Subsidised child care
Many working parents with pre-school children struggle on a daily basis to find child-minders or to find the money to pay for child care. We would look into the options for introducing a subsidised service. This would support equal opportunity and benefit the local economy.
Lend-a-Hand Mortgage Scheme
New house-building in the private sector has been hit by the high deposits asked for by banks and building societies to secure a mortgage. Lloyds TSB is prepared to offer up to 95% mortgages if underwritten by the OIC. We would take steps to introduce this scheme.
House building programme
Funding for Council housing and Orkney Housing Association is limited. We are committed to making good the estimated unmet demand for around 300 houses and will explore sources of new funding to do this. (We would NOT rely on another rent increase!)
A more open OIC administration is to be encouraged. Web-casting of meetings would be one way of reaching a wider public.
Regeneration of Kirkwall town centre
We would follow up the current regeneration project in Stromness town centre with a similar project for Kirkwall. Cement slabs on Bridge Street and Albert Street would be replaced with flagstones and cobbles. This would enhance the experience of tourists (and us!) and stimulate commercial activity.
Landscaping of Hatston
Hatston Industrial Estate is now on the route taken by many cruise ship tourists into Kirkwall. While not exactly an eyesore, Hatston would benefit from landscaping to make it more visually attractive. We would include cycleways in the project too.
“Grow your own”
We would like to see more young folk who are employed by the NHS and OIC given an opportunity to follow studies at Orkney College which would qualify them for senior positions. This would require new course design with distance learning elements.