19th March 2018
Established 1872. Online since 1996.

Cecil Smith stands down as SIC political leader

The political leader of Shetland Islands Council has announced he is standing down from the role.

Cecil Smith has written to convener Malcolm Bell, stating he has made the decision for personal reasons.

It comes after Mr Smith told elected members about his decision at today’s policy and resources meeting in the town hall.

In his letter to Mr Bell, Mr Smith said: “I just want to let you know that I told both members and officers who were in attendance at P&R today that this would be my last meeting as chair and that it is my intention to stand down as political leader following the full council meeting tomorrow.

“I am doing this on personal grounds.”

A statement released by the council said Mr Bell had accepted the leader’s resignation, and was sorry to hear Mr Smith’s decision. However, it added he fully understood his reasons.

He also thanked Mr Smith for his service to the council in recent years in various leadership roles.

Councillor Steven Coutts, as deputy leader, will serve as interim leader until a new leader is elected.

Last week Mr Smith defended his negotiating methods after claims Shetland should have received more government cash for internal ferries.

After hearing the news Shetland MSP Tavish Scott thanked Mr. Smith for his time as leader and for his continued commitment to serving his constituents in Lerwick South.

Mr Scott said: “I look forward to working with councillor Steven Coutts, who will serve as leader in the interim. Steven brings common sense and skill to the post and will certainly work very hard for Shetland.”

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