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Politics / New political party aims for a ‘prosperous Shetland’

A NEW political party based in Shetland which aims to see decisions affecting people in the isles made as “locally as possible” is in the process of being set up.

The Shetland Regional Democratic Party says it would be “accountable to the members of its party exclusively for the benefit of the Shetland community”.

It wants to give Shetlanders a “proper, accountable voice in Holyrood and Westminster”.

It plans to offer membership for £1 to “give all those who join the power to influence and decide on how the party should be run”.

SIC councillor Ryan Thomson
SIC councillor Ryan Thomson.

Details are limited at this stage but it is understood councillor Ryan Thomson – who said at the weekend it is “time for a proper Shetland movement” – is behind the plans.

He declined to comment on Monday.

A website for the party said it aims to “put democratic accountability back into hands of Shetlanders”.

It is understood a referendum on the Viking Energy wind farm could be among the plans.

One of the party’s goals is to “elect an MSP at Holyrood who will work cross party for the primary benefit of Shetland, who will vote on issues from a Shetland perspective, not a mainland based party’s perspective”.

The website also says the party wants to “create a ‘bottom up’ approach and fight for more powers for community councils and councils”.

Thomson, who ran as an independent for the Scottish Parliament by-election last year and gained nearly 1,300 to finish third, said on Facebook that “there needs to be change, but we are not being offered any”.

He briefly joined the Liberal Democrats in the months after the election.

“The government won’t deliver for Shetland because the representatives will not engage with the government,” Thomson wrote. “As a result, Shetland suffers.”

Thomson said it is “time to put the decisions that affect Shetland’s people, in the hands of Shetland residents”.

He added: “It is time to make sure that decisions made that are detrimental to our islands, are not thrust upon us, and put it back in the hands of those who live here.”

Thomson also said that a “prosperous Shetland leads to a prosperous Scotland, and everyone is a winner”.