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Letters / Vote for local control

The council election is a fantastic chance for real and lasting change; Shetland folk have the right to vote this coming Thursday, which may be the most significant council election of recent times.

We are at an absolute crossroads in world, national and local affairs. We can do little about the war in Ukraine, nor the pandemic of Covid-19 and the horrible legacies.

However, we now have an opportunity for a real and dramatic change in Shetland’s position and standing within the European, UK, national and local maritime situation.

The opportunity is there for the taking; Shetlanders need to clear themselves of the ever more power-hungry centralising Scottish Government. Time and again, local control is taken from Shetland and places in Holyrood.

Social care is now targeted with an absolute lowering of standards, air traffic control, the coastguard, fire services, and ambulance control. Those powers that cannot be directly taken are manipulated away by an endless grant system, controlling crofting, aquaculture, energy and enterprise.

State controller organisations such as NatureScot, Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), Highland and Island Enterprise and our own Shetland health board are becoming Holyrood controlled!

The primary qualification of those put in most senior positions appears to be a sycophant of the Scottish Government and an authentic “jobs worthy” appointed to follow the dictates and whims of the Scottish Government.

This political autocracy can all change with Shetland having complete autonomy. We can thrive in a post Brexit environment with full Shetland self-government, power and controls taken back locally. No more pettifogging SNP/EU regulations hoisted upon us.

It is a chance for our fishermen, aquacultures, agricultures, and crofters to take control of their vital industries. We can control our destinies and do so much more. Finance our fixed links, housing, roads, and education. Let our people decide on infrastructure, be that floating wind farm and further wholesale industrialisation of Shetland.

Is it that we want Shetland to become a vast chemical plant with the Orion project? That should be a local decision, not a grant-aided dictate from the SNP with the collaboration of heavy industry.

A lot of ‘old wood’ is jumping ship and deserting the council, now is the chance for a change. I would urge all to vote and vote with complete care. Naturally, I would be honoured if the Westside would vote for me, but what is truly more important is to vote for independent souls, not the usual party stooges, be they Green or SNP. Ignore those previous sycophants who hoisted such nonsense as Our Islands Our Future onto us. We have seen just how meaningless that was to Shetland; that which fits the SNP Western Isles does not work so well in Shetland.

Only with control of our finances can we have complete local control of much needed local infrastructure such as new Walls road and new vital housing outwith of Lerwick.

Our priorities should be chosen, and funds allocated locally. For example, the cash cow monies of Viking Energy should equitably go to everyone, not the landowners, lairds, bankers and industries having the lion’s share, as is the present situation.

Further such projects must be only permitted with local consent and the people of Shetland being the prime beneficiaries of any profits created.

Now is a real chance for change; please, do not waste your vote.

Ian Tinkler
Candidate Shetland West