Name: Ian Scott Electoral Ward: Shetland Central Description: –
Firstly, I would like to thank you for taking the time to read this.
I was born in 1954 in Perthshire, went to school there, studied at the Edinburgh College of Art for five years, and have lived in Scalloway since 1983. No matter where we live though, most of the problems we face stem directly from Westminster’s austerity, and our Council’s willingness to embrace it.
Local authority funding has been severely cut, and that is precisely where our oil reserves can play an even greater role.
I am sure all candidates will present us with their own particular view points and selling points:- better housing, more housing, better and secure employment, enhanced youth services and greater opportunities for our youngsters, better child support, better support for our elderly, better transport links, tunnels to the isles and a bridge to Bressay – the list is endless. All eminently commendable.
The brutal truth of the matter, though, is that due to a history of poor and inadequate leadership (if leadership it has been) over the last dozen years or so, a vacuum has developed within the policy making process, that has left most elected Members whistling in the wind.
To achieve any progress, there needs to be a substantial group of councillors who are prepared to invest in our future, in our infrastructure, and most importantly of all, to invest in our people. Austerity loving councillors have held sway for far too long.
Thankfully though, the last five years have not been a complete failure. Two particular successes come to mind:
- firstly, myself, along with Councillors Sandison and Lyall, succeeded in halting the closure of the Walter and Joan Gray Day Care facility (it is scandalous to realise that closure was planned and was imminent); and
- secondly, my motion to the Council to freeze Council Tax and Council House Rents was successful (that it was construed as not applying to those living in temporary accommodation was not the Council’s proudest moment).
I have also raised the need for free school meals for all, and the need for free bus travel for all. Not a squeak of support at the time. I have also warned of the extensive use of ‘delegated authority’. Again nary a squeak.
We have substantial financial resources that are the envy of every local authority in Scotland, and along with the Shetland Charitable Trust, they should be put to use to establish a secure and prosperous future for Shetland. The naysayers, doom mongers and political dullards should really appraise themselves of the financial world, and how it actually works.
Our oil revenues are precisely for this kind of crisis, a buffer to protect us from Westminster’s savagery.
There are of course many other topics to dwell on, but in conclusion, I would just say that the way Viking Energy and the other industrial windfarms have been allowed to triumph, has shown just how weak our leadership has been. If nothing else, ten years on and still no decommissioning bond in place: a decommissioning bond was an essential element of planning consent. My own personal view is that we should take the blood money offered to us and tell them to stick it where the sun doesn’t shine. I have every support for our environmentalists and our green future, but there is no doubt in my mind that we have been completely gulled. We really have been hung out to dry. Sadly our islands will be laid to waste.
Once again, thanks very much.