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Council / Flea frustrated at lengthy reading list

Councillor Allison Duncan. Photo: Hans J Marter/Shetland News

A COUNCILLOR has bemoaned the size of reports provided for meetings – calling it “ridiculous” that there were around 300 pages to read for Wednesday’s meeting of Shetland’s health and social care partnership.

Allison Duncan – known as the Flea – told members of the integration joint board that “something had to be done” about the amount of bedtime reading for members.

“This is getting beyond a joke,” he piped up.

The south mainland councillor suggested more meetings could be held to cut down on the workload, or that reports could be made shorter.

Around 100 pages of the papers on the agenda for the integration joint board – which brings together Shetland Islands Council and NHS Shetland – were devoted to a quarterly performance review, while a strategic commissioning plan on how services may look over the coming years took up a similar amount of pages.

Chief officer Simon Bokor-Ingram said some of the papers are statutory reports that the board has to provide, and he said that when documents have been trimmed back in the past then some members have asked for more information.

Councillor Robbie McGregor agreed with the Flea, saying “there has to be some way to get the volume of paperwork down” – and he suggested more digital links could be provided to documents.

While the board agreed to look into the matter, Shetland Islands Council’s director of corporate services Christine Ferguson said topics requiring important decisions deserved comprehensive coverage.

“The officers’ role in all of these matters is to provide you with the best possible information and advice,” she said.

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