|Candidate Name||Catherine Hughson|
|Electoral Ward||Shetland West|
|Description (if any)||Independent|
Originally from Lerwick I moved to South Whiteness with my late husband’s home 43 years ago and have lived here since. I came to value the real sense of community, a wonderful place to raise a family – three grown up children and seven grandchildren. As executive officer for Voluntary Action Shetland working in the third sector working alongside community organisations, I am constantly reminded of the commitment and value that people invest in their communities.
I maintain a keen interest in local and national politics; having previously worked 15 years for SIC, working alongside both local and national government officials most of my working life. In offering myself for election I believe my knowledge of our community and work experience equips me with the required skills.
Affordable child care and early-years education are the bedrock of our children’s future; our primary education attracts excellent reviews so I would want to investigate why our senior schools, despite record spending, have fallen out of Scotland’s top 50 in the national league tables.
Care in the community
Shetland’s community care service is the most expensive in Scotland whose delivery I believe needs a fresh look – it must take more account of community opinion and aspirations. Our ageing population’s changing care needs present a real challenge requiring a whole community approach.
Public transport, vital to Shetland’s rural districts, has changed little over the generations, and is crying out for creative thinking. Low-cost inter-district community transport could be developed in collaboration with communities, increasing social mobility for non-car owners. The Hulmalees road improvements in 2000’s demonstrates SIC ability to create first class roads I would seek this is extended to other parts of the West side. We mustn’t forget that Foula and Papa Stour are very much part of the Shetland West constituency.
Shetland’s housing waiting list remains stubbornly high despite the best endeavours of the SIC and Hjaltland Housing Association. The shortage of suitable building land and finance remain the biggest barriers to the provision of affordable social housing. A good investment for Shetland’s community funds?
Fishing and aquaculture contributes major income annually to the local economy; much of it located in areas where no employment previously existed – this must be encouraged and supported. Crofting and small-scale farming has long been the glue holding rural Shetland together. Tourism and the creative industries are increasingly important economic activities taking the Shetland brand internationally and need continuing investment.
Phone: 01595 840360
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