Salmond Backs "Independence for Scotland and Home Rule for the Highlands"

"Independence for Scotland goes hand in hand with home rule for the Highlands"

This was said by former First Minister, Alex Salmond, speaking in Inverness last night at the Chieftain Hotel. He was speaking with recent recruit, Cllr Karl Rosie, who has been asked to lead a new Highland Policy initiative for the ALBA Party.

Commenting Mr Salmond said: 

“The job of the Scottish Government is to provide the infrastructure required to allow the Highlands and Islands to flourish whether it be roads in the mainland, ferries to the islands or electronic infrastructure everywhere.
“As First Minister, I demonstrated that commitment by holding Cabinet meetings in Inverness, Caithness, Inveraray, Moray and the Northern and Western Isles. Each of these meetings committed promises to north communities and indeed many were honoured like the University of the Highlands and Islands.
“However, over the last ten years, the SNP government has effectively turned its back on the Highlands, much to the frustration of outstanding local representatives such as Fergus Ewing MSP and Angus Brendan MacNeil MP.
“The commitment to complete the duelling of the A9 to Inverness by 2025 was made at a historic Cabinet meeting in Inverness Town House in 2008. It was ready to roll by May 2012 but was subsequently downgraded in the capital plans. Meanwhile, the A96 improvements have fallen victim to the disastrous Bute House deal between the SNP and the Greens.
“I salute the A9 campaigners like Laura Hansler who have kept this fundamentally dangerous road at the forefront of political debate but the Scottish Government should have kept its solemn pledges to the Highlands.
“Now ALBA want to see new ideas and initiatives coming from the Highlands itself. That’s the purpose of asking Cllr Karl Rosie to gather together a manifesto for the Highlands and Islands to tackle key problems such as the twin scourges of depopulation and lack of affordable housing. Our task in ALBA is to make sure that we are in a position in the next Scottish Parliament to ensure that it is implemented.”
Cllr Karl Rosie said;
“It is as a new recruit to ALBA a great honour to be asked to co-ordinate our Highland manifesto. In my opinion, it is exactly the initiative that the Highland communities have been waiting for from a Scottish Party.
"Already I have had many offers of assistance and I am open to a great deal more. The SNP Scottish Government should realise that they have had their chance and the Highlands have had enough”
Mr Salmond and Cllr Rosie were in Inverness to support the campaign of local government candidate for Inverness South, Jimmy Duncan. 
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