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Council / Election candidate to turn attention to vacant North Isles seat

AN ELECTION candidate who narrowly lost out in a Lerwick ward last week has set her sights on the upcoming North Isles by-election.

Marie Williamson, who grew up in Whalsay, came fourth in the Lerwick North and Bressay vote when results were declared on Friday.

But she has now turned her attention to the vacant seat which is needing filled in the North Isles.

Marie Williamson.

Only two candidates – the incumbents Duncan Anderson and Ryan Thomson – put themselves forward for the ward for the 5 May election, despite there being three seats.

A by-election for the last seat has to be held within three months of last Thursday’s election, and a spokesperson for Shetland Islands Council said a date has yet to be confirmed.

Independent candidate Williamson received 115 first preference votes in the Lerwick North and Bressay election.

This was only 21 behind Arwed Wenger, who was elected alongside frontrunners Stephen Leask (310) and Gary Robinson (301).

Stephen Ferguson received 66 first preference votes.

“I was so grateful and surprised to get so many first votes in Lerwick North and Bressay,” Williamson said.

“I felt entering had taught me so much. Now I need to put those lessons into practice.

“There are exciting and innovative things going on in these isles. I hope to learn about and support it all. I want to ensure jobs for kids who want to stay in their home islands and work, find out how all the islands truly feel about fixed links.

“The future and support of the fishing industry is especially close to my heart, and the vegetable and greenhouse producers.

“I want to see Shetland as self-sufficient in produce as we possibly can be. We never know when we’re going to need it.”

The North Isles ward covers Unst, Yell, Fetlar, Whalsay and Skerries.

On Friday 17 councillors were declared at a count at Lerwick Town Hall. Five – including Anderson and Thomson – were already elected, as both the North Isles and Shetland North were uncontested.