21st September 2018
Established 1872. Online since 1996.

“Ambitious” 10-year plan hopes to improve outcomes for all

An “ambitious” 10-year plan which aims to improve the lives of every Shetland resident was launched on Tuesday.

The Shetland Partnership Plan 2018 – 2028 includes a number of bold aims such as halving fuel poverty, creating 800 new jobs and quartering the number of food parcels distributed.

The plan is a collaborative effort which aims to include members of the community alongside a variety of organisations.

Lead members of the Shetland Partnership are the SIC, Police Scotland, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and NHS Shetland, though many other partners will feed into the work of the plan.

The plan speaks of the shared visions and priorities of the organisations and the wider community, with data collected from public consultations providing some of the basis for the plan.

At a press briefing on Tuesday representatives of the five lead bodies spoke positively of their belief that increased collaboration in community planning could help to tackle inequalities and address problems such as the generational imbalance in Shetland’s population.

• More in Friday’s paper.

6 comments

  1. Suzy V Jolly

    What an absolute load of twaddle. This is a prime example of a waste of public funding. So then, are the above organisations going to:-

    – Pay everyone’s electricity bills (to cut fuel poverty, not everyone is on or wants to be on the district heating scheme … if it still exists in a year or two given the situation with the ‘recycling’ scheme) or are all electricity companies on this committee?

    – Create 800 new jobs amongst the organisations mentioned above … but wouldn’t that increase council tax for starters?

    – Somehow change UK legislation so that those usually in receipt of food parcels, such as those claiming benefits, get more dosh, and/or reduce council and housing association rents?

    This sounds and reads like a fantasy wish list, attempting to achieve goals outside of their control.

    Reply
    • Gary Robinson

      That’s an incredibly negative comment!

      Agencies participate in Community Planning largely without any additional funding. One of the main benefits of participating is to achieve Best Value in services delivered locally. The Partnership provides an invaluable forum where the partners can co-operate and get this assurance.

      Reducing energy costs is just one way to tackle fuel poverty. The insulation and boiler scrappage schemes that local partners have lobbied for, and secured, have also had a positive impact.

      Fuel poverty is measured as a percentage of household income so increasing wages can also help. We already have a number of Living Wage employers in Shetland; from public agencies to small businesses.

      Nobody has said that the named organisations are expected to create 800 jobs. While it would be good to fill vacancies in health and social care, my expectation is that most of these jobs would be in the private sector.

      Changing legislation or mitigating its effects is difficult but it’s been done it before; think everything from the ZCC Act through the “Bedroom Tax” to the Islands Act and the forthcoming National Islands Plan.

      I don’t accept that there’s nothing that can be done locally to have a positive impact.

      Reply
      • Suzy V Jolly

        Gary, do you honestly expect that everything on the ‘wish list’ will be achieved? If not, why not?

        Best Value has been around for over a decade, it’s nothing new.

        Getting assurances doesn’t always result in actually getting the end result – think the SIC and Westminster re building houses for the oil boom!

        Additional insulation for homes; again, it has been around for decades so nothing new there.

        Bedroom tax – so has the position changed whereby local authorities can only give temporary assistance and not year on year? It’s a sore issue for many, as some would like to move to smaller properties but can’t; and others feel that they shouldn’t have to subsidise someone wanting to live in a larger property. Islands proofing really worked with Sumburgh Airport car parking charges, didn’t it?

      • Shuard Manson

        What’s your vision fur Shetland Suzy?

  2. Peter Hamilton

    Let’s not forget though that one partner organisation currently does have considerable funds that are at arms length from government and do could do heaps to further progress towards these goals. Shetland Charitable Trust might yet choose to play a full part in community planning, shake up its thinking and really engage with the community it is meant to serve.

    Alternatively it could be about to lock up its (sorry, that should be Shetland’s) spare charitable cash in a speculative gamble based on massive wind turbines which don’t have public support and haven’t actually been shown to be able to withstand Shetland’s high winds. This might yet be of some use to Shetland further down the road, or more likely any revenues generated will also be locked up for the benefit of friends and hanger-ons.

    It reminds me of what Benny Wiseman once told me about that word might. “It’s a brally sma’ thing on the hide o’ an elephant’s arse.”

    Reply
    • Christopher Johnston

      Peter, reading from afar, it seems that Shetland’s public funds are spread across a large number of organisations. Do you agree that combining the funds into one account where they could make better returns would be preferable to the present arrangement?

      Reply

Your Comment

Please note, it is the policy of The Shetland Times to publish comments and letters from named individuals only. Both forename and surname are required.

Comments are moderated. Contributors must observe normal standards of decency and tolerance for the opinions of others.

The views expressed are those of contributors and not of The Shetland Times.

The Shetland Times reserves the right to decline or remove any contribution without notice or stating reason.

Comments are limited to 200 words but please email longer articles or letters to editorial@shetlandtimes.co.uk for consideration and include a daytime telephone number and your address. If emailing information in confidence please put "Not for publication" in both the subject line and at the top of the main message.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.