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Community / Greater engagement with public on mind of community councillor

Lerwick Town Hall.

HOW people can more comprehensively engage with Lerwick Community Council and the topics it discusses was raised during its latest meeting on Monday night.

Member Stewart Hay questioned if more could be done to make the public aware of what is discussed at its meetings.

Minutes of all community council meetings in Shetland are uploaded by the council online, but there was an acknowledgement among members that they may be a little bit dry.

Hay also said media reports tend to focus on the “juicy bits” of meetings.

He said the issue cropped up in his mind after visiting East Neuk in Fife and seeing their community council have printed notices on a pathway.

Referring to the breadth of topics on community council agendas, Hay said: “We discuss many important issues about enhancing the quality of people’s lives.”

There are a total of 18 community councils in Shetland, and many already have a presence on social media.

In some areas community councils have public noticeboards.

There was a recent by-election for a number of community council vacancies across Shetland, but 18 seats were left unfilled – including in Lerwick.

Chairman Jim Anderson said the issue of greater engagement was a “really good point”.

He said it was partly about trying “not to put everything on Facebook”.

“But maybe unfortunately that’s the answer,” he added.