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breaking news

Orkney vote revealed in lockdown easing consultation

Aerial view of Stromness. 20/2/18 (Tom O’Brien)

The results of a Scottish Government survey, designed to contribute to a decision over Orkney’s lockdown exit plan revealed a clear majority vote – but not for the option the government implemented, it has emerged.

The Orcadian can exclusively reveal that two months ago, Orkney respondents overwhelmingly voted for the county to drop to a lower level of COVID-19 restrictions, and to forego travel to the Scottish mainland.

Instead, the less favoured option (to stay in Level Three and be able to travel, known as “Lockstep”) was implemented by the government.

The Scottish Government remained tight lipped over the local consultations, which ran for only two days during March, but a freedom of information (FOI) request submitted by The Orcadian has finally shown the numbers involved this evening.

The FOI revealed that 60 per cent of Orkney responders voted to drop into lower restrictions, and against Lockstep. Only 24 per cent were in favour, with 16 per cent choosing “other.”

Despite this clear decision, Lockstep is exactly what folk got, leaving many businesses closed for another month.

This is a developing story, and The Orcadian will be speaking to islands leaders throughout the week.

Since submitting the FOI, the Scottish Government have now published the results of the consultation on their website.

Full story will be available in the upcoming edition of The Orcadian.