Part 2National Islands Plan

Duty to prepare national islands plan

3National islands plan

(1)The Scottish Ministers must prepare a national islands plan.

(2)The purpose of preparing a national islands plan is to set out the main objectives and strategy of the Scottish Ministers in relation to improving outcomes for island communities that result from, or are contributed to by, the carrying out of functions of a public nature.

(3)Improving outcomes for island communities includes—

(a)increasing population levels,

(b)improving and promoting—

(i)sustainable economic development,

(ii)environmental wellbeing,

(iii)health and wellbeing, and

(iv)community empowerment,

(c)improving transport services,

(d)improving digital connectivity,

(e)reducing fuel poverty,

(f)ensuring effective management of the Scottish Crown Estate (that is, the property, rights and interests to which section 90B(5) of the Scotland Act 1998 applies),

(g)enhancing biosecurity (including protecting islands from the impact of invasive non-native species).

(4)The plan must list the public authorities that have duties under this Act.

(5)In setting out their main objectives in the plan, the Scottish Ministers must consider and outline, in so far as possible, what would be appropriate to use for the purpose of measuring (whether quantitatively or qualitatively) the extent to which outcomes for island communities identified in the plan are improved.

4Preparation and scrutiny of plan

(1)In preparing the national islands plan, the Scottish Ministers must—


(i)each local authority listed in the schedule,

(ii)such other persons as they consider represent the interests of island communities, and

(iii)such persons (including members of island communities and other persons) as they consider likely to be affected by or have an interest in the proposals contained in the plan, and

(b)have regard to the distinctive geographical, natural heritage and cultural characteristics (including the linguistic heritage) of each of the areas inhabited by island communities.

(2)The Scottish Ministers must lay the proposed national islands plan before the Scottish Parliament—

(a)in the case of the first plan, before the end of the period of one year beginning with the day on which this section comes into force,

(b)in any other case, following a review under section 6(1).

(3)The Scottish Ministers must complete their preparation of the national islands plan after the expiry of the period of 40 days beginning with the day on which the plan is laid before the Scottish Parliament (taking no account of any time during which the Parliament is dissolved or in recess for more than 4 days).

(4)As soon as reasonably practicable after the end of the period mentioned in subsection (3), the Scottish Ministers must publish the plan.

Reporting on and review of plan

5Report on plan

(1)The Scottish Ministers must prepare a report for each reporting year, containing information—

(a)about the extent to which the outcomes identified in the national islands plan have improved in the reporting year,

(b)about steps the Scottish Ministers will take where an outcome identified in the national islands plan has not improved in the reporting year,

(c)about the steps which the Scottish Ministers have taken to comply with the duties in relation to island communities imposed by—

(i)section 7 (including any island communities impact assessment prepared under section 8), and

(ii)section 13, and

(d)about any other matters which the Scottish Ministers consider appropriate.

(2)In this section, “reporting year” means the period of one year beginning—

(a)in the case of the first report following each publication of a national islands plan under section 4(4), with the day on which the national islands plan is published,

(b)in any other case, with the day of the expiry of the last period of one year.

(3)Before the end of the period of 3 months beginning with the last day of the reporting year, the Scottish Ministers must—

(a)lay the report before the Scottish Parliament, and

(b)publish the report.

6Review of plan

(1)The Scottish Ministers—

(a)must review the national islands plan before the end of the period of 5 years beginning with the day on which the plan was last published, and

(b)may from time to time review the plan.

(2)Following a review under subsection (1), the Scottish Ministers may revise the plan as they consider appropriate.

(3)Subsections (1), (3) and (4) of section 4 apply to a review of the plan under subsection (1) as they apply to the preparation of the plan under that section.