21st April 2018
Established 1872. Online since 1996.

Shetland Charitable Trust appoints four new trustees

Shetland Charitable Trust has appointed four new trustees.

The appointments were made “following a lengthy and detailed recruitment process” in March and April. They include Margaret Roberts, Geoffrey Hay and Malcolm Younger.

Drew Ratter, who was a councillor trustee, who has decided not to stand for council again, has re-emerged as a fourth appointee.

The unanimous decision was taken yesterday (20th April) after the trust adopted new governance arrangements. In addition, there is space on the board for up to four councillor-trustees.

Charitable trust chairman Bobby Hunter said: “Trustees are custodians of the trust’s charitable funds and act as ambassadors for the charity. We believe that Margaret, Geoffrey and Malcolm will bring fresh energy and experience to the Board and I am delighted to welcome them.

“Drew has enormous experience of the Trust and its business and I am pleased that he is coming back onto the board.”

Margaret Roberts is a life-long resident of Shetland and lives in Gluss. She has previously held various roles with BP Exploration at Sullom Voe and is also a trustee of Sullom Voe Terminal 10th Anniversary Trust. She holds an MA (Hons) in English from the University of Aberdeen and is currently chairwoman of Northmavine Community Development Company.

Geoffrey Hay grew up Burra Isle. He graduated from Edinburgh Napier University with a BSc (Hons) in Environmental Biology in 2000 before qualifying as a chiropractor in 2006. He now owns his own clinic in Lerwick. He also assists the Shetland Football Team to stay injury-free and will be accompanying them to the Island Games in Gotland this summer.

Malcolm Younger lives in Lerwick and is managing director of a local business and editor of ii Shetland magazine. He has served as a retained firefighter in the community for over 37 years. He also founded the Callum Younger Reach Fund which raises money to help young folk in the isles reach their goals in life.

Drew Ratter, a retiring Shetland North councillor, has served in the past as chairman of Shetland Charitable Trust. He is an ex-convener of the Crofters Commission and previously compiled the Landwise supplement for The Shetland Times.

13 comments

  1. Alan Skinner

    Really? They have to be taking the mickey with two of the “appointments”. I will let your readers decide which two. Shetland Charitable Trust is descending into the level of farce. I am sure that a Harvard Business Review must be being written, about how not to invest public money.
    It is one thing to have won the support of OSCR – not at all unexpected since the proposal was not illegal, but to turn around and stick two fingers up to the people of Shetland, with two of these “appointments”, is unnecessary, and simply demonstrates that there is no accountability, a fact which OSCR will be forced to recognise at some stage.

    Reply
    • ian tinkler

      If ever there was a reason for Shetland gaining full autonomy and taking control of our own regulators, ditching political poodles, such as OSCR. It does no take an Einstein to know why some of these new Trustees were appointed. What price democrasy when we have the usual suspects running the show. Just remember we have a Council election soon and who resisted and shouted about the SCT and its leadership. A “swamp ready to drain,” as Trump would say, this one appears more foetid by the day.

      Reply
      • Robert Sim

        “Just remember we have a Council election soon …”. Doesn’t time fly?

  2. Ali Inkster

    A farce it is but a farce that is no longer in need of a fall guy.

    Reply
  3. Rachel Buchan

    It’s a disgraceful state of affairs, and SCT should be ashamed of itself – not that the opinion of any member of the public matters one jot to them!

    Reply
    • Alastair Edwards

      Absolutely.

      Reply
  4. Peter Hamilton

    What’s remarkable is that well over a year ago Tavish and the SIC, with the backing of the Shetland Association of Community Councils seemed poised to tackle SCT, yet apparently nothing has happened.

    It is almost as if there was some hidden vested interest blocking transparency and public involvement in the running of Shetland’s Charitable Trust. You can almost hear the waffle: “Of course democratic involvement would be good, at a convenient time to be specified at some later date after sufficient deliberation…” Either they are stalling whilst Viking Energy resolves itself or the paid and elected public servants with the power, influence, time and the mandate to get this sorted are just plain lazy. Time for some “out of the box” thinking from Tavish perhaps? He did say he’d work with the council and community councils to get this sorted.

