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Election / Election campaign round-up 24 March

The Yell ferry Dagalien. Photo: SIC

FIGURES on the amount of fuel Shetland’s inter-island ferries use highlight the case for fixed links, according to Liberal Democrat Beatrice Wishart.

A freedom of information request by the Shetland MSP has shown that since 2015/16 the combined amount of fuel used on the Bluemull Sound, Yell Sound and Whalsay based ferries used 17,606,448 litres of fuel.

“Using millions of litres of fuel is not sustainable in our fight to tackle climate change. By building fixed links we can solve both reducing our carbon footprint while also improving connectivity across the islands,” Wishart said.

“Fixed links are both the green and most effective solution when it comes to transforming Shetlands transport infrastructure. By having such infrastructure in place not only will this create super connected Shetland but will save literally millions of litres of fuel and by extension cut our carbon footprint significantly.”


SNP candidate Tom Wills says first minister Nicola Sturgeon has led the country through the pandemic with “competence and humanity throughout”.

“I know that Nicola Sturgeon’s dedication in tackling the pandemic has impressed many folk in Shetland who might not have been traditional supporters,” Wills said.

“If her performance over the last year has taught the electorate anything, it’s that she can be trusted to put Covid recovery first.

“Meanwhile, Boris Johnson has foisted a hard Brexit on us in the middle of the pandemic, is stripping powers from the Scottish Government and is threatening our farmers and food quality standards.

“The Tories have also bypassed tendering processes to award outrageously large contracts to their friends, while track and trace services south of the border have been privatised.”


LABOUR candidate Martin Kerr says the election “must be about delivering a national recovery plan that at its heart is about creating jobs, catching up on education and rebuilding our NHS – so we never again have to choose between treating a virus or treating cancer”.

“We can’t rely on the SNP to focus on the recovery when they are pursuing a divisive referendum as their top priority,” he added.

“At the same time we can’t expect Boris Johnson’s Tories to deliver a recovery that works for us all.

“Whether you were Leave or Remain or a Yes or a No in the referendums, we can surely agree that while we recover from the health, social and economic crisis brought by covid, the challenge ahead is clear: we need a recovery strategy for education, jobs and the NHS.”


SCOTTISH Greens’ regional list candidate Debra Nicolson is pledging her support to the More for Scotland’s Animals campaign.

The campaign is a joint initiative led by 11 leading animal welfare charities to ensure the welfare of Scotland’s animals is given appropriate consideration by elected members following the Scottish Parliamentary elections in May.

Nicolson said: “The welfare of the millions of wild, farmed and companion animals in Scotland has always been dear to my heart.

“The Scottish Parliament has a duty to ensure that meaningful legislation is in place to help protect our animals and to ensure that highest welfare standards are met.

“I am very pleased to pledge my support to the campaign, and if elected will continue to champion animal welfare issues.’


RESTORE Scotland candidate for Shetland Brian Nugent has called on local Conservative candidate Nick Tulloch and the local Tories to disown their Holyrood colleagues after the party’s failed no confidence vote in Nicola Sturgeon.

The first minister faced the vote on Tuesday in relation to her role in the government’s handling of Alex Salmond complaints, but an investigation said she did not misled parliament.

“The independent Hamilton investigation has reported, nothing to see here, time to move on,” Nugent said.

He said “let us have an election about policy rather than political pettiness”.