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Council / SIC representatives resign from valuation joint board

The valuation joint board's Lerwick office. © Google 2020

A NUMBER of Shetland representatives on the Northern Isles’ valuation joint board have resigned in a disagreement over a possible significant pay rise for its assessor.

The valuation joint board looks after property rates, council tax valuation and electoral registration in Shetland and Orkney.

Shetland Islands Council (SIC) convener Malcolm Bell confirmed on Thursday that he had resigned from his position as substitute board member, but he said he could not comment further.

He has been joined in stepping down from the board by the SIC’s finance manager Jamie Manson, legal chief Jan Riise and human resources team leader Marie Gordon, who were in office bearer roles.

It is understood that the disagreement stems from a potential pay rise of around 25 per cent for the assessor of the valuation joint board, which had been discussed in private.

It is thought that the pay rise would have brought the salary up to the equivalent of a council chief executive.

A spokesperson for Audit Scotland confirmed it is “aware this issue and will be reporting on it as part of our annual audit work”.

The valuation joint board is made up of five councillors each from Shetland and Orkney, and day to day staff in the Kirkwall and Lerwick offices are paid by the local authorities.

The current assessor is Dennis Stevenson, who was appointed to the position in 2015 and is based in Kirkwall.

It is a public body independent of Shetland and Orkney councils.

Both Shetland Islands Council and Orkney Islands Council declined to comment.