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Polls open for 2017 council elections

Photo: Shetland News

SHETLAND is heading to the polls today (Thursday) as the public decides who should sit on the islands’ council for the next five years.

A total of 23 polling places across Shetland opened their doors at 7am and they will close at 10pm.

The Gilbertson Park Games Hall in Lerwick the largest with 4,311 eligible voters, while the smallest polling station is the Uyeasound Public Hall in Unst, which has 100 voters on its books.

Foula, Papa Stour, Skerries and Fetlar have already submitted postal votes, while the Shetland South ward is uncontested after only three candidates put their name forward for its three seats.

The counting of votes will take place from 9am on Friday morning at the Clickimin Leisure Complex in Lerwick. Shetland News will be reporting live from the event.

Scottish council elections use the single transferrable voting system, which means voters are able to rank their preferred candidates in order of choice numerically.

A total of 29 candidates are vying for votes six wards, with voters in the North Isles set decide between Lynsay Cunningham, Cecil Hughson, Alec Priest, Duncan Simpson and Ryan Thomson.

Shetland North sees Alastair Cooper, Isobel Johnson, Emma Macdonald and Andrea Manson go head-to-head.

Steven Coutts, Catherine Hughson, Debra Nicolson, Gary Robinson, Theo Smith and Ian Tinkler feature in the Shetland West ward.

Shetland Central pits Julie Buchan, Mark Burgess, Brian Nugent, Davie Sandison and Ian Scott against each other, while in the Lerwick North ward voters will choose between Malcolm Bell, John Fraser, Stephen Leask and Thomas Williamson.

Lerwick South is a five-way contest between Peter Campbell, Cecil Smith, Frances Valente, Amanda Westlake and Beatrice Wishart, while Allison Duncan, Robbie McGregor and George Smith have already secured their seats in the uncontested south ward.

All of the candidates are independent apart from the Conservatives’ Thomas Williamson and Isobel Johnson and Robbie McGregor, who is a member of the SNP.

To find out more about the council candidates, visit the Shetland News election page.

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