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Council / Smith won’t seek re-election in May

Education and families committee chairman George Smith.

SENIOR councillor George Smith has confirmed he is not intending to stand in May’s local government election.

He made the announcement as he chaired his final education and families committee on Monday.

As he closed the meeting the Shetland South member praised the “day in, day out” work of children’s services staff.

Smith said the service has achieved a lot over the last five years – and he took time to acknowledge the role staff have played in coping with the challenges of the Covid pandemic.

He highlighted recent projects like the library refurbishment and a new residential home in Tingwall – as well as the opening of the new Anderson High school in 2017.

Smith also praised the work of children’s services director Helen Budge, who he described as “second to none”.

Vice chair Theo Smith said his colleague’s expertise will be “sorely missed”.

Sandwick man Smith was first elected in 2012 having worked for the council for nearly three decades. During this time he was appointed as director of Shetland College.

He was recently appointed the new president of Shetland Football Association.

Smith is the latest senior councillor to announce that they are not seeking re-election in May.

Convener Malcolm Bell, leader Steven Coutts and development committee chairman Alastair Cooper are among those set to stand down.