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Council / SIC preparing to consult on community council boundary changes

Photo: SIC

A CONSULTATION is likely to be held on whether there should be changes to Shetland’s network of community councils and their boundaries.

One idea which has been floated is to reduce the number community councils from 18 to seven and mirror the Shetland Islands Council (SIC) wards.

Another idea is to keep the way things are but combine Fair Isle, Fetlar, Foula, Papa Stour and Skerries into a single “islands with small populations” community council.

It comes as the SIC reviews Shetland’s community council scheme. The last major review of the scheme was held in the 1990s.

Elected members will be asked at a meeting of the full council on Tuesday (3 October) to give the green light for a consultation to be held on community council boundaries.

They will also be asked to approve extending the current community council term of office by one year to November 2025 to allow the review to take place.

There is expected to be three different consultation phases.

A number of options on boundaries will be presented in the first consultation, with one being the status quo of 18 community councils.

Option two is to create a new islands with small populations community council, and adjust the boundaries of the Dunrossness and Sandness and Walls community councils, which would decrease the overall number to 17.

A third option is to introduce the ‘small populations’ community council, maintain the existing status for the remaining islands and create five new mainland community councils that match SIC ward boundaries.

As well as the option to have only seven community councils which match SIC wards, a final idea is to increase the overall number to 20 by creating new community councils for Fair Isle and Foula.

It is also proposed that people responding to the consultation would be able to submit their own proposals.

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It has been suggested that a second phase of consultation could then take place in April.

The community councils under current arrangements are:

  • Bressay
  • Burra and Trondra
  • Delting
  • Dunrossness
  • Fetlar
  • Gulberwick, Quarff and Cunningsburgh
  • Lerwick
  • Nesting and Lunnasting
  • Northmaven
  • Sandness and Walls
  • Sandsting and Aithsting
  • Sandwick
  • Scalloway
  • Skerries
  • Tingwall, Whiteness and Weisdale
  • Unst
  • Whalsay
  • Yell

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