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Council / New council meets for first time to appoint to key roles

Emma Macdonald and Andrea Manson take the top two jobs in the new council – the first time women have been appointed to the roles

The faces at the top of the chamber, from left to right: depute leader Gary Robinson, leader Emma Macdonald, development committee chair Dennis Leask, environment and transport committee chair Moraig Lyall, convener Andrea Manson, integration joint board chair John Fraser, depute convener Bryan Peterson. Missing from the photo is education and families committee chair Davie Sandison. Photo: Hans J Marter/Shetland News

Welcome to Shetland News’ live coverage of the first meeting of the new Shetland Islands Council this morning at the former St Ringan’s Church in Lerwick.

The councillors will decide who should take up the convener and leader posts, while the chairs of the various committees will also be filled.

Appointments will also be made to the various council committees and boards.


23 May 2022 12:07

The meeting is now appointing councillors to all of the committees and boards. The main committees include members from across all Shetland’s wards.


23 May 2022 11:50

Moraig Lyall and Catherine Hughson are also appointed substitute members of the IJB.


23 May 2022 11:47

Following a well deserved break the council is now appointing two members to the integration joint board, which looks after health and social care.

Robbie McGregor and Liz Peterson are appointed to the IJB.


23 May 2022 11:31

Allison Duncan is given the role of vice-chair of the licensing committee.


23 May 2022 11:29

For the harbour board the vice chair role is given to Duncan Anderson.


23 May 2022 11:28

Catherine Hughson is appointed as vice chair of the audit committee – again, no vote.


23 May 2022 11:28

There is no vote for vice chair of planning, with Davie Sandison taking on the role.


23 May 2022 11:27

Following another vote the environment and transport committee vice chair role goes to Robbie McGregor, who beat Arwed Wenger 12 votes to nine.


23 May 2022 11:23

The new vice chair of the development committee will be John Leask, securing 11 votes to Allison Duncan’s ten.


23 May 2022 11:15

We are now onto the vice chairs of the council committees.

First up is the education and families committee, with Catherine Hughson securing the position over John Fraser. She received 14 votes against Fraser’s six.


23 May 2022 11:07

There is another vote in the chamber, this time for the chair of the licensing committee.

New councillor Neil Pearson wins the vote against Ian Scott by 14 votes to seven.


23 May 2022 11:00

The harbour board position goes down to a vote, with John Leask and Stephen Leask in the running.

Andrea Manson has chaired the board for a number of years but she declined a nomination having been appointed convener.

Following the vote it is John Leask who is appointed chair, securing 15 votes against six.


23 May 2022 10:54

For the audit committee Allison Duncan has been appointed for another term as chair.


23 May 2022 10:53

Robbie McGregor is appointed as chair of the council’s planning committee.


23 May 2022 10:52

For the chair/vice  of Shetland’s integration joint board John Fraser takes on the role unopposed.


23 May 2022 10:50

The environment and transport committee chair post also goes down to a vote.

Nominated are Robbie McGregor, who is absent from today’s meeting, and Moraig Lyall.

It is Lyall who is elected as chair, securing 11 votes against McGregor’s ten.


23 May 2022 10:43

For the development committee chair position it is a case of two Leasks – John and Dennis, who are both new councillors.

After a secret ballot vote it is Lerwick South member Dennis Leask who is elected chair.

He has big shoes to fill – the position was formerly held by SIC stalwart Alastair Cooper, who stood down at May’s election.


23 May 2022 10:37

First up is the education and families committee. Liz Peterson and Davie Sandison are both nominated for chair, and after a secret ballot vote it is Sandison who is appointed (13 votes against eight).


23 May 2022 10:28

Next up are the positions of chairs and vice-chairs on the various council committees.


23 May 2022 10:26

The council also decides to continue appointing a depute leader – a post held by Emma Macdonald in the last council term.

Macdonald nominates ex SIC leader Gary Robinson as depute – and with no other nominations he takes up the post.


23 May 2022 10:24

Both Macdonald and Leask are nominated for the leader job, and it goes down to another secret ballot vote.

It is Emma Macdonald who is appointed the new SIC leader, securing 11 votes against Leask’s nine.


23 May 2022 10:19

Next up is the leader position. A couple of names have already been thrown into the hat for the role, with Emma Macdonald and Stephen Leask among those who are keen.

The post was formerly held by ex-Shetland West member Steven Coutts, who did not seek re-election in May.


23 May 2022 10:18

Shetland North councillor Andrea Manson.

Manson has now taken up the convener’s seat to preside over the meeting.

The council agrees to continue with a depute leader post, with Manson nominating new Shetland South member Bryan Peterson.

There are no other nominations so he takes up the role.


23 May 2022 10:15

Andrea Manson and Cecil Smith have both been nominated for the convener role. After a secret ballot vote it is Manson who is elected for the role – securing 11 votes to Smith’s 10.


23 May 2022 10:09

First up is the civic position of convener. The role was previously held by Malcolm Bell before he stood down at May’s election. The Lerwick councillor held the role for a decade.


23 May 2022 10:01

Chief executive Maggie Sandison opens the meeting by welcoming the councillors.

“I look forward to working with you over the next five years to make sure Shetland is a place where everyone can thrive,” she said.