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Letters / Save the expertise

Like group of latter day Ophelias’, trustees of Shetland Amenity Trust sit on the sidelines, wring their hands and decry their departed Hamlet; “O, woe is me, T’have seen what I have seen, see what I see!”

Trustees now admit that the amenity trust has “serious financial problems” which have been “creeping up on us for several years”.

So what exactly were the Trustees and accountants doing over all these years then? They should be apologising to their staff, not sacking them.

As a tour guide I saw at first hand the how trustees let what was one of the best presented and historically interesting tourist sites in the country at Old Scatness wither and die.

This site had enormous potential to be a first class attraction and be financially self-supporting; this opportunity was missed and has gone forever.

I have had the pleasure to work as an (unpaid) adviser to many first class amenity trust staff at Geopark Shetland and Shetland Museum.

Mismanagement saw the departure of at least one great asset to the Geopark and the trust. Now it looks like the same will happen to other staff including those at Shetland Museum. History is repeating itself.

In a panic attempt to recoup money by sacking staff the trust will lose much more valuable assets in the form of many years of knowledge and expertise that is irreplaceable.

In allowing this financial crisis Shetland Amenity Trustees have failed Shetland. Shetland Charitable Trust now has a clear duty to step in to save the valuable expertise that will be otherwise lost to the dole queue.

Allen Fraser