Letters / Treasury needs to pay for vital infrastructure projects

I was very interested to hear what Mr Carmichael, the MP, had to say during an interview on Good Evening Shetland, as one of his comments included the word “respect”, a poignant reminder of the lack of it shown by UK Government/s towards Shetland.

His recent speech in the House of Commons also highlighted the difficulties faced by Shetland’s fishing industry, and this illustrates the lack of “respect” by all authorities over many decades.

To set the context, one only has to refer to what the Duke of Rothesay said during his recent visit: “It still remains to me anyway an amazing statistic to know that more fish pass through Shetland than England, NI, and Wales put together, I suspect that many don’t realise that”.

This local fishing industry of international importance requires the concerted and dedicated effort of men and modern fishing vessels, such as those owned by Whalsay men who have been waiting since 1960 for a safe harbour at Symbister owned by the SIC.


Do they or the folk in Westminster know that several large vessels when not fishing, have to remain berthed at Lerwick many miles away as there are no safe berths at their home port where the entrance should be improved?

The lack of facilities in Whalsay has also prevented fish processing industries moving there which denies the locals the opportunity to work within their own community (depopulation perhaps).

Furthermore, the matter of fixed links to replace all the islands’ aging ferry fleet with the bonus of removing CO2 from the atmosphere is of immediate concern.

A serious proposal was presented to the SIC by Norwegian tunnelling experts but was rejected by officials based on flawed assumptions.

Fixed links are also needed to connect the other islands and support the SaxaVord Space Centre and the wind farms in Yell. In the future a base in Baltasound may be needed to service offshore wind farms.

Become a supporter of Shetland News


I understand that Mr Carmichael together with the MSP plan to hold meetings with fishermen and local people to address these issues and Shetland’s entire population should fully support them to bring these matters to a positive conclusion.

Shetlanders look longingly at the new tunnels recently completed in Faroe and Norway and wonder that if the infrastructure required is not provided forthwith what is the point of remaining subjugated to the parsimony of all UK governments who can at the touch of a Treasury button provide funds for all types of infrastructure elsewhere, but so far none to support Shetland which will continue to provide fish to HRH and the UK population, notwithstanding the billions accumulated to the Treasury from Sullom Voe activity.

The MP and MSP should now extract direct from the Treasury the finance and wherewithal needed, because it is unlikely to come from Edinburgh who have already cut back on the yearly grant to Shetland to suit their own ends.

Cecil Robertson

Become a supporter of Shetland News

Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.

Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.

Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has  over 600 supporters  who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.

Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -

  • Bring you the headlines as they happen;
  • Stay editorially independent;
  • Give a voice to the community;
  • Grow site traffic further;
  • Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.

If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.



Subscribe to a selection of different newsletters from Shetland News, varying from breaking news delivered on the minute, to a weekly round-up of the opinion posts. All delivered straight to your inbox.

Daily Briefing Newsletter Weekly Highlights Newsletter Opinion Newsletter Life in Shetland Newsletter

JavaScript Required

We're sorry, but Shetland News isn't fully functional without JavaScript enabled.
Head over to the help page for instructions on how to enable JavaScript on your browser.

Your Privacy

We use cookies on our site to improve your experience.
By using our service, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy.

Browser is out-of-date

Shetland News isn't fully functional with this version of .
Head over to the help page for instructions on updating your browser for more security, improved speed and the best overall experience on this site.

Interested in Notifications?

Get notifications from Shetland News for important and breaking news.
You can unsubscribe at any time.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

We're committed to ensuring everyone has equitable access to impartial, open and quality local journalism that benefits all residents.

By supporting Shetland News, you play a vital role in ensuring we remain a pivotal resource in supporting the community.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.