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So, just what will the candidates vying to win the Inverness, Skye and West Ross-shire do for us? We asked them what their top three priorities are, if elected


By Scott Maclennan

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Just what will the candidates for Inverness, Skye and West Ross-shire do for us?
Just what will the candidates for Inverness, Skye and West Ross-shire do for us?

From reversing centralisation, safer roads, housing, to halting the climate crisis the candidates vying to win the Inverness, Skye and West Ross-shire seat have told us what their top priorities – if elected – would be.

The parties with candidates in the race include the Conservatives, Labour, the Liberal Democrats, the Scottish Greens, the SNP – who all responded – and Reform UK and Socialist Equality – who did not send in a response.

A Labour victory nationally is almost a foregone conclusion at this stage but the choice in the Highlands is vitally important to press home the region’s needs through effective political operators in Westminster.

Decision time is near, this is what the candidates told us are their top three priorities.

Drew Hendry, SNP candidate for Inverness, Skye and West Ross-shire. Picture: Callum Mackay.
Drew Hendry, SNP candidate for Inverness, Skye and West Ross-shire. Picture: Callum Mackay.

Drew Hendry, SNP

Housing: I love our region and its people, but too many families and young people are struggling to find affordable and safe homes. I will always fight for them. I will push the new UK government to restore capital budgets for housing. Everyone in our community needs to benefit from economic development opportunities.

Fairness: Fairness has always been at the heart of my work on your behalf. Whether delivering my Highland Energy Rebate campaign, tackling rising food costs, or challenging unfair price hikes like car insurance costs, I will always stand up for what is fair for our region and our people.

Hope and Investment: My third priority is as much about restoring hope as about securing investment. Young people today face fewer opportunities, less financial security, and limited freedom to travel. Along with our local businesses and families, they deserve better. I will always pursue investment for our region and advocate rejoining the EU.

Angus Macdonald, the Lib Dems Inverness, Skye and West Ross-shire candidate.
Angus Macdonald, the Lib Dems Inverness, Skye and West Ross-shire candidate.

Angus MacDonald, Liberal Democrats

I plan to fight to reverse the centralisation of powers and budgets to Holyrood and Westminster: The closer decision making and funding allocation is to communities the better, Holyrood have centralised the police and fire service and plan to do so for care too. The massive Highland Council should be divided into three and there should be elected mayors.

Focus both Westminster and Scottish governments on the catastrophe that is happening in our care sector: Including the 50-bed Cradlehall Care Home, eight care homes have recently closed in the Highlands. Our hospitals are overflowing with elderly folk waiting for a care package. Care staff must get paid well. With our population ageing fast we need massive investment in new care homes (with staff accommodation) across the Highlands now.

Maximise the funds payable to communities from all renewable projects: Not just wind farms but all renewables should pay 5 per cent of gross revenue (about three times the current level) to communities. An SNP minister declared we were ‘the Saudi Arabia of renewables’ but did nothing to make that reality. The Highlands hosts much of Britain’s renewables but all we get are the crumbs left on the table.

The Greens Inverness, Skye and West Ross-shire Peter Newman.
The Greens Inverness, Skye and West Ross-shire Peter Newman.

Peter Newman, Scottish Greens

If elected, the Scottish Greens top three priorities would be: Prevent Climate Breakdown by scrapping subsidies on aviation fuel, investing in public transport and making polluters pay. Our Green New Deal would see us pushing for a reduction in interest rates to stimulate investment in green infrastructure such as alternative energy solutions moving us away from oil and gas.

Work to ensure a fairer society: those with the broadest backs should pay for our transition to net zero. We would introduce an offshore tax preventing faceless corporations exploiting the country’s resources: taxing wealth, not workers, as well as scrapping VAT on products contributing to our net zero journey.

Continue working towards an independent Scotland: We need the extra powers promised to Scotland 10 years ago. We need full control over taxation, as well as borrowing powers for revenue spending allowing us to counter the cost of Westminster crisis imposed on us by failed Tory governments.

Labour's Inverness, Skye and West Ross-shire Michael Perera.
Labour's Inverness, Skye and West Ross-shire Michael Perera.

Michael Perera, Labour

We need to rebuild our NHS and do more to support rural health and social care. I will fight to ensure services in Highland are supported to provide high-quality care where it is needed.

The north of Scotland should be the world leader in renewables. Labour will ensure that our oil and gas industry has a jobs-led transition to renewable energy, with new opportunities for all.

Labour will strengthen the protections afforded to all workers by banning zero-hours contracts, ending fire and rehire, and ensuring employees are protected from day one.

The Conservative's Inverness, Skye and West Ross-shire Ruraidh Stewart.
The Conservative's Inverness, Skye and West Ross-shire Ruraidh Stewart.

Ruraidh Stewart, Scottish Conservatives

Safer roads: The A9 and A96 are crucial for connecting the Highlands. The SNP has failed to upgrade these routes, causing avoidable accidents and fatalities. Despite a 2007 promise to dual the A9, little has changed in 16 years. I am committed to securing funding to improve these vital roads.

Quality healthcare for all: NHS Highland acknowledges that Raigmore Hospital is "not sustainable" for the future. A new hospital is essential for attracting and retaining healthcare professionals. Upgrading local facilities in Skye, and Fort William will reduce demand on Raigmore, allowing it to offer faster, more efficient services, benefiting all residents of Inverness and the Highlands.

A home for every Highlander: Affordable housing is critical to maintaining the long-term viability of both our rural and urban areas. By investing in practical housing policies and reforming the draconian planning system, I am committed to fostering a dynamic, resilient Highland that supports its young people and provides opportunities for all generations.

* Candidates Dillan Hill (Reform UK) and Darren Paxton (Socialist Equality Party) were invited to respond.


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