NHS Shetland - Survey - March 2021

Community council fund review

COUNCIL officials will embark on an “urgent and active” consultation exercise with Shetland’s community councils to make a new grant scheme “workable”.

In February Shetland Islands Council decided to chop funding for the islands 18 community councils by 30 per cent.

They also decided to ring fence the £68,000 for community councils and community development groups to apply for funding for special projects.

On Wednesday, a lengthy debate flared up among councillors after officers presented grant application guidelines for approval, during which they were described as overly complex and detrimental.

Many councillors expressed the wish to reverse the decision, but were told that would not be possible until after six months had elapsed in August.

Councillor Allison Duncan called it “a bureaucratic nightmare” that would probably cost more in staffing time than what was in the fund.

“The sooner we put this money back into the community, the better,” he said.

Fellow Shetland South member George Smith said further discussions with community councils were needed to make the scheme more workable.

Shetland North member Drew Ratter reminded fellow councillors that all they were doing was to implement an earlier decision, which would be reviewed again in a year’s time.

When it came to the vote eight councillors supported Smith and his call for active consultation, while three voted with Ratter.

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