21st February 2018
Established 1872. Online since 1996.

Councillors to debate conflicts of interest over Viking windfarm in public

Councillors are to publicly debate whether conflicts of interest might prevent them being involved in making decisions about the proposed Viking windfarm.

SIC head of legal services Jan Riise has prepared a report on the issue for elected members and has pledged that the debate later this month will not be behind closed doors, although members may receive prior briefings in private.

Infrastructure executive director Gordon Greenhill said the issue had to be resolved before the planning application process could be progressed.

There has been considerable public concern about the different roles councillors have to perform in relation to the proposed windfarm.

They are elected to represent their constituents, but as trustees of Shetland Charitable Trust they must also act in the interests of the trust, which is the owner of a 45 per cent share in the Viking Energy Partnership with Scottish and Southern Energy.

Councillors are also landowners through the SIC’s ownership of the Busta estate, which stands to gain from owning the land where 43 of the 150 turbines would be sited.

Three councillor-trustees are also directors of Viking Energy Limited, which is made up of the charitable trust and four private local businessmen involved with the Burradale windfarm.

About John Robertson

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