    Reply
    • Christopher Johnston

      Peter, there is a pecking order among Shetland charities; to paraphrase George Orwell, “All charities are equal, but some are more equal than others.” Those more equal charities seem to have representatives seated on the Board of Trustees to mind their interests. That is one of the negative attributes of a self-perpetuating Board.

      Reply
  5. Peter Hamilton

    The risk is plain enough Christopher. What’s needed is for trusted trustees to build a policy on how funds should be disbursed – an ethical disbursement policy – which people have had a say on and can support. Then if future trustees want to change it more in favour of one group or another they can make that clear when they stand for election. There needs to be capacity for change in who benefits by how much as some governments are more helpful than others.

    Similarly there needs to be public discussion regarding investment policy and discussion of an upper limit on local investments lest the tail wag the dog.

    This all seems to be largely agreed on by most folk who have stopped to think about it. What isn’t clear is why SCT’s community planning partners don’t insist on greater transparency and public engagement from SCT.

    SCT and SLAP can only function as they do with the tacit support of bystanders. This could be revisited by the council who could easily give a lead. Enough councillors signalled their concern when they stood for election. What stops them ?

    Reply
    • Christopher Johnston

      Peter, I understand that four SCT Trustees are SIC Councillors and the other eleven are appointed by the SCT Board of Trustees.
      Control of SCT is exercised by the majority of Trustees nominated by their predecessors. The public has no direct means of control of this self- perpetuating Board of Trustees.

      Reply
  6. Michael Garriock

    The SIC created the SCT, and it openly (ab)used the SCT, by setting up so-called ‘charities’ as a mechanism to finance public services that otherwise woud have had to come out of SIC funds.

    The SIC WILL NOT will not challenge the SCT for two reasons.

    Firstly, those so-called ‘charities’ are still receiving and (ab)using SCT funds to finance public services. The SIC, with obvious pressure from the NHS, and probably others, cannot afford to upset that cosy arrangement, as in these times of cutbacks withdrawal of SCT funding would see the whole care home, recreational, museum & archive etc services collapse, as the SIC couldn’t finance them outright without causing something else to collapse.

    Secondly, the SCT as is, is also an SIC creation, they designed and approved the plan of change when they were the majority of trustees, and they’re never going to admit to getting it wrong, they never do. Individual Councilors may rail against the SCT, but will never succeed in changing anything, even collectively with others, as the unelected and unaccountable within the SIC machine will always thwart such efforts in the name of protecting the wellbeing of the whole SIC machine.

    Reply
  7. Peter Hamilton

    SCT is now SIC councilor free but there are more than enough former members there.

    There may or may not be a stand off on reform between SCT and the SIC until after Viking Energy is resolved. After all, Viking might yet pay rent to lands owned by the council.

    When under SIC control Shetland Welfare Trust was folded in order to give care home responsibility back to the council, so the activities SCT funds can shift back and forth.

    What Shetland wants to see done with its oil money however is, for now, apparently only a matter for the electorate prior to an election. Perhaps that is the cost of living in a cosy liberal democracy.

    The oil money does not belong to SCT, the SIC or to Shetland Liberal Democrats. The council and prominent elected members of the local Lib-Dems have however undertaken to secure democratic accountability for SCT. Where is the action ?

    It is unlikely that an elected trust would work against Shetland’s best interests. It is however very likely that an elected trust would work more proactively in Shetland’s best interests than the current distrusted illiberal anti-democratic set-up sees. Checks and balances would be nice.

    Reply
  8. Michael Garriock

    The Shetland Welfare Trust may have vanished in to the history books quite some time ago, but some responsibility for Care Homes still remains with the SCT, through their so-called “Support to the Rural Care Model” scheme.

    If people are naive and gullible enough to believe the rash and ill-thought out “promises” made by any politician or political party at any level in the heat of election battle, rather than their track record to date, its no wonder the nation, and the world is in the cesspit it is in today. Even if such promises are made with the greatest of sincerity and the best of intent, the realities, priorities and practicalities of office once elected cannot be ignored, and there are inevitable casualties.

    The only way the SCT is going to be forced to listen, and be forced to change is by direct the action of the general public at large. I boycott eveything they fund, and if everyone else did likewise they be in the highly embarrassing and incredulous position of not being able to give their ‘dirty money’ away, and have to take a good long hard look at themselves and what they’re doing.

    Reply

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