First South Vision meeting hailed as positive beginning for new group

The first Shetland South Vision meeting was held on Saturday at Cunningsburgh Hall, with a number of people from Sumburgh to Gulberwick in attendance.

Councillor Rick Nickerson opened the meeting, which he described as “a chance for people in Shetland South to air their views about priorities for future service provision in the area such as housing, transport, employment, education, health, childcare, agriculture and tourism”.

The aim is to develop a vision, which will help policy makers and service deliverers to better understand the needs of people within the community.

At the start of the session folk plotted landmarks from bus shelters to beaches on a huge map of the South Mainland and Fair Isle before moving on to identify what they love about the area.

Then it was on to thinking about their vision for the future. What do they want Shetland South to be looking like in 10 or 20 years? What facilities would they like to see for old and young folk alike?

What about transport? What about jobs?

South Mainland and Fair Isle community worker Pat Christie said: “It was very encouraging to see so many folk turning up for the first of these Shetland South Vision 2009 events, and on such a fine Saturday morning.

“There was a buzz of energy in the hall with everyone having comments on what they felt was good about the community, and what they would like to see in the future. It was a very productive and enjoyable morning.”

Further events are being planned from Quarff to Fair Isle and quiz nights, focus groups, transport and crèche facilities are being explored to get more people involved, and to attract the widest range of people possible.

Community work manager Bill Crook said: “This was a very positive beginning. Shetland South has a good tradition of events such as Ness 2000, and I feel this will be a consultation that folk will want to make best use of to put their views and aspirations forward.”

The next event is in the Quarff Hall on Saturday 9th May from 11am to 1pm. People can go along and have their say about economic development, transport and tourism and lunch will be provided.


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