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History to repeat itself?

"Development committee chairman Alastair Cooper said none of the bids received had met the specifications the council had been asking for.

"The focus of the new contract, he said, was not so much on the tourism aspect, but on encouraging people to move to Shetland and for businesses to invest here."

Thus quote the Shetland News on the 7 June (Trust loses Promote Shetland contract; SN, 7/06/2017). But hang on a minute - people and businesses will re-locate to Shetland for one of two reasons.

Either the nature of their business requires that they come here or the quality of life here is such that they are attracted to the islands. The former require no inducement - they will come anyway. The latter will be attracted by precisely the sort of promotion Andy Steven and his team have been doing so well.

Thirty or so years ago, the development department commissioned a video to attract incomers to Shetland. It was produced by a company from the Mainland - far too important a task to invite a tender from anyone in Shetland.

The result had all the impact of a plate of cold porridge. Boring and unimaginative, the script could only have been written by someone in local government.

History, I fear, is about to repeat itself.

If suitability for purpose is to be examined, then the director of development should seriously consider his position. At the same time, the chair of the development committee, who is, somewhat incestuously, a retired director of development should be asking himself whether he is fit for purpose to undertake that role.

John Waters


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