Inquiry justified

The Viking Energy project has divided the Shetland community to a greater