Council / Macdonald replaces Smith as planning committee chair

COUNCILLOR Emma Macdonald has been appointed as the new chair of Shetland Islands Council’s planning committee.

North mainland councillor Emma Macdonald has been elected as the new chair of the council’s planning committee. Photo: Chris Cope/Shetland News

The North Mainland member was nominated at a meeting of the full council on Tuesday.

The position became vacant this week when Westside councillor Theo Smith stepped down from the role citing repeated conflicts of interest and an extensive workload.

Council convener Malcolm Bell said he wanted to put on record his thanks for Smith’s work in the role.

He said he would be a “hard act to follow”.

Council leader Steven Coutts said he “very much echoed those words”.

He nominated Macdonald, who is the council’s deputy leader, with no other members nominated.

Smith, who is on the board of Hjaltland Housing Association, said on Monday that he had to leave planning committee meetings when Viking Energy and some housing applications are considered.

He said this was “unfair” on the committee’s vice-chair Andrea Manson and its members.

Scottish Parliament election, 6 May 2021