Election 2022 / Ryan Thomson

North Isles

Name: Ryan Thomson Electoral Ward: North Isles Description:

Environment and Transport Committee chair Ryan Thomson.
Ryan Thomson

Representing the North Isles on the SIC over the last five years has been a massive privilege, and while I’m disappointed the residents of the North Isles won’t have the opportunity to vote in this election, I am extremely honoured to be able to represent the North Isles once again over the next five years.

In the face of serious challenges facing the Council, we must be bold and ambitious.

My aims and objectives for the next five years are as follows:

Fixed Links & Ferries
We have made significant inroads into establishing a framework in which fixed links can become a reality over the next five years.

The business case for the future of Bluemull Sound will take place soon and a fixed link is the only logical and sensible option. It’s imperative and realistic to assume that we should be aiming to get a spade in the ground in the next five years. I promise to do everything I can and leave no stone unturned to make that a reality.

In parallel, we must continue to make progress in improving our ferry service. Achieving fair funding for our ferries was, in my opinion, the biggest achievement of the previous council.  It’s abundantly clear Whalsay has completely outgrown its current ferry service. Work must get underway ASAP to improve the service for Whalsay.

There are further challenges to be overcome for all islands. I want to introduce a fit for purpose “emergency timetable” for when we go down to a single vessel unexpectedly. I will also work hard to achieving connectivity improvements across Bluemull and Skerries and a solution to the ‘bookings suspended’ issue.

I will work with Communities and Community Councils to make sure we get the ferry services our islands demand and deserve.

Free Passenger Travel on Buses and Ferries
We are in the midst of a cost-of-living crisis, but also must recognise the serious climate emergency which will be an important factor in all the decisions the Council makes.

One way to address both problems is to provide all residents of Shetland with free passenger travel on our ferries an on our buses. Studies have shown that free public travel will:

  • Is better for the environment as it removes cars from the road
  • Improves people’s physical health and promotes a more active lifestyle
  • Promotes social inclusion allowing access to facilities and employment opportunities
  • Saves families much needed money at this time of serious concern

Cullivoe Road
The importance and significance of a new Cullivoe road to the residents of Cullivoe, and to Shetland cannot be understated.  The current road is holding back the creative community of Cullivoe from achieving their aspirations and I was delighted to approve the business case for a new road. I will do everything I can to make sure the new road is completed on time and on budget.

Island Games
I want the next Council to explore and bid on a future Island games to be held in Shetland in the coming years.  The 2005 games were a magical experience and a huge boost to Shetland. We have the facilities and the wherewithal to make it happen, so let’s see the Island Games return to Shetland once again.

Northlink Contract
Our lifeline link to the Mainland is a service Shetlanders currently have absolutely no say in. That to me is beyond unacceptable.  Shetland has outgrown the current service both in terms of passenger and freight and we need our own dedicated freight and passenger sailings.  The next lifeline contract will be implemented during the next Council term, and we must lay the foundations for a publicly owned contract with direct democratic input from Shetland.

There is a lot of work to be done over the coming five years, but I have the energy, drive, and determination to try and make a positive difference for the North Isles, and for Shetland.

Contact Information

Email: ryan@ryan-thomson.co.uk
Mobile / WhatsApp: 07359 059068
Mail: Ariane, Wadbister, Shetland, ZE2 9SQ
Facebook: www.facebook.com/ryanthomsonnorthisles


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