Name: Bryan Peterson Electoral Ward: Shetland South Description: Independent
I was lucky to be born and brought up in Shetland in a safe, strong and supportive community. I will uphold these values and work to safeguard Shetland’s prosperity for generations to come.
I’m 45 and originally from Lerwick. I worked and studied business, music, and IT in Glasgow in my 20s, and returned in 2007 to work at Shetland Arts. I’ve called Hoswick home for 12 years and live in a renovated crofthouse with my wife, jewellery maker Karlin Anderson. I’m a musician in my spare time, and we enjoy walking and camping and have a weakness for Sunday Teas.
I’m a senior manager at Shetland Arts and it’s a splendidly varied job. It includes working with community and youth groups, delivering education courses in partnership with UHI, organising activities in care homes, schools and country halls, and supporting folk to develop creative careers and businesses. The best part of the job is the number of people I get to interact with.
I started the Shetlink website as a university project in 2005 to encourage debate on local issues, and I wrote a monthly column in Shetland Life magazine for several years. I’ve previously worked as a mechanic, grasscutter, electrician, web designer and university lecturer, and I look after the accounts and admin for my wife’s business.
Why I’m standing
Having worked in the public sector for 15 years I have experience in providing services for the benefit of the community, outcome-focussed strategic planning, working with local and national partners, securing external funding, and delivering value within budgets.
I’ve been on the Sandwick Community Council for 4 years (I’m currently the Chairperson) which has given me a good grounding on the issues affecting local residents, and standing for council feels like a natural progression. In particular, I’ve been inspired by how well the community pulled together during the lockdown, and I feel compelled to do all I can to help with the cost of living crisis that is affecting Shetland disproportionately.
I understand that being a councillor would be hard, often thankless, but rewarding work, and it would be a privilege to represent my fellow South Shetland residents.
The Council must have a strong voice nationally, and provide practical support locally, to allow our community to reach its full potential. I believe that Shetlanders’ pragmatic outlook, enterprising spirit, and access to abundant natural resources will ensure our islands continue to thrive.
- Energy – address fuel poverty, maximise the benefits of environmentally responsible renewables, and work toward net-zero
- Economy – encourage a diverse, vibrant and sustainable economy, and support local producers, makers and service providers to reach global markets
- Industry – support the backbone industries of fishing, aquaculture, agriculture, and sustainable mineral extraction
- Financial prudence – agree on realistic, sustainable budgets that preserve the benefits of SIC reserves
- Infrastructure – make progress on fixed links and support key improvements (inc. the Levenwick Road, Black Gaet junction and Fair Isle Ferry)
- Housing – address issues of availability, affordability, energy efficiency and maintenance, and support the construction industry to deliver the 22-27 Housing Strategy
- Social care – advocate excellent standards of services for members of our community most in need
- Education and Personal Development – support rural education, apprenticeships, local career opportunities and skills development for people of all ages
- Culture – support and develop Shetland’s unique heritage, tourism and creative industry sectors
- Voluntary sector – support and celebrate the work of voluntary groups and individuals, and provide fundraising expertise to access external finance
- Effective lobbying – work with national and international partners to ensure Shetland has an effective strategic voice
- Representation – work as a partnership of councillors, and be accountable, approachable and responsive representatives of our community