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Letters / Where is the dialogue?

Spot the spin!  Shetland Charitable Trust may be loosening the purse strings somewhat, but it is far from entering a new era as was described in the headline of Friday’s story: Charitable trust ‘enters new era’ after approving financial strategy (SN, 13 September 2019)

A “new era” indicates a fundamental change in approach, such as would follow on from accepting this money belongs to the community and appreciating the community should have a say in how it gets spent as well as who sits on their ‘trust’.

SCT should demonstrate a commitment to developing an ethical disbursement strategy with and for the community. This should embrace community planning goals and take an anti-deprivation approach.

It should recognise the gains that would follow on from expanding opportunity to participation in the broader life of the community, particularly to those excluded and at the margins.

It could establish an external advisory body made up with people with a genuine stake in the outcomes, along the lines of Shetland Tenants’ Forum.  That would herald a new era.

Shetland Charitable Trust remains an inward facing and fundamentally backwards looking, hierarchical and patronising institution.  Come on!

Hopefully those now sitting on it can raise their sights above it serving as a feel good opportunity for establishment do-gooders.  Where is the dialogue?

Peter Hamilton
Scalloway