Name: Cecil Smith Electoral Ward: Lerwick South Description: Independent
It has been an honour and a privilege to represent the people of the Lerwick South Ward and the wider Shetland Community since first being elected to the Council in 2007. There have been some difficult challenges and decisions to make in this time and there are more to be faced in the next council. Firstly they must get the finances in order. They cannot continue to draw on reserves to balance the books. We have been constantly told that if this continues the reserves will become unsustainable.
Shetland is a thriving community and the Council must do everything within its power to assist all industries where the return will benefit our community. More work is required on connectivity in many areas. There has to be emphasis on house building to encourage people to stay in Shetland and also to attract people to move here.
Fixed links should be a priority as is discussions on our external ferry service. Discussions must now take place at Minister level with the Scottish Government where I am confident that respectful negotiations can lead to a positive outcome.
Serious consideration has to be given to climate change and the consequence if ignored. There has to be emphasis on the use of greener energy but there has to be a transition period allowing for sensible dialogue and employment retention.
Education is extremely important and the Council must deliver the best. Care for our elderly and vulnerable is equally important. With the Scottish Government proposal to introduce a National Care Service the Council must be involved at an early stage to again ensure the best outcome.
For many people the high energy costs and with fuel poverty and poverty in general caused by the increase in the cost of essential commodities is devastating. The Council needs to be aware that all these additional financial pressures on families and individuals is detrimental to their health and mental health and be prepared to offer support.
The Council has to be prepared to listen and to work more closely with the people of Shetland to regain their trust before making decisions which will impact on individuals and communities. To be an effective Council all members, both new and re-elected, must be allowed a voice and work together for the benefit of our community. Strong leadership qualities are important, respect and trust of all members and officers is essential as is openness, honesty and integrity for a sound, successful and democratic Council. If re-elected I am confident that I could bring these qualities along with my fifteen years experience to the Council chamber.
If re-elected I will continue to address the issues of Lerwick South Ward in particular and Shetland as a whole. To enable me to be your number one voice in the Council Chamber please support me by giving me your number one vote on 5th May 2022.