Name: Debra Nicolson Electoral Ward: Shetland West
I have lived on the Westside of Shetland for nearly 30 years, first at Aith, then 8 years at Tresta. For most of my working life here I was employed in the Adult Learning section of the Shetland Islands Council as an administration assistant. Before that I ran the bar at the old Aith Social club before leaving to raise my son. I am now mostly retired apart from my work as a community councillor with Sandsting and Aithsting Community Council and writing the Wast Owre column in the Shetland Times. I also belong to several local community groups including Westside Writers and Westside Players and help out at the Aith Charity Shop. I would be very proud to be elected to council to work with and represent the area that I have lived in for three decades. Below are some of the issues that folk living on the Westside have raised with me.
As well as the issues below, I will also work alongside Green councillor, Alex Armitage and local fishers to campaign for a ban on industrial gillnetting in Scottish waters. Also, I will join him and other councillors who are campaigning for free bus travel for all Shetland residents.
- I will make sure your views are represented at all levels of the council.
- Hold regular surgeries and make myself available for constituents to discuss any issues or ideas for policy development to benefit the Westside and Shetland as a whole.
- Put communities at the heart of all that is done so that they are fully included in decisions that affect them.
Health and Wellbeing
- Prioritise mental health by campaigning for more funding to improve facilities and services.
- Find ways to reduce fuel poverty and the cost of living by working with the Council and lobbying the government.
- Develop food security for Shetland that future generations can depend on.
- Look at the feasibility of a Sunday bus service to and from the Westside and Lerwick.
- Work towards making leisure, cultural and historical places more accessible in rural areas by introducing more public transport routes.
- Work with Shetland’s Green councillor, Alex Armitage, and others to promote free bus and inter-island ferry travel throughout Shetland for all residents.
Housing and Roads
- Make a case for more housing on the Westside, where there is a demand for it, to enable people to live near to where they work or near to their families.
- Expand Shetland’s home insulation programme with priority for social housing and those
that need assistance.
- Keep highlighting the need for upgrading rural roads.
This list is not exhaustive, and I look forward to hearing your views on other issues that affect you. If elected, I will work with all Westside folk to find ways to improve all our lives.
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