Union Members Encouraged to Attend Hustings Events in Shetland and Orkney

NFU Scotland is to hold hustings events in Orkney and Shetland to provide a platform for debate to allow its members to make an informed decision in the Scottish Parliament election on 5 May.
The events will take place at the Ayre Hotel, Kirkwall on 25 March, and the Shetland Hotel, Lerwick on 31 March and are both open to all NFU Scotland members on the Northern Isles. 
These are two of nine events being held across the country to engage members with political parties ahead of the Scottish Parliamentary election. The event will welcome candidates from all the main Scottish parties standing in the region in May.
Following a difficult year for the farming and crofting sector, the interests of rural affairs in an election campaign have never been clearer. And as agriculture, rural affairs, food, environment and transport policy is devolved to the Scottish Parliament, this election is even more relevant to the agricultural sector, and the rural vote cannot be underestimated.  
The Union is encouraging its members to take the time to meet and put questions to the candidates vying for their votes in this important election.
NFU Scotland will shortly release a manifesto, detailing key policy headings it wishes to see Scottish parliamentarians address in the new parliament – including a support system fit for the future, land reform and biodiversity, making markets work, telling Scotland’s good food story, crofting and assistance in managing costs. 
NFU Scotland’s Regional Chairman for Orkney and Shetland, Paul Ross commented: “This election comes at an unprecedented time for farmers in Orkney and Shetland working in our industry, particularly as farm cash flow has been impacted after suffering the wettest year on record.
“Global forces added to the well-versed problems concerning delivery of support payments have combined to create a perfect storm. 
“This was a key message that politicians took away from NFU Scotland’s rally in parliament earlier this month, which was represented by a number of farmers and businesses from the region.
“Seventeen years on from the advent of devolution in Scotland, rural affairs and agricultural policy has become ingrained within Scottish political life, and we have enjoyed a good working relationship with Highlands and Islands MSPs across the political spectrum.
“We look forward to continuing this close and very positive engagement in the new parliament, and to welcoming the candidates fighting for a seat at Holyrood at this event so they can inform the members of their plans to take forward the interests of Orkney, Shetland, the islands and rural Scotland.” Ends
Notes to Editors:
  • For members who are unable to attend, but would like to put forward a question, please contact Kenny Slater 01856 872 048 or Ian Wilson on 07775 915 988.
  • NFU Scotland’s regional hustings events will take place as follows. Unless otherwise state events start at 7.30pm:
    • 25 March Orkney Ayre Hotel, Kirkwall
    • 31 March Argyll and Islands Corran Halls, Oban
    • 31 March Shetland Shetland Hotel, Lerwick
    • 4 April Lothian and Borders Buccleuch Arms, St Boswells
    • 11 April Forth & Clyde Radstone Hotel, Larkhall
    • 12 April Ayrshire The Black Bull Hotel, Tarbolton
    • 18 April East Central Huntingtower Hotel, Perth
    • 20 April Highlands Dingwall Mart, Dingwall
    • 19 April Dumfries and Galloway Douglas Arms, Castle Douglas
    • 28 April at 7pm North East Kintore Arms, Inverurie
  • For any members of the media who would like to attend, please email

​Contact Ruth McClean on 0131 472 4108.

Date Published:

News Article No.: 74/16

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