Fox quits trust after Viking investment
Councillor and anti-Viking windfarm campaigner Billy Fox has resigned from Shetland Charitable Trust after less than two months as a trustee.
The Shetland South councillor warned last week he was considering his position and today he tendered a letter of resignation, stating that the dual roles of councillor and trustee were “incompatible”.
He said the ongoing problem for councillor-trustees had been magnified since the windfarm project was transferred from the council to the trust in 2007. “Since then it is my opinion the Viking Energy tail has been wagging the charitable trust dog and the end result will be to the detriment of [the trust’s] beneficiaries.”
He believes that trustees have been put under pressure to proceed with the trust’s Viking investment, which was exemplified by what he viewed as a “three line whip” applied to trustees by trust legal and financial experts at a private seminar on the windfarm last month.
He said: “I believe the legal advice evolved to fit the embarrassing circumstances which Viking Energy had found itself in and, in my opinion, none of it was unequivocal.”
The photographer and former BP employee also said he did not believe the Viking development passed the charity test required of trust expenditure.
He concluded: “Whether or not the VE development becomes reality, I believe there will likely come a day when questions will be asked on the actions that have taken place over the last few years. I for one do not want to be implicated in something which I believe will go down in Shetland’s history as one of its sorriest and most damaging periods.”
Mr Fox’s move follows the resignation from the trust last week of councillor Cecil Smith.