Proposals to devolve more power to the Scottish islands have gone out to consultation.
Ministers claim that the Islands Bill will bring more equality and empowerment to the Western Isles, Shetland and Orkney.
Since the launch of the Our Islands Our Future campaign in 2013, a working partnership has been formed between the Scottish Government and island councils to address local issues.
Transport and islands minister Derek Mackay was in Lewis yesterday to launch the consultation.
But he was five hours late because of a major delay with his flight from Glasgow to Stornoway.
When he finally arrived, he said: “This is the start of a conversation with our island communities, councils and wider stakeholders about what a future bill may look like – and who better to inform these decisions than the very people who live, work and study there.
“Scotland’s islands have proud traditions, with rich and vibrant cultures. They contribute so much to the fabric of Scotland as a nation. From Harris Tweed in the Western Isles to the famous Whisky distilleries in Islay, Scotland’s islands are renowned across the world.”
Western Isles councillor Angus Campbell said: “The launch of this consultation is very significant in securing greater powers for island areas and is the first islands-specific piece of legislation in over 40 years. We have continually lobbied for a fairer deal for islands and I would encourage people to respond to the consultation and share their views on the development of a future Islands Bill which comes as a result of the positive work being done on the Our Islands Our Future campaign. This is an opportunity for everyone to help shape a more prosperous and fairer future for our islands”.
A Loganair spokesman said that weather had caused the delay, when a de-icing system warning light activated during pre-flight checks, forcing the plane back to the stand.
Fog then held up the replacement aircraft.
He added: “Loganair would like to apologise to customers for the inconvenience caused by this morning’s disruption, but every effort was made to get them to Stornoway at the earliest opportunity.”