Over the last 30 years we have spent and overspent millions of pounds; we have no planning for the future, just the term of each present Council.
I have a vision for the future of our area and the future of Shetland; it is a unique place and our local industries are thriving.
Our housing schemes take up a high percentage of one bedroom property and this is owing to the Scottish government giving a higher grant for the building of one bedroom properties. Some of our procedures set by the Scottish government should be questioned and relaxed for our needs. We should have bye laws to protect our way of life and our needs in Shetland. Housing loans to first time build should be in place; if we give £34,000 grant per house to housing schemes why not give our first time private build an the equal amount as this would encourage our young folk to stay in the rural areas?
We have an excellent care centre in Walls, a sports centre and junior high school in Aith; we have splendid primary schools. We are surviving and Shetland is a superb place to stay to enjoy the culture and freedom. We can survive on our oil and gas and our seafood and crofting.
We have to trim our budget and overheads, our department heads should have the expertise and knowledge on their subjects and we should dispense with hiring consultants. We require having continuous work by local firms contracting for projects and keeping the workforce fully employed.
We should have bye laws for our planning; our zoning is a complete shambles, a free for all. Our fields are all detailed, even numbered, on old maps; our crofting plan should be preserving these details and building on the rougher ground – we shall never have more land, use the land wisely. Our side roads should be planned for years ahead and especially the side roads; if we don’t leave enough space to widen the roads in a straight direction, 50 years on new roads will have to be built.
Cuts will come but it will be interesting to have the details on how many employees are working full time planning the closures of our schools, also the employees’ salaries working on the planning of the Anderson High School and all the years spent on the Haggersta to Cova road scheme.
What happened to the full survey carried out by a Glasgow team for road works from the Whiteness hall to the Nesbister junction? This part of road from the 50 mile per hour sign at Cova to the Brugarth shop is narrow and two trucks passing only have the width of a mirror between the vehicles.
How much is the Viking Energy Windfarm project costing the Charitable Trust, how much is the project costing the Council with supplying offices, phones and employees?
- Viking Energy Windfarm is a high risk venture, we should not be funding this project from our Charitable Trust; our investment from this fund should be secured funding. This is not a Community Wind Farm we have a stake of 45%; it is a high risk project just being thought out as the stages develop.
- The proposed turbines have not been tested in Shetland, the only ones tested are the smaller ones at Veensgarth, Tingwall (Burradale). Judging by the fact that several windmills have come to grief in Shetland may mean that conditions in Shetland are unsuitable for the proposed size of windmill.
- The proposed Windfarm will require four acres of concrete for each windmill, the roads will have to be able to support the weight of the transport to take each windmill’s parts to their destination, then cranes will have to travel to the site to erect the windmills.
- The proposed area for building these windmills is the wettest area of moorland in Shetland and no one knows the commitment or monies required for this extravaganza.
Drastic Savings: cuts are not closing primary schools or junior highs it is the last resort.
We look forward to a new council with steadfast discussions and maintain our culture and unique way of life.
We have young folk working part time as home helps, carers, delivering meals and it can work on a small scale and it is at the lowest wage range, but this is keeping the rural areas thriving, young families and children require schools in their own area.
It is amazing how these young people are working in job sharing which can cut the two tier management above them. Working as a team and getting on with their jobs, no phoning in saying they can’t work their sharing person just steps in.
Reduce our extravagance; do we need all this management? If you are running a business you could not exist with all this top heavy structure.
The Council should go forward with steadfast discussions, supply our basic requirements, be supportive of our public transport in Shetland and transport to and from Shetland.
This is my vision of the future, I hope you will have confidence in me and give me your vote on 3 May.
Phone 01595 830 322