Name: Moraig Lyall Electoral Ward: Shetland Central Description: –
Originally from Invergowrie, I qualified as a chemistry teacher and spent 20 years balancing teaching with raising my children, moving from the Mull of Kintyre to Tiree to Nairnshire with my husband’s work before settling in Shetland 10 years ago. I quickly became involved in the community, serving on Tingwall Hall committee, running a children’s activity club, helping with a mums and toddlers as well as establishing a weekly community café in Quoys. Two years ago, when the opportunity to stand in the by-election presented itself I took the plunge and since then I have sought to justify the faith shown in me by those who voted.
The one issue I highlighted in my campaign flyer was that of footpaths and it is clear that, from Whiteness to Burra, there is a strong desire to see this happen for health, environmental and safety reasons. I’d press to see progress on this speeded up.
It is very important to me to reflect the views of the community, so I have tried to listen to what local people say are their priorities. It’s been a steep learning curve, not made any easier by the pandemic, but I believe I now have a better understanding of how things work (or don’t!) and am ready for the challenges that lie ahead.
And challenges there are.
The rocketing cost of living is affecting everyone and everything. Voting to keep the rents and council tax at their 2021 levels was an acknowledgement of the pressures some households are facing but we need to do more to ensure that no-one is struggling to cover the basics. Some of our existing housing stock requires updating to improve their energy efficiency and help residents reduce the amount of electricity they use.
And there is a need for additional housing. Of the right type. In the right places. The current schemes on Staney Hill and the Knab are being held up by the lack of contractors available to carry out the work. But it is hard for people to move here to take up jobs as they struggle to find places to stay. So, we come full circle to the need for more housing. We need to look at ways of making it easier and quicker, for those who want to, to build their own homes. Our new local planning guidance needs to smoothly facilitate appropriate development.
Vacancies in many of our core services are making it difficult to sustain them at the level we would aspire to and are putting undue pressure on staff particularly in care and planning. We need to promote the roles we offer to our young people to encourage them to train in relevant careers.
The aging ferry fleet were described in the 2017 election as a ticking time bomb, and that bomb is now 5 years closer to exploding. Making speedier progress towards fixed links where practical and new vessels and infrastructure where required is imperative.
I would also be seeking to continue to try and minimise the impact that the industrial wind farm developments are having on the landscape and people of Shetland. Sections of transmission cables passing through communities must be buried and efforts to increase working hours or relax other planning conditions resisted. Standard working conditions for these projects would make it easier for monitoring and enforcement.
On May 5th, please vote. Choose the candidates you think will best represent our area. And if that includes me, thank you.
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.