|Candidate Name||Peter Campbell|
|Electoral Ward||Lerwick South|
|Description (if any)||Independent|
In 2012, serious decisions had to be taken to address financial problems the council inherited. In five years the council has restored financial stability with a balanced and sustainable budget. Had unrestrained expenditure continued the council’s budget would exceed £160 million and there would be no reserves.
There have been successes, especially the Anderson High School and Halls of Residence and Eric Gray Centre, both now nearing completion, demonstrating the council’s determination to provide quality facilities and services. The Scottish Government has acknowledged responsibility for our inter-island ferries and reduced fares on the Lerwick – Aberdeen service and accepted “island proofing” to ensure no new laws will have negative impact on Shetland.
Despite funding reductions, the council delivered high-quality services, especially in education and social care. As the council seeks to balance its budget while facing government funding cuts, recent experience will help meet the challenge.
The new council must pressure the Scottish Government to fund the cost of providing quality services in education, social care, transport, etc. A rurality factor is required accepting the higher than national average cost of living existing in Shetland.
Our young people are the future of Shetland. It is essential they have the opportunity to maximise their potential through pre-school, school, further and higher education. Expenditure on education and training is an investment in our future.
The Integrated Joint Board involving the Shetland Islands Council and NHS Shetland must provide high quality services in social and health care. An ageing population requires those who have served their community, to be adequately supported.
Housing demand requires the council to work with Hjaltland Housing Association to provide housing not only in Lerwick but also in rural areas.
A strong, vibrant economy is vital. Fishing, aquaculture, agriculture and tourism must be supported, new businesses encouraged. The council must work closely with the oil industry and operators of the Oil Terminal and the Gas Plant to maximise benefits for Shetland.
Recent exercises in participatory budgeting enabled Shetlanders to have greater involvement in the budgeting process. The expansion of such schemes should be encouraged.
Scottish Government centralisation must be resisted so local services and existing knowledge and understanding can be retained close to the point of delivery.
In Lerwick South including Gulberwick, Shetland-wide issues are relevant but there are ward-specific issues. Parents are concerned not only about quality education but also with traffic related matters around Lerwick’s schools. If elected I will work to ensure that the safety of our children is paramount, so they may safely arrive at and leave school each day.
Traffic speed on Sound Brae concerns many residents. Existing speed limits should be extended southwards to the North Gulberwick junction and a review of traffic speeds at all Gulberwick junctions undertaken.
Residents of the Knab and Twageos must be fully consulted on the future use of the existing Anderson High School site.
Many residents have been advised of large percentage increases in the ground rent they pay for garage sites on the council. I shall work to ensure a review to bring about a significant reduction in charges.
If elected on 4th May, I shall continue to represent our communities and the whole of Shetland, giving consideration to all points of view before reaching my decision. I trust that on 4th May you will again give me your support as your independent first choice candidate.
Phone: 01595 695193
Mobile: 07584 491635