|Candidate Name||Alec George Priest|
|Electoral Ward||North Isles|
|Description (if any)|
My main reason for standing for council is to ensure the North Isles do not get neglected and continue to be a great place to live for future generations. The SIC seems determined to continue its centralisation policy, this is short term thinking of the worst kind and will have severe detrimental effect on the future of Shetland. Shetland’s economy requires balance between rural Shetland’s ability and capacity to produce and Lerwick’s service provision.
Fixed links are the future for Shetland. Not only does it make financial sense in both the long and short term, fixed links would strengthen Shetland’s economy, be more environmentally friendly and most importantly would demonstrate how inclusive, not exclusive Shetland’s society could be. Shetland’s transport links are an embarrassing 54 years behind Faroe.
If elected I will campaign strongly for fixed links to be progressed in a timescale that reflects the socio-economic needs of the isles.
Shetland Islands Council needs to take a stronger stance when dealing with Westminster and Holyrood. Shetlands EEZ has vast amounts of resources and yet we get a disproportionately small support from the government. Shetland needs a new constitutional agreement with the government to gain fiscal control of our resources, amend laws to suit Shetland’s unique needs, enforce the environmental protection the isles need and to create a fairer society more in line with our Nordic neighbours.
If elected I will push for a feasibility study to be carried out on Shetland becoming a British Offshore Territory.
The North Isles are a major part of the Shetland economy and yet we are getting very little support to further develop the isles. The decision to reject the Symbister pier development last year cost the SIC an income of £2 million per annum, denying the development of a new 50 employee fish factory. This was a clear blow to blow to Shetland not just Whalsay.
If elected I will make it very clear that Lerwick needs rural Shetland as much as rural Shetland needs Lerwick.
The current broadband provision is a major issue for the populations and businesses based in the isles. I will push for the SICs fibre-optic “spine” to be installed, this will make community broadband initiatives supported by Community Broadband Scotland a viable option to offer comprehensive coverage of superfast broadband to every home in the isles.
If elected I will work to ensure super-fast broadband is available in all the North Isles.
It is crucial for the Junior High Schools in Unst, Yell and Whalsay to continue to be the principle option for pupils to complete their National 4 & 5s. As we have seen over the past years of schools being under threat, the education department has amended figures to suit their own aims of closing schools but under closer inspection the financial benefit of closing schools is minimal.
If elected I will work closely with CURE and other rural councillors to resist any attempted closures to rural schools.
Phone: 01957 722268
Mobile: 07557 510960