SIC - Orkney & Shetland valuation joint board

Election / Thomson criticises lack of local commitment

Independent candidate Ryan Thomson.

INDEPENDENT by-election candidate Ryan Thomson has expressed his disappointment that first minister Nicola Sturgeon made no clear commitments on a number of local issues during her two-day visit to Shetland this weekend.

The first minister acknowledged that more needed to be done on ferries and other transport issues when speaking in Lerwick on Saturday as she helped to to launch SNP candidate Tom Wills’ campaign.

Thomson, who is a councillor for the North Isles and also the chairman of the council’s environment and transport committee, said what struck him during Sturgeon’s visit was the lack of any commitment to resolve local issues.

“No commitment to resolve cabin costs. No commitment to resolve the serious capacity issues on the NorthLink service. No commitment to resolving the centralisation of air traffic control posts to Inverness. No commitment to resolving the air traffic controller strikes affecting hundreds of Shetlanders with industrial action ongoing.  No commitment to resolving the now three year old fair ferry funding crisis for our internal ferries,” he said.

“These are some of the issues which desperately need addressed.

“Mainland party politics is getting in the way of us being able to tackle the issues that matter most to Shetlanders. It’s time to try something new.”

There are ten candidates contesting the Shetland by-election on 29 August. The other nine are alphabetical order: Johan Adamson (Scottish Labour), Brydon Goodlad (Scottish Conservatives), Stuart Martin (UKIP), Debra Nicolson (Scottish Greens), Ian Scott (independent), Michael Stout (independent), Peter Tait (independent), Tom Wills (SNP) and Beatrice Wishart (Scottish Liberal Democrats).