I represented Dunrossness South as a SIC councillor for 13 years and spent a lot of that time promoting Sumburgh Airport. Employment at the airport and for ancillary businesses, in the south mainland ensured a vibrant local economy.
I am concerned that some of the candidates hoping to represent Shetland South in the forthcoming local election seem to be taking the opposite view.
Failing to support future oil exploration can only mean the demise of jobs at Sumburgh Airport, hotels, transport providers, also SBS base in Lerwick and Lerwick Harbour where a decrease in oil traffic will have the same knock-on effect.
I accept that we have to get to net zero, phasing out oil production in the North Sea must be done in a logical manner.
NorthLink, Loganair and even the windmills all need oil in one form or another, and it’s going to take years for them to be oil free.
Continuing to produce oil from the North Sea and providing employment onshore and offshore must be a better option than shipping it from across the world to meet our needs.
There must be an energy transition period to get to wherever net zero takes us and that is at least 25 years away.
Be very careful who you vote for in the forthcoming elections. Are they supporting local issues or national parties?