Democrats have today announced that crofter and former Royal Navy engineer Jamie Dobson will be their candidate for Sgir Uige agus Carlabhagh at the forthcoming local by-election.
Jamie joined the party in 2017, driven by the desire to bring positive change and New Hope to the local community.
His candidacy, in a council which the Lib Dems have not contested since 2007, has been described by Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton as a “positive sign of growth and renewal”.
“Uig, Bernera and Carloway have fantastic, mutually supportive communities but they need continuing nurturing with support to stem and reverse their decline into only holiday destinations occupied for the summer months.
"I want to demand better for the people of Uig, Bernera and Carloway. I will stand up for local services, great schools and health care and ensure that they play their parts in tackling the climate emergency.
“Families are facing a huge cost of living crisis and they need support. During lockdown we saw the best of the local community, neighbours looking out for neighbours, sharing with each other, caring for each other. That belief in the power of community is what motivates me and its why I think that power and decision-making work best when they are devolved closer to the people they impact the most.
“I am particularly concerned by the continuing decline in the population, particularly of younger folk, and will not stop campaigning to reverse this by advocating a range of measures to retain them and attract new blood. Key to this are tackling the lack of affordable, quality housing and making the most of the tremendous benefits that on-shore and off-shore wind power offer.
“The previous council did commendable work in pursuing opportunities to produce hydrogen for use locally and for export to the mainland, potentially developing a modern, high-tech industry providing well-paid employment opportunities across the entire spectrum of skill levels. These must be complemented by a modern local infrastructure of fast fibre communications, transport to facilitate those working in town and further afield, with medical and social services managed to suit their users.”
Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton said:
“This is a really positive sign of growth and renewal for our party. Buoyed by our excellent results at the local election more and more people are coming forward to get involved and stand for the Scottish Liberal Democrats. I want to demonstrate that there is no corner of Scotland in which we cannot win, because when people see the value of a Liberal Democrat champion for their community, they never look back.
“Scotland’s island communities have been badly let down by the SNP. From the failure to deliver new ferries for western isles routes to poor broadband connections making it more difficult to run a business, the attention of SNP ministers is always elsewhere.
"Jamie Dobson will be a fantastic local champion for Sgir Uige agus Carlabhagh. If you elect a Lib Dem like Jamie onto your local council you won’t be sorry once you see what he can do for you and those around you.”