AS NOMINATIONS open this week for the May council election, a construction industry manager has thrown his hat into the ring.
Stewart Douglas, from Cunningsburgh, will stand in the Shetland South ward.
The 60-year-old stood in the 2019 Shetland Central by-election, which was won by Moraig Lyall.
Douglas represented the SNP but this time around he will be independent.
He says he has listened to those who told him there was “no place for party politics within the council chamber” and wants to have the freedom to express views and take decisions solely in the interests of constituents without having to “tow a national party line”.
Douglas said he continues to support Scotland becoming an independent country and a “wider vision of a prosperous country where everyone gets the chance to fulfil their potential, and a fair society where no-one is left behind”.
He said that, if elected, his priorities would include a drive to reduce poverty in all its forms.
“The urgent need to tackle the mounting cost of living crisis highlights the importance of making buildings more energy efficient to help bring down bills for households and businesses,” he said.
“Eradicating fuel poverty and tackling climate change are policy goals that should go hand in glove – while making a real difference to the lives of people in Shetland South.”
In addition to pushing for greater sustainability in old and new buildings alike – including the decarbonisation of existing housing and community buildings – he will push for the council as an organisation to operate more efficiently.
He also said there is an “absolute need” for fixed links to replace ferries on many inter-island routes.
Douglas also wants to see reform to create a planning service that is more community-focused as the existing department has “developed into a separate business that is driven and only interested in work that attracts payment of fees from planning and warrant applications”.
He said he has worked with over a third of Scotland’s 32 local authorities and has been involved in multiple projects locally including Shetland Gas Plant, the Scalloway fish market redevelopment and the wider regeneration of the Scalloway waterfront area.
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