|Candidate Name||Cecil Hughson|
|Electoral Ward||North Isles|
|Description (if any)||Independent|
I’m immensely grateful for the quality of life and the opportunities I’ve had, as a Shetlander and as a North Isles man. As a councillor I would do whatever I could to ensure these standards are maintained in tough economic times.
My wife Sheila and I are both Yell-born and raised; our lives still revolve around our extended families here. I returned to Shetland in 1973 after college in Edinburgh, and was a teacher in Sandwick Junior High School before we started our own business.
The whole of Shetland is disadvantaged by the cost of travel and moving freight between our isles and mainland Scotland. The North Isles are particularly adversely affected, and I remain to be convinced that all options had been fully considered when decisions were taken over ferry replacements.
The debate over fixed links must return to the council table, with a proper appraisal of short- and long-term costs. Free ferry travel between Yell, Unst and Fetlar is a ‘must’, as we try to stabilise the population of these isles.
Reliable broadband service is absolutely vital to Shetland businesses and community organisations, but it is far from adequate in many areas of rural Shetland. This is not how things should be, and I would vigorously pursue the matter if elected.
I always appreciate the excellent education which Sheila, our bairns and I had in Shetland. Now, many teachers with whom I speak tell me of the stresses they experience, as funding and staffing levels are cut, and cut again. While numbers may be low in some schools, this is the time to think creatively about how to provide specialist teaching for all, in their own community.
The excellent Uyeasound pilot care project should be rolled out more widely, and the Isleshavn Care Centre needs upgrading or replacement.
The North Isles are a hub for the pelagic, white fish, aquaculture and shellfish industries, which contribute over £300 million annually to the Shetland economy. We must continue to encourage and support these industries, and listen to their needs and concerns.
As I have now taken out my pensions, I will have the time (and still have the energy) to devote to the North Isles.
The only promise I will make is to serve these communities, which I know and love, to the very best of my ability – and I don’t give up easily!
Phone: 01957 722714