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Letters / How can that be?

SIC cuts are exponentially clobbering Shetland’s rural communities to pay for years of gross council ineptitude, bankers’ levels of gambling of public funds and farcical governance.

Now there are several tales emerging of former SIC staff that applied for and were offered voluntary redundancy, and are now returning into SIC employment, some in the same departments and grades, some in more or less identical posts. How can this be?

It was reported that the SIC had written off more than £40,000 in overpaid staff wages resulting from the single status agreement. (When I was overpaid in the past my employer had the right and did claim it back, ditto the Inland Revenue).

In addition to this over £49,000 in housing debts has been written off as well as £81,000 sundry debts.

This is only what the public know about so I would hazard an educated guess that this never ending story of incompetence, poor leadership and miss-management of public funds will be in the £ millions.

Now I am a rural resident that firmly believes the SIC has declared war on Shetland’s rural communities by closing schools and cutting rural gritting and snow clearing.

All the rural teachers will soon to be joining the traffic jams to Lerwick. This mad centralizing process is totally contrary to maintaining a viable rural community. Please remember that Shetland as a whole is a rural Island community and not an urban community.

The knock-on effects resulting from the ever growing Lerwick overspill toonships of Gulberwick, Tingwall, Whiteness & Weisdale is fast approaching an unsustainable drift to the centre, and is becoming a nasty smelling example of social engineering and a planning eyesore.

I have had absolutely no faith in the SIC for many years now and the present situation continues the encyclopedia of negligence and mismanagement that we have all come to expect.

The cuts and savings now being sought are nothing more than a carpet bagging of the rural community, to pay for years of improper behavior and no accountability.

Most folk employed outside of local authorities and banks making such decisions or losing such large amounts of money would be dismissed without any large payouts.

Why is the SIC allowed to get away with such unacceptable losses, write offs and – what really gets my goat – re-employing ex-staff that have been given sums of money to leave?

The SIC should stop dabbling in business development and leave it to business. Stop undertaking big civil contracts such as airport runways and stick to fixing roads and council houses.

Stop wasting money on grand investments and things well beyond the statutory provision of local authority services.

Vic Thomas