Name: Ian Tinkler Electoral Ward: Shetland West Description: Independent
I have the privilege and honour of standing for the Westside at this time of extraordinary change. I recently retired from dental surgery, which gave me time to concentrate on my other vocation: my open amenity, woodland and wildlife Croft at Flawton. My retirement also gave me the privilege of going back to school! As I have lifelong campaigned for the environment, I have used my time to enrol into”The Open University” to study for a Master of environmental sciences.
The People of the Westside have some extraordinary challenges to face. Our agriculture community not only has to deal with the effects of Brexit with its many implications but also the environmental pressures relevant to global warming. Our Crofters have to deal with the likelihood of unfair competition from cheap sheep and cattle meat imported from New Zealand and Australia. We have Green activists advising people to avoid eating meat! All this at a time of soaring cost increases for fuel, feed and fertilisers. If necessary, alternative sources of income must be found. Forestry, woodland, and environmental projects could be the way forward, both practicable and genuinely environmentally Green.
Our fishermen also face many challenges. There appears to be a conflict of views between our fishermen and the politician’s advisers about what sustainable catches are available.
If I had the privilege to represent the Crofters and Fishermen of the Westside, I would be of primary importance, advocating the setting up groups of our very best local fishermen, aquaculturists and crofters to discuss the best way forward for our fishing and agricultural industries. This should be on a local level independent centralised government. We have many very gifted and knowledgeable local people with professional experience in Crofting, Aquacultural and Fishing industries; their views should be married to the best environmental science, not dictated by distant governments.
A healthy future requires a healthy environment. Global warming is a genuine problem, and clearly, much has and can be done. Our local environment is exceptional, unique and needs to be protected. Our local industries are likewise vital to our community. There is no reason why both cannot flourish together with mutual care and protection.
Autonomy and Crown dependency
With that in mind, I would advocate for full autonomy for Shetland, a “Crown Dependency” within the United Kingdom. One thing is clear, Scotish Nationalism, Holyrood and Westminster do not serve Shetland well. The problems of fuel poverty, the rise in the cost of living, local transport and housing are all best dealt with at a local level. That means full autonomy, not all decisions concerning Shetland folk, centralised to Edinburgh. One only has to look to the Channel Isles or the Fareos to see how Crown Dependency works for their peoples. Fisheries fully protected, fixed links established, a thriving local governance free of the red tape and stifling the bureaucracies of Edinburgh and Westminster.
Local Planning Issues and protection
There are many further problems facing the Westside now; the miseries inflicted on some by “Viking Energy” and the overriding lack of a compassionate planning process being just one! Vast industrial projects must have the approval of the local populations whose lives are affected most. That is true democracy and simple decency.
If I have the honour of being elected, my voice in Council will be loud and thunderous.
My policies, the best environmental science, no silly greenwash, the protection of local livelihoods with complete autonomy from central governments with their political dictates, be that SNP, Green, Liberal, Labour or Torie.
We also need absolute openness in our Council; I give two web addresses with that in mind. They tell my story and who I am.