22nd September 2018
Established 1872. Online since 1996.

Meetings unjustifiable

I do not normally respond to letters published in the media but in response to Mr Fox (“What do his constituents think?” 27th October) I moved the motion for the council not to hold any further public meetings as I was of the opinion that in these difficult financial times I could not justify scarce resources to another round of meetings.

That does not prevent others from doing so. Many in the community, on both sides of the issue, have expressed their views both at the round of meetings held last year, in the local media and individually to me and my colleagues. There are also several mechanisms available for those who wish to present their views either to the planning department or to the consents unit. I should also remind Mr Fox that the round of public meetings which were undertaken last year were the result of my intervention and amendment to a report where officers of the council were recommending that they make a submission on behalf of the council – not councillors (Min Ref 105/09 – SIC 15th July 2009). If I hadn’t made that amendment there would not have been any public meetings last year undertaken by this council.

Rick Nickerson
Councillor
Shetland South
Ireland,
Bigton.

One comment

  1. Billy Fox, Quarff

    In these ‘difficult’ times the cost of holding meetings is nothing compared to the issues at stake here. You hire a hall, not much cost there, the folk make their own way there. The panel are salaried employees so no overtime incurred.

    Compared to the expensive PR campaign which Viking Energy has waged while conducting their ‘investigation’ into the feasibility of the wind farm, it is nothing. In relation to an issue of this magnitude it is essential.

    This is a project which should never have seen the light of day, our councillors signed us into it as owners of Viking Energy Ltd without any mandate from their electorate. The Viking Energy Partnership Agreement is signed in our name yet we are not allowed to view it.

    There are several councillors who tell us the final decision is out of their hands and lies with the Scottish Energy minister. The final decision yes, but this project from its inception has been nurtured by our councillor/trustees, they could stop it overnight by pulling the planning permission and removing the Busta Estate land from the project. But what have they signed us up for, how many of the councillor/trustees even know?

    Their response on the 17th December will play a major role in whether or not it will go to a Public Local Inquiry. If an objection is lodged then a PLI will almost certainly be called. If that happened the councillors as Charitable Trust shareholders should then pull the application and put and end to this ridiculous and extremely costly fantasy.

    ‘If the Shetland folk do not want it, it will not go ahead’, ‘a Health Impact Assessment is being carried out’, all broken promises, this project has been an affront to democracy from day one.

    Councillor Nickerson must still produce his figures and where they came from, otherwise last year’s findings still stand, 75% against! To make the statement ‘I know what my constituents feel about Viking Energy’, surely indicates that he is accepting there is majority opposition. When the time comes I will expect him to respond as my elected representative on that basis.

    Reply

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