Letters / Beggars belief

So, the council have just pumped another £1.1 million into Mareel to save their own investment, they say (who would have guessed?).

In my opinion, and I’m sure a lot more people, this has been a project surrounded by disasters from the very beginning.

When it began the arts trust said this would be a self-sustaining building and they would not need the council to prop them up, but now look what’s happened.


What’s worse is the fact they have also been given charity status so that they don’t have to pay VAT.

Does this now mean that they can ask for money under this new heading and be treated like other true charity organisations?

From the beginning I have always said it was an over expensive and not needed building for Shetland, but it’s here and I’m glad Shetland musicians are getting the use of it.


But in a time when the council are closing down places like Viewforth, the pensioners club at the Freefield Centre, schools and SYIS, I think this just beggars belief.

Councillor Robinson says that one lesson learned was that in future the council would ensure that any major capital investments were backed up by a security in the building itself.

But I say if he and the council had voted against this size of building (and future projects) in the first place they would not be finding themselves having to throw more millions of our money at it.

When you actually sit back and add up what money the council has thrown away, it’s unbelievable how many millions – on the non-Bressay bridge, the Anderson High School fiasco, the money they had to give to LPA for trying to stop the dredging of the north harbour and now Viking Energy.

That money alone would have easily have saved the other projects I have mentioned.

I thought this council was actually going to turn things around for Shetland, but now I see they are just a continuation of the last.

But then again half of them are from the last council, so what could you expect.

Michael Mackay