Listen to constituents (Les Sinclair)
I read with great interest the front page article “No going back on cuts, warns SIC’s new political leader on day one” in today’s paper, and found it slightly surprising that there was little said about the views of Shetland constituents by either of the interviewees. Being charitable, I put that down to the excitement engendered by the events of Wednesday morning’s council meeting.
I believe it would be worthwhile taking a step back and looking at the Councillor’s Code of Conduct, which states as the first key role: “A key role of a councillor is to represent their ward and the people who live in it. This demands visibility, being a trusted point of contact and an effective advocate for local people. This involves councillors ensuring that the views of local communities are represented and fed into decisions taken by the council and partners.”
If all of our newly elected councillors take this key role to heart and become trusted and effective representatives of their constituents, then I believe the future for Shetland is optimistic. If they don’t then we’ll be back to where we were 10 years ago.
Equally, in order to become trusted and effective representatives, our newly elected councillors must have the views and issues within communities brought to them by their constituents. If they act appropriately on those views and issues then all well and good. If they don’t then we’ll be no better off than we were under the last SIC, with all its identified deficiencies.
8 Annsbrae Place,