Local Government By-Election 2022 (Shetland West) / Debra Nicolson

Shetland West

Name: Debra Nicolson Electoral Ward: Shetland West

Debra Nicolson

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.

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 600 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.



Subscribe to a selection of different newsletters from Shetland News, varying from breaking news delivered on the minute, to a weekly round-up of the opinion posts. All delivered straight to your inbox.

Daily Briefing Newsletter Weekly Highlights Newsletter Opinion Newsletter Life in Shetland Newsletter

JavaScript Required

We're sorry, but Shetland News isn't fully functional without JavaScript enabled.
Head over to the help page for instructions on how to enable JavaScript on your browser.

Your Privacy

We use cookies on our site to improve your experience.
By using our service, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy.

Browser is out-of-date

Shetland News isn't fully functional with this version of .
Head over to the help page for instructions on updating your browser for more security, improved speed and the best overall experience on this site.

Interested in Notifications?

Get notifications from Shetland News for important and breaking news.
You can unsubscribe at any time.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

We're committed to ensuring everyone has equitable access to impartial, open and quality local journalism that benefits all residents.

By supporting Shetland News, you play a vital role in ensuring we remain a pivotal resource in supporting the community.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.