Name: Marie Williamson Electoral Ward: North Isles Description: Independent
I am a 62-year-old mother of five children and now have one granddaughter. Brought up in Whalsay, my father and both grandfathers and my 3 brothers were fisherman, so you could say I had a traditional Shetland upbringing.
With 17 years with the NHS service and 24 years indirectly with social work, I have seen many changes within the health services in Shetland. I’m still active in the Ambulance and the wards as a Relief Bank Worker. I’ve seen how the NHS operates and would like to see improvements, in Geriatric Care and Mental Health Support.
I’ve been active in Shetland community projects since my 20s. When I was 24, I instigated a youth self help group. We ran busses to the old Brae Hall, and with the hard work of our members, raised a lot of money. With the funds, we paid for bands to come up from the mainland. I was also involved in setting up a group called The Shetland Unemployed Association.
I worked in Youth Work at Islesburgh and in Whalsay. I’ve also worked as secretary to the Symbister Hall Committee where I learned about the struggles of keeping a local hall alive.
With the help of the Dept of Child and Family Psychiatry in Glasgow, I researched and created a design for a care unit, for children with severe behavioural problems. A few years later the Shetland social work dept. took my design and set it up in the Bruce Hostel and it is still running. It is called the Bruce Family Unit.
- Creating cycle lanes for safer roads for both cyclists and drivers.
- Flights out of Sumburgh are becoming more and more unreliable, this needs to be investigated.
- Insuring the carers of people with difficulties are getting proper sleep and hands-on support.
- Mental health care needs major support, including a place of safety, taking pressure off A&E and ward 3.
- We need an addictions support unit and a hospice. In geriatric care, a specialised unit for people with dementia.
- We need to find ways to support fuel costs for fishermen, as well as acceptable alternatives to the dumping of fish.
- Creative ways to support crofters. Crofting projects in schools. Growing our own where we can.
- Shetland self-sufficient in as many ways as possible. Innovative training for our young.
- Help for local people to set up businesses creating jobs in areas they were brought up and love, so they can continue to live there. We need the fixed links built now asap.
Long Term Planning and Sustainability
- To combat fuel poverty, we need heat efficient housing for existing properties, both in the public and private sectors.
- Long term planning for jobs post-oil, more sustainable energy.
- All too often we plan for what we need now, however, we need to start to consider what we’ll need and the effect long term. Will what we do today prepare us for what comes in the next 100 years.
Vote August 4th 2022
I have lived and worked in Shetland all my life and have seen the amazing things this community can achieve when they work together.
I want to continue to support my community, embracing the future while respecting the past.
At heart, I am and always will be a grassroots worker.
I will work for and with people whatever their political, religious and ideological leanings.