Orkney exploring Nordic connections as it seeks 'alternative governance'

Local authority leader believes Orkney does not get fair funding in its current relationship within the UK.

Orkney council is set to discuss “alternative forms of governance” with their Nordic neighbours that could lead to the islands’ changing their status in the UK.

Local authority leader James Stockan believes Orkney does not get fair treatment in terms of funding and policy support.

Councillors will look at a motion put forward by Stockan next week, which says the local authority “should investigate its Nordic connections, crown dependencies, and other options”.

His motion states: “Due to historical and contemporary challenges in relation to equitable capital and revenue funding, and policy support across our island communities, Orkney Islands Council should now explore options for alternative models of governance that provide greater fiscal security and economic opportunity for the islands of Orkney.”

The motion has been supported by the council’s depute leader Heather Woodbridge.

A report accompanying the motion said the investigations will be “broad in nature”, adding it would be up to the UK and Scottish governments to implement possible alternative models.

It adds that, in investigating Nordic connections, the council could look at the Faroe Islands, as they are a self-governing territory of Denmark.

It could also look at British overseas territories, like Guernsey, Jersey, the Falkland Islands and the Isle of Man for possible areas of investigation.

The council is unlikely to receive any financial support to pursue alternative governance models, and costs will have to be supported by the council itself.

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