Now that names are emerging for high office on the council – convener, political leader and committee chairs – I do hope contenders will present colleagues with a CV, manifesto and present a speech on why they are the best person for the job, and in so doing demonstrate a commitment to internal democracy within the council now that some – four out of ten – of the electorate have spoken.
Often the holders of high office determine policy and fiscal positions at the policy and resources committee on which they all sit. Their deliberations should not be a rubber-stamping exercise at full council, but recommendations for debate before final decision-making.
These roles in particular require holders to have a firm grasp, if not clear view, on the bigger picture strategic issues affecting all of Shetland, not just their wards, as well as being able to speak truth to power at Holyrood and Westminster and hold our MP and MSP to account for the work they do on our behalf in those other places; likewise Lord Wallace of Tankerness, if not Lord Lamont of Lerwick being held to account in the House of Lords.
James J Paton
Sooth-End (Lerwick) Residents Association