The family on my mother’s side are from Shetland, but I was born and grew up on the mainland so never went to school here.
Back in my student days in Aberdeen the late Roy Gronneberg and I designed the Shetland flag as a people’s flag.
I have been living in Shetland for the past 38 years and recently retired as a walking delivery postman. Before that I worked in the Malakoff shop and the Kveldsro Hotel bar.
Most folk know me as the running postie, but I only took up running late in life whereas I have been interested in politics and current affairs since schooldays.
The reaility is that there will be more cuts in council spending to get the budget under control.
The bigest cut is to eliminate the waste of public money that happened all too often with the past couple of councils.
Vanity projects are out for the foreseeable future.
The money that the council has available to spend must be targeted at key priority areas.
That means saving the Freefield Centre and protecting the meals on wheels service. If that means finding equivalent savings elsewhere in the council budget then so be it.
We are going through a financial bottleneck at the moment so serving as a councillor for the next five years will be an exercise in damage limitation.
Public transport is important. Not everyone has a car or access to a car or can afford to drive given the price of fuel.
I don’t drive so I have to rely on bus services myself. We need the town bus service and better bus links between Lerwick and country areas.
Too many areas have a workers’ bus in the morning and a bus back out at the back of 5 o’clock but lack a service in the evenings and at the weekends.
There is a need for timetables to nsure connections between services are possible. We need joined-up services.
It is expensive to cross the harbour from Bressay, especially if taking a car. We will only be able to replace ferries with tunnels when we can access sufficient funding from European sources.
There is a shortage of all types of housing all over Shetland.
There is a serious shortage of affordable public sector housing , especially in Lerwick, where the demand is greatest.
There is a particular need for single person accommodation.
Hjaltland Housing Association can access funding not available to the council, so the SIC and Hjaltland need to keep on wworking together to reduce the huge waiting list.
There is also a need to maintain the fabric of existing housing stock.
The priority is to get on with building the replacement Anderson High School on the agreed site next to the Clickimin sports complex.
The council needs to keep up the pressure on the Scottish government over our lifeline ferry service to the mainland. It’s a long way from Lerwick to Aberdeen. The last thing we need is Road Equivalent Tarriff which would put prices up for us. We do need affordable fares and a nightly service all year round.
2 John Jamieson Closs, Lerwick
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