Name: Debra Nicolson Electoral Ward: Shetland West Description: Scottish Green Party
I have lived in Shetland for nearly 30 years, first at Aith, then 8 years ago moved to Tresta. Most of my working life here in Shetland, I worked in Community Planning and Development in the Adult Learning section as an admin assistant. Before that I ran the bar at the old Aith Social club. I am now mostly retired apart from my work as a community councillor with Sandsting and Aithsting Community Council, writing the Wast Owre column in the Shetland Times. I also belong to several local community groups. I do not and have never supported the Viking Energy windfarm for many reasons but I do support locally run and backed smaller renewable energy projects that will directly benefit the community and help to reduce fuel costs to take us out of energy poverty.
I would look at the feasibility of bus services on a Sunday and to look at how we can increase overall frequency, and look at accessibility to places not well served by public transport, for example the leisure centre, health centres and other areas identified by the community.
Improve road safety for pedestrians, road users and wildlife in all areas of the Westside and encourage active travel with cycle lanes and pedestrian crossings in places that are identified as hazardous.
Promote the use of more local produce in schools. Encourage children to grow vegetables and create or expand on the use of polycrubs in schools.
Work with island communities to ensure that our islands are kept accessible for residents and visitors and work to increase ferry access where needed. I strongly believe in community and I would like to work with all communities on the Westside to help them flourish and grow in the way they want to.
I’d work with crofters and farmers to find out how best I can represent them and how we can help to address the cost of living crisis. We need to build local food security and therefore I will support key aspects of our local food supply chain such as the Shetland Dairy and Shetland Abattoir. Although a vegetarian myself, I acknowledge that meat and milk products are still vital to our communities. I would also like to support and encourage more local food production of fruit and vegetables.
We have been in a mental health crisis for some years and the pandemic has only made that worse. I think we need to look at finding ways to improve the mental health and wellbeing of people by identifying the causes so that we can understand how better to do this.
There have been areas identified for housing on the Westside and if we are to maintain and keep our communities vibrant we need to make sure that enough affordable housing resources are allocated where needed on the Westside. We also need to expand Shetland’s home insulation programme to improve energy efficiency.
As a councillor I would be representing the community so I intend to hold regular surgeries and go out and about on the Westside to listen and act upon local concerns.
Become a supporter of Shetland News
Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.
Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.
Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has over 600 supporters who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.
Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -
- Bring you the headlines as they happen;
- Stay editorially independent;
- Give a voice to the community;
- Grow site traffic further;
- Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.
If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.
Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.