Denis Rixson was a schoolteacher in the Highlands for over 30 years – teaching History and Computing. He has a passion for Highland History and has written several books on the subject.
In 2018 he won a by-election for Highland Council – beating the SNP. He sits on the Council’s Climate Change Panel and regards Climate Change as possibly the most important issue of the twenty-first century. With Liberal Democrat colleagues he pushed a motion through Council to establish Highland as a carbon sink and plant more trees. We have to look at both sides of the carbon equation – mitigation and compensation. We must cut emissions but behavioural change takes time and there is no reason why we have to wait. Let’s compensate and offset now – and the simplest way to do this is plant more trees.
Transport is one of our biggest sources of carbon emissions. Denis believes a comprehensive system of public transport is key to reducing emissions in our largely rural constituency. If travel in the Highlands is made easier – fewer people will feel they need to own a car. When they do need a car – let’s see if we can make it electric by establishing a network of rapid recharge points.
Denis believes in the Union. He thinks we are better together, politically, socially and economically. He also wants to push Localism. Devolution of power should not stop at Edinburgh or even Inverness. What can be decided at local level should be.
Issues such as land reform have occupied Highlanders for generations. But now new problems are emerging. How do we cope with mass tourism and the pressure it places on our infrastructure? How do we provide affordable housing for our young people whilst coping with Airbnb and second homes? We must acknowledge and then tackle such problems.