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Candidates / Debra Nicolson

Debra Nicolson
Debra Nicolson.
Candidate Name Debra Jane Nicolson
Electoral Ward Shetland West
Description (if any) Independent

I have lived on the Westside since first moving to Shetland 24 years ago, first at Aith and for the last three years at Tresta. My son was raised in Aith where he went to the Aith Junior High School, and for a few years I managed the Aith Social Club, which helped me to integrate into the local community.

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Before taking early retirement two years ago, I worked as an administrative assistant for Shetland Islands Council in adult learning. Since retiring, I have served as secretary of the Waas Show for two years, and l currently run a bed and breakfast out of a spare room in my home. I enjoy introducing my visitors to the Westside, who come from all corners of the world.

Recently I was part of the steering group for the Garrison Theatre which has secured another three years funding from the Shetland Charitable Trust. I belong to several local clubs and groups including the Whiteness Riding Club, the Westside Players Drama group and the Westside Writers.

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If I get elected I would like to truly represent the Westside by making myself as accessible as possible and consulting with the community on important issues before voting on them. I look forward to serving the Westside.

These are some of my priorities:

Education

School closures will be revisited as there is still a need to save money but we must ensure that any future reviews of schools in Shetland are based on educational need and that the community is fully consulted throughout the process. I will work towards keeping secondary education at Aith Junior High School by working with the local community to find innovative ways to maintain the standard of education while working within a limited budget. This could include the following:

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  • Set up a federated Junior High School of Shetland with one head and five sites with principle teachers.
  • Make better use of IT facilities and video conferencing.
  • Have some subjects taught by teachers who would travel between schools.


Transport

Look at introducing a limited bus service between the Westside and Lerwick on a Sunday and work towards making leisure, cultural and historical venues more accessible in rural areas, for example leisure centres, Bonhoga Gallery and Staneydale Temple with existing public transport and a shuttle service. The council should continue to lobby the Scottish Government to meet their commitment to fund our inter-island lifeline services.

Housing

More affordable housing on the Westside where there is a demand for it, to enable people to live near their workplace and families.

Roads

Keep highlighting the need for upgrading rural roads and push to bring forward work on the roads at Bridge of Walls and Cova.

Our council

All councillors and council officials work for the community, therefore we need more openness and less secrecy from both councillors and council officials. All meetings of councillors regarding policy should be open to the public and the press unless there are legal reasons preventing this. Councillors and council officials should be able to publicly explain decisions that they make.

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Health

With the closure of the dedicated rehabilitation ward at the Gilbert Bain Hospital it is essential that there are enough resources for care in the community. If this fails to be the case, Ronas Ward should be reinstated.

There have been some improvements in mental health care with the creation of new posts in Shetland but I am not convinced this goes far enough. I will prioritise and monitor progress within mental health and ensure that any problems are raised at the appropriate level. 

For my full manifesto please see my Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/siccandidate/

Please make me your number one choice on 4 May.

Contact details:
Phone: 01595 810 287
Mobile: 07880 850 794
Email: djnicolson@btinternet.com

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