Name: Zara Pennington Electoral Ward: Shetland West Description: Scottish National Party (SNP)
Hi I’m Zara Pennington
I have worked in the Public and Third sector administration, a highlight was working at Heriot Watt University in Orkney whilst being away from Shetland for developing professional experience.
Education is very important to me and having graduated from Shetland College UHI, I want to see our already high standards continue to improve.
Issues of justice and equality are very important to me and this is why I have been an active campaigner against pensions injustice for 1950s women, a committee member of WASPI Scotland and a member of the the WASPI cross party group at the Scottish Parliament.
Since returning to Shetland I have been working in Health and Social Care administration, first with NHS Shetland and then with Shetland Islands Council. I know first hand the pressures faced in keeping essential care services running both in the community and our care centres, including how the lack of affordable housing is preventing the recruitment of the staff our services need.
We require more homes that are not only affordable but are also energy efficient to meet the needs of the community and I would work to empower our communities to achieve this.
I strongly support renovating and reusing the disused homes and buildings across the Westside to provide housing and new business premises to help grow our economy.
I believe the preservation and redevelopment of Park Hall as a community-led project would be a great opportunity for all in the Westside.
Improving energy efficiency in our homes is vital to reducing unaffordable energy bills and to help alleviate some of the cost of living crisis, whilst reducing the contribution to climate change. I will work with and support partners to deliver solutions to enable low income families to access funding for home insulation and low carbon heating systems such as heat pumps.
The Reawick exchange needs to be upgraded to fibre as a priority and I would continue to apply pressure to both BT Openreach and the UK Government until we get a commitment to deliver this.
Upgrading the A971 between Walls and the West Burrafirth junction will improve safety and reduce travel time and is an issue I would advocate strongly for the Council to prioritise.
I will work to ensure that the Viking Energy wind farm delivers for everyone in our community and that there are thorough consultations held before any further wind farms are constructed.
The Covid 19 pandemic has shown the importance of local shops, I believe they provide a vital service and this should be supported. I would support the creation of a community shop in Skeld.
We need to ensure our public transport works to tackle social exclusion and lack of a car should not make it impossible to go for coffee with a friend after work and still get home. If elected I will work with ZetTrans to explore solutions to ensure local voices are listened when developing the new timetable.
It would be a privilege to represent the Westside and I hope you let me work for you in our community.