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Tagon Stores owner to stand for council

Ryan Thomson: standing as an independent at May's council election.North isles councillor Ryan Thomson.

CANVASSING for next year’s council election has started early after the first candidate declared his intention to put his name forward.

Using social media on Sunday, Ryan Thomson, owner of Tagon Stores, in Voe, announced what many had expected for some time.

Thomson, who grew up and has lived most of his life in Unst, will stand as an independent candidate for the North Isles ward, which consists of five island communities.

The 31 year old regularly comments on local affairs via Facebook, and earlier this year set up an online petition in support of cheaper ferry fares for Shetland and Orkney’s lifeline ferry service.

Speaking on Sunday, Thomson said that he had finally made up his mind and was happy to announce that he would be standing at the local authority election next May.

“The next council is vitally important to the North Isles. There are going to be further inevitable cuts as Shetland’s funds from Holyrood are expected to be further cut, and I believe the North Isles are particularly vulnerable to these cuts,” he said.

He added that, if elected, he would passionately defend rural schools and “would strenuously fight against any further cuts to our education system”.

He said he would keep local voters “in the loop” by starting a regular blog, being active on social media, and was looking forward to spend much of the five months until the election meeting as many local people as possible by visiting Unst, Yell, Fetlar, Whalsay and Skerries.