Florence Grains to call it a day after 30 years as a councillor

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Veteran councillor Florence Grains has confirmed she is retiring after spending 30 years serving the people of the West Side.

Mrs Grains, who was first elected for a four-year term in 1978, missed out in the 1982 election and covered council meetings for BBC radio before returning to the chamber in 1986 for an uninterrupted 26-year stint.

She is a former SIC vice-convener, and latterly has chaired the audit and scrutiny committee. She told this newspaper today that she had decided in 2007 that it would be her final term.

Mrs Grains is one of 11 from the 22 existing councillors not seeking re-election on 3rd May. The other two councillors who had yet to declare, Robert Henderson and Cecil Smith, both confirmed this week that they will stand again.

A flurry of new declarations a fortnight ago has been followed by a lull. Former Whalsay head teacher and current Shetland Arts chairman Jim Johnston will be up against Steven Coutts and Mr Henderson in the North Isles.

Nominations must be lodged no later than 4pm on Thursday 29th March, and more information is available from the SIC’s Market Street office, or online at www.shetland.gov.uk/elections.

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