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Council / ‘An ambassador for the Shetland people’: tribute paid to Cooper after chairing final meeting

A GLOWING tribute has been paid to local councillor Alastair Cooper after he chaired his last meeting of the Shetland community safety and resilience board.

Vice-chairman councillor Allison Duncan said his colleague had been a “true ambassador for the board and the Shetland people”.

Chairman of the local community safety and resilience board Alastair Cooper.
Councillor Alastair Cooper. Photo: SIC

The senior Shetland North councillor will not be standing in the upcoming May council election, bringing down the curtain on a lengthy career of public service.

Cooper was involved in the creation of the community safety board, which hears updates from representatives of Shetland’s emergency services.

Duncan presented Cooper with a gift after he chaired his last meeting on Thursday – with a round of applause ensuing too among members.

He said he has known Cooper for 55 years, and described him as a committed member of the board.

Duncan described how prior to the board forming the pair used to travel south to attend regional police and fire service meetings – with Cooper putting in plenty of hours as he drove from his home in Mossbank to Sumburgh Airport and back.

Councillor Allison Duncan. Photo: Hans J Marter/Shetland News

The Shetland South councillor also praised “close friend” Cooper’s role in saving two island fire stations from being mothballed.

“We have had happy times and fun times together but those stories will be left for another day,” Duncan added.

Cooper typically exuded an air of modesty after the vice-chairman’s tribute, saying the role was about fighting for Shetland’s interests.

“We have had some tough days, and we have had some good days,” he reflected.