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Trustees insist they have the mandate

SIX OUT of the seven trustees who signed a request to hold a special meeting of Shetland Charitable Trust next Monday are not standing at the council election on 3 May.

But they are insisting that they have the mandate to hold the meeting in the Shetland Hotel which seeks the release of a further £6.3 million towards the controversial Viking Energy wind farm project.

The seven trustees who signed the request are: Jim Budge, Betty Fullerton, Josie Simpson, Robert Henderson, Addie Doull, Andrew Hughson and Gussie Angus.

Only north isles councillor Robert Henderson seeks re-election on Thursday.

The move by the seven has caused strong reactions on both sides of the argument.

Trust vice-chairman Jim Henry has resigned over the issue saying a decision as to whether to invest further into Viking Energy should be left to new trustees appointed after the local government election.

On Friday, the council’s outgoing political leader Josie Simpson said he didn’t like that fellow trustees had avoided the issue in the past by leaving the chamber, and added that in his view one more go was necessary.

But he conceded that it was a distinct possibility that Monday’s meeting would again be unable to make a decision, as many trustees may feel they have a conflict of interest and leave the room.

Trustee Andrew Hughson said that “we would be cutting our own throat” by not continuing to invest into the wind farm project which had now gained planning consent.

He accused some of his fellow trustees of being “disingenuous” for shying away from making a decision.

“I was elected until the 3 May and I will do my duty until then”, he said.

Addie Doull added that trustees felt intimidated by protesters of anti-Viking group Sustainable Shetland present at the trust’s last failed attempt to make a decision.

“There was a wife behind me shouting all the time. There was an atmosphere of intimidation; that wasn’t typical Shetland. We are in position until midnight of the 2 May,” he said.

Monday’s agenda is now available at the trust’s website at:
www.shetlandcharitabletrust.co.uk/assets/files/agendas/30th20April20papers%20for%20website%20(no%20App%20B).pdf

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