By-Election 2022 - North Isles / Robert Thomson


Name: Robert Thomson Electoral Ward: North Isles Description: Independent


Robert Thomson

I’m Robert Thomson, I have lived in North Yell my whole life and am proud to call it home.

Experience gained over 27 years working for various shipping companies, including SIC, P&O and Calmac Ferries, allows me to have an informed input into the various ferry debates.

Two years with SIC Community Development, followed by 10 years as development worker in Fetlar, allowed me great insight into the heart of North Isles communities.

During that period I was involved with a wide range of project development, including; childcare, renewables, growing projects, transport, housing and tourism to name a few.

Having run my own small business doing yacht charter for the last two to three years, I am very well aware of the strain local businesses have been under and the necessity to keep ferry services fully operational to allow tourism and other businesses to survive and prosper.

I have always been active in local clubs and organisations and continue an interest in sailing and local film making. Local voluntary organisations are at the core of our community, and we need to do all we can to support them.

My priorities:

  • Work to get tunnels to replace the current ferries, while also retaining good levels of service on the ferries while they are still required;
  • Support our fishing industry in the challenges it faces including industrial use of static gear, better science to advise quotas and support for seeking a practical end to discards;
  • I am in favour of targeted financial support to the local population to ease the current exceptional strain on household budgets. Something I hope the Shetland Charitable Trust will also assist with;
  • Seek more social housing for the North Isles and work to address the often poor insulation standards in both social and private housing. This will require increasing the number of local firms accredited to complete grant funded insulation works;
  • Work to make sure that Shetland Telecom is in a position to take advantage of future funding for broadband provision in Shetland, as R100 is going to miss out many. Making it into an independent entity, giving it a clear remit and ensuring it has sufficient staff;
  • Target devolvement of powers to Shetland, in particular planning. This would allow us control over developments in Shetland without potentially being overruled by Edinburgh, where national priorities can be in conflict with local aspirations;
  • More support for and communication with, community organisations
  • I will seek to encourage the SIC to release a statement to clarify what happened in relation to the ’White House’ and also the reasons behind the apparently sudden decision to buy SLAP from the charitable trust.

 

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