The failure to fund long promised improvements to the A9 at Berriedale has betrayed a continuing refusal by the Scottish Government to recognise the special needs of the Highlands.
Speaking today during a Highland Council debate on the reduction of Scottish Government funding for the Council, Easter Ross councillor and Holyrood candidate Jamie Stone has highlighted the SNP’s failure as ‘giving the game away’.
"The Almighty made our Highland geography" said Mr Stone "Sparsity of population, the challenges presented by sheer distance, the additional cost of delivering vital services, and inclement winter weather make us very different to other parts of Scotland further south".
"The Scottish Government should recognise this when they allocate annual funding to Scotland's councils - but instead they have announced a reduction in our funding this year, one that will force us to make tens of millions of pounds of cuts to vital council services, cuts that will hit some of our most vulnerable citizens."
"This betrays a deplorable failure to take on board the special needs of our vast and remote area - and sadly the Scottish Government announcement this week that their latest budget will not include the long promised funding for improving the A9 at Berriedale gives the whole game away."
"For as long as I can remember there has been a heartfelt plea for improvements at Berriedale. The present completely unacceptable hairpin bends at that part of the A9 are a tourniquet to a vital lifeline to the Far North."
"This week's announcement is a real let-down for the Far North - something that the Highland Council sees all too clearly as we debate the fact that we too are being wretchedly short-changed.
For this reason we must redouble our battle to get the message to a seemingly deaf Scottish Government. For any Highland politician to fail to do so is simply letting down the people we represent."