Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Richard Leonard announces Labour’s plans for Highlands and islands

Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard
Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard

Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard will today promise to put the Highlands and islands at the heart of his party’s plans to transform Scotland.

Mr Leonard will announce his plans to produce a new land reform act, build 12,000 houses for social rent and take action to eliminate fuel poverty when he speaks at his party’s Highlands and Islands conference in Inverness.

The Scottish Labour leader will argue that another land reform act is needed to further redistribute land from a small numbers of landowners and take it into community ownership.

He will also announce a building policy to help the 5,642 households waiting for social housing and highlight the number of households in fuel poverty in rural areas.

In Inverness he will quote figures suggesting 49% of households (53,000) are in fuel poverty in Highland compared to the Scottish average of 27%.

Data has also shown that 17% of households in rural areas are in extreme fuel poverty compared to the Scottish average of 8% .

When it comes to older households 66% of these (25,000) in rural areas are in fuel poverty compared to the Scottish average of 42%.

On the eve of the conference, Mr Leonard said: “Communities across the Highlands and Islands are suffering from almost a decade of Tory austerity.

“They have been forgotten and ignored by those in power. Labour has listened, and we will put the Highlands & Islands at the heart of our plans to transform Scotland.

“Only Scottish Labour will tackle the housing crisis, end fuel poverty and deliver a new land reform act to ensure our country is owned by the many, not the few.”

Kevin Stewart, Minister for Local Government, Housing and Planning, said: “We are setting clear, ambitious targets in the Fuel Poverty Bill – which proposes new definition of fuel poverty that aligns fuel poverty more closely to income poverty whilst also taking account of the higher costs faced by those living in remote rural areas, remote small towns and island communities.

“We will publish a fuel poverty strategy that will set out how we will tackle fuel poverty and will also publish an islands community impact assessment in respect of all the Bill’s provisions in the coming weeks.

“With this groundbreaking legislation we are determined to tackle the root causes of fuel poverty and transform our homes to be warmer and more energy efficient.”

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]

More from the Press and Journal Scottish politics team

More from the Press and Journal