|Candidate Name||Mark Robert Burgess|
|Electoral Ward||Shetland Central|
|Description (if any)|
The last five years have been perhaps one of the most challenging periods of change for a local authority. I am proud to have been part of the last council, and served within it in the moderate and dedicated manner, while continuing to work part-time and serve in a range of local voluntary roles. These commitments are something I have always found rewarding and I will continue be
involved in the community regardless of the outcome of the election.
The list of positive things we, as a council, achieved together with our officers is extensive but, as councillors, we should work not for glory but for the greater good of the community and that is a role I would be happy to take again, if elected into the next council.
There are greater challenges ahead. Austerity from central government is not without its effects locally, despite the comfort of our reserve funds. The next council must achieve a single voice to central government, to protect our services and, where possible, improve them.
Children and young people of all social or economic backgrounds, and whether in our schools, colleges or other funded services should be supported throughout learning and development and be given a voice and individual opportunities to grow in interests and abilities.
Our key industries face their own challenges with the changes coming from an exit from the EU, and the possibility of another independence referendum.
Fishing, aquaculture, oil and free enterprise must be supported by a strong council throughout the challenging years ahead.
The proportion of elderly people in Shetland is growing. Services for the elderly have been integrated with those of the NHS, but it is incumbent on a new council to understand this change and keep a responsible hold upon the service our staff deliver and support those staff in doing so. This must also be a priority for each and every councillor.
Most important in all these aspects of what a new council must do, is to continue to present a responsible and cohesive voice to central government, and keep a steady hand on the tiller at home. That is the kind of council, I would wish to be a part of.