Dignified fight failed (Cheryl Jamieson)
I’d like to thank everybody who has contacted us over this past week since we received the devastating news that we had lost the fight to keep our school open.
We are blessed that we have such a strong community around us who care, but I can’t help but wonder how long that will continue. Shetland Islands Council seems determined to destroy this community, and many others like it, and the “Shetland way of life” that we hold dear.
We set out from the start to put up a dignified fight, with a very well-reasoned argument. We didn’t rant and rave at the councillors and officials who visited our island, well, not as much as we felt like doing. We knew we didn’t have much chance to speak to them face to face, so chose to do it in a very controlled manner, hoping that our views would be made clear.
Many times we were told, “Yes we hear what you’re saying and are taking it on board”. They even had the benefit of people scribing for them so everything was recorded. But what did all this count for? Absolutely nothing! All our alternative suggestions were ignored, and many of our questions still haven’t been answered.
Now this same council is proposing to visit many of the communities across Shetland asking for cost-cutting suggestions, but they’re not coming to Unst.
To get to the meeting we’ll have to take the ferry to Yell. The very same ferry that the council will no doubt be proposing they cut back on. Should we go there to speak to councillors and officials in a dignified and controlled manner? Or should we go there armed with a box of rotten tomatoes to see if they take us seriously then?