Wishart and Hawkins swap roles at top of major council committee

Allan Wishart has been voted vice chairman of the council’s infrastructure committee, despite giving up the role of chairman last month to concentrate on a new job as a co-ordinator for Viking Energy.

The Lerwick North councillor won out in a vote against fellow members Gary Robinson and Jim Henry at a meeting which also saw Scalloway councillor and former vice chairwoman Iris Hawkins become the new infrastrure chairwoman.

Mr Wishart won the vote by a clear majority, attracting 14 votes from councillors. Mr Henry could only attract five votes while Mr Robinson lagged behind in third with three votes.

In August Mr Wishart announced he was stepping down from his £4,000 role as infrastructure chairman, as well as head of the transport partnership ZetTrans and his council appointment as a trustee of Shetland Charitable Trust, to take up a year-long contract with the company behind the controversial windfarm. Leaving the trust also meant Mr Wishart had to step down as unpaid director of Viking Energy.

At the time he said the threat of private investors coming to Shetland to reap the rewards of a locally-built windfarm had prompted him to take the job with Viking Energy.

He also said he needed to make more time for the work ahead of him, and he did not want them to be any perception of having a conflict of interest.

At Wednesday’s Full Council meeting he was nominated by fellow Lerwick North member Caroline Miller.

Addressing the committee, Mr Wishart said he was keen to support Mrs Hawkins, and added he would “listen to and take on board” the various comments from those around him.
“We work together quite well, I feel, and my job … is to support the chair in her duties.”

Meanwhile the experience Mrs Hawkins has gained as infrastructure’s vice chairwoman has clearly stood her in good stead. She won her vote by 18 to four against Lerwick South member Jonathan Wills, the only other councillor who stood for the position.


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