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Election / Lerwick North and Bressay ward to be contested as fourth candidate enters fray

THE LERWICK North and Bressay ward will be contested in the upcoming council election after a fourth candidate put their name forward.

Marie Williamson will stand as an independent candidate in what will be her first foray into local politics.

Marie Williamson.

A key topic in her campaign will be seeking to improve health services, particularly in mental health and geriatric care.

There will be three seats up for grabs in Lerwick North and Bressay, and current member Stephen Leask, ex-leader Gary Robinson and Arwed Wenger are already confirmed to stand.

Williamson, who works as a relief nurse at the hospital and an ambulance driver, also said she believes in more local decision making.

“Anybody now that’s got this innovative behaviour that is self helping, I would really like to see Shetland self-sufficient in everything,” she said, adding that she advocates more support for young people in industries like crofting and fishing.

When it comes to mental health services, she said she has seen some “weaknesses” over the years and wants to inspire change.

Williamson – who is originally from Whalsay but has lived in the ward area – said one of her sons suffered a brain injury as a youngster and through this she has experienced both positive and negative service from social care.

Meanwhile in the 1980s she was involved in groups helping young people.

“We had the beginnings of CAB, we had the beginnings of the youth information centre in Islesburgh for a while, before it became the big organisations,” Williamson said.

She also said she is keen to act as a listening ear to her potential future constituents of Lerwick North and Bressay.

“I’m coming to listen to my area…and to put their voices forward,” she said.

Meanwhile long-serving Lerwick North and Bressay councillor Malcolm Bell is standing down, while colleague John Fraser will vie for Lerwick South instead this time around.

Ian Tinkler previously announced his intention to stand in Lerwick North and Bressay but he changed his ward to Shetland West.

The election will take place on 5 May and people still have a couple of days left to submit their nomination papers.

In a flurry of announcements on Monday Bryan Peterson, Tom Morton and Moraig Lyall all confirmed their intention to stand in the elections.

Follow the latest updates in Shetland Newselection category.