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Local Government Election 2012 / Colin Arnot

colin arnot

Colin Arnot
Independent
Shetland North


Background

I am a chartered surveyor with 25 years experience in Social Housing and Development, together with planning in different areas of the UK.

I have been in Shetland for nearly three years now and am committed to the Islands.

I am currently setting up a croft in North Roe where my wife and I breed Alpacas and rare breed sheep.

Areas of Interest

Through my own experience over the years, I have developed a keen interest and knowledge of housing matters, including general needs, sheltered and special needs.

I am fully aware of the massive shortfall of housing available in Shetland against an ever-increasing demand (waiting list)

I am keen to become involved in the process of seeking solutions to the issue, including looking at alternatives from traditional processes of provision as well as pushing for clearer and swifter processing of the development and planning stages, to allow progress to be made to better meet housing demand.

In conjunction with the housing issues, I have concerns regarding accessibility for potential developers, whether these be individuals or social landlords, particularly as a result of prohibitive costs of the essential services, and in particular, electricity in some areas. This, in more remote places is an inhibiting factor to any such development, which such areas are crying out for.

I have a keen interest in energy issues generally. I have, in the past been heavily involved in Fuel Poverty matters and was a co-founder of an energy procurement initiative for social tenants in South Wales, where all Housing Associations and Local Authorities came together seeking a better deal as well as energy saving measures for their clients.

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Recent ‘timely’ decisions made regarding the proposed wind farm have left me somewhat shocked. The resulting development is one that MUST be closely monitored to ensure that the Islands’ interests are met as well as the protection of wildlife and their environment.

My approach is one of fairness. That focus would be particularly aimed at areas of Shetland where there is an imbalance of available standard services, such as public transport, medical resources etc.

Living at the top of the mainland, we are blessed more than some areas with supplementary transport links, run by locals. But this is not true of other areas. There are real practical issues for residents in areas closer to Lerwick than even we are. Evidence of inadequate transport is easy to find and I have been horrified by the fact that some people have had to pay almost £300 in a month to maintain weekly GP visits. I want to provide a voice at Council level that promotes the fact that there is certainly life after the Tingwall Valley as well as push for a fairer transport policy.

I enjoy meeting with individuals or groups and, where required, finding ways of helping where I can, whatever the issue. I do not pretend to have all the answers, but am always willing to seek-out those who can provide the solutions to people’s problems and concerns.

As residents of Northmavine, my wife and I are keen to support and represent a wonderful area of Shetland, where people have been very welcoming and helpful. We could not wish for better crofting neighbours and I look forward to helping and supporting those folk by representing them at Council level.

I feel that there are wonderful opportunities for the development of tourism in the north of Shetland, but this currently relates to a few key sites or areas. There is always more that can be done to encourage visitors, and indeed other Shetlanders to “go north” rather than head south to Sumburgh!

I can promise commitment and the ability to listen, be available and help, for the good of the area and the wider Shetland.

I am looking forward to a close liaison with the likes of NCDC and dedicated community groups as well as youth forums throughout the ward.

Contact details:
Mobile: 07967 319321
Email: shetlandalpacas@btinternet.com 

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