Broadband and connectivity for rural homes and businesses will be one of the main themes discussed at the first meeting of the Scottish Rural Parliament later this year.
Employment, land reform and transport will also be discussed when the new organisation meets in Oban.
The themes have been identified through a survey conducted with more than a thousand people from across rural Scotland, and will be examined by people from rural communities and decision-makers from November 6-8.
The main themes are rural businesses and employment; land use, planning and land reform; transport infrastructure; protecting our natural assets and adapting to environmental changes; broadband and connectivity; and support for communities to lead with confidence.
Although not identified as a main theme, sufficient interest and concern arose through the consultation on the topic of ‘delivery of health and social care’ that this will be adopted this as a future theme to follow from the SRP’s first meeting.
Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead said; “My ambition for the Scottish Rural Parliament is to give rural communities a stronger voice and these emerging themes reflect the big issues facing those who live and work in rural Scotland today.
“It’s great to see the Rural Parliament making progress and the growing number of people getting involved which is key to its future success.”
SRP chair John Hutchison said: “This is a major step forward in delivering a collective voice for rural Scotland. We’re pleased to have had guidance from so many rural people in setting our themes and can now move ahead to create Scotland’s first Rural Parliament.
“The themes reflect a broad range of the challenges that are faced by people in rural communities and we will be examining them in some detail before presenting our findings to the Rural Parliament in November.”
The SRP’s work is co-ordinatedby Bute resident Emma Cooper from her office base in Rothesay.