A FORMER community development worker has put his name forward for the North Isles council by-election.
Robert Thomson is perhaps best known for being involved in community development in Fetlar for a number of years up until 2018.
He has since started a yacht charter company.
The by-election for the North Isles is taking place on 4 August after only two candidates went for the three seats in May’s main election.
Among the issues on his agenda are fixed links, housing and broadband connectivity.
Thomson, from Yell, said having spent 12 years in community development roles, he had something to offer as a councillor.
When it came to fixed links, he said he would challenge some of the costings previously provided for tunnels.
“At some point you have to bite the bullet with this,” Thomson added.
He also pointed to recent ferry staffing issues on Bluemull Sound and said there “needs to be a much more robust way” of working such as trying to get a team of crew on standby.
He also warned that businesses in the isles which rely on tourism will face an uncertain future, following the Covid pandemic, if the ferry issues affect tourism.
Thomson also called for better science on fishing quotas, and a practical way to end discards.
He also reckons both the council and Shetland Charitable Trust could dig a bit deeper to support the worst affected by the cost of living crisis.
Similarly, he is keen to see existing council homes better insulated, and for more social housing built in more rural areas, which could help business prospects.
“What you’re left with is old council stock which is poorly insulated, expensive to run…and the folk in social housing is the folk that could least afford generally to pay big bills,” he said.
Thomson said he is also keen on more powers for Shetland – such as in areas like planning – and called for more clarity to the community on the ‘White House’ saga which spanned the last number of years.
One other candidate has also publicly put her name forward for the by-election – Marie Williamson, who missed out in a Lerwick ward in May’s election.
Thomson throwing his hat into the ring means there will definitely be an election contest on 4 August.
Become a supporter of Shetland News
Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.
Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.
Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has over 540 supporters who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.
Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -
- Bring you the headlines as they happen;
- Stay editorially independent;
- Give a voice to the community;
- Grow site traffic further;
- Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.
If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.
Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.Support Shetland News