SHETLAND Central elected member Davie Sandison has confirmed he will be standing in the upcoming local council election.
Sandison, from Scalloway, has spent the last decade as a councillor.
He will continue to act as an independent member if elected in early May.
Other publicly confirmed candidates in the Shetland Central ward are current elected member Ian Scott and the Greens’ Martin Randall.
There will be four seats up for grabs in Shetland Central, which is an increase of one after boundary changes to wards.
While it is early days in Sandison’s campaign he told Shetland News a key issue was supporting the isles’ working population.
“We need to focus significantly on how to attract and maintain young people in Shetland,” he said, adding that the isles have an ageing demographic.
“If we’ve got good housing prospects and good job prospects, then there’s a chance we can sustain the wider community in Shetland.”
He stressed it was not about prioritising this over and above what is done for the wider population and older folk, but with difficulties in recruiting staff in Shetland – such as in the council – attracting folk to the isles is key.
Something else on Sandison’s mind ahead of the election is good infrastructure, transport provision and digital connectivity.
“If we can get those things to work better, then I think it’s a more attractive place for folk to come and bide.”
The councillor said he was also “really passionate” about climate change and having a focused plan for tackling the issue so “people can get a feeling things are moving in the right direction”.
He also advocated the idea of an arms length company which could oversee the development of fixed links in Shetland and seek funding.
Sandison – who said he has a “number of ideas” around enhanced infrastructure in Scalloway – felt the council has achieved a lot over the five years since the 2017 election.
He was heavily involved in the merger of Shetland College, NAFC Marine Centre and Train Shetland, and said he was pleased to see the Scottish Government cover the council’s financial shortfall when it came to running inter-island ferries.
Nominations are now open for the 5 May council elections. More information about standing can be found here.
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