Presiding Officer brings the Parliament’s Festival of Politics to Skye


Residents in Skye are being invited to attend a ‘Festival of Politics’ event on affordable housing chaired by the Scottish Parliament’s Presiding Officer, the Rt Hon Ken Macintosh MSP. This will be the culmination of his visit to the island on Friday 27 September.

The panel event, to be held at 7pm in the Aros Centre, Portree, will give Skye residents a chance to hear directly about the impact of local housing policy from local experts, and to contribute to the ongoing debate on providing affordable housing on Skye. 

Elsewhere during his visit, the Presiding Officer will also meet with the Minginish Community Development Association to discuss their work on sustainable communities and local infrastructure. The meeting comes as the Minginish Community Hall celebrates its 10th anniversary since it was built after a local campaign in 2009. 

The Presiding Officer will also meet Portree High School pupils who are helping to design a new graphic novel to help explain to other young people how the Scottish Parliament works, before taking part in a session in Gaelic at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, to look at ways in which students can engage with the Parliament and MSPs and the role of Gaelic in the work of the Parliament.

Speaking ahead of the visit, the Presiding Officer said: 

“Scotland’s Islands are a huge part of Scotland’s identity. And their issues are every bit as pressing as those within the central belt. Having grown up here I know that, like other rural areas, they can feel overlooked. 

“In this the Parliament’s 20th anniversary year, more than ever, we want to get out of Edinburgh to speak to local communities about what matters to them and to encourage their engagement in our democratic process. Although the Parliament has never forgotten the importance of our partnership with everyone across Scotland, we need to ensure it’s as easy as possible to make your voice heard, wherever you are.

“There are fantastic examples of local communities on Skye that have shown what is possible when people come together. I’m looking forward to hearing more about these projects and the issues that interest the local community including school pupils and students. I also hope local people will come along to listen, think and share their ideas at the public Festival of Politics event I’m hosting on affordable housing in the evening.”

The visit to Skye is part of wider programme which seeks to identify and break down the barriers which prevent people from with engaging with their politicians and influencing the work of the Parliament. 

The Festival of Politics Event will take place at the Aros Centre in Portree starting at 7pm. Tickets can be booked, and more information found at


The Festival of Politics panel will be:

* Callum Robb, Welfare Rights Officer, Skye & Lochalsh Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB)

* Jennifer Bruce, Principal Housing Officer (Skye and Lochalsh) with The Highland Council

* Rena MacLeod, Care at Home Manager for Skye, NHS Highland

* Lachie MacDonald, Chief Executive, Lochalsh and Skye Housing Association



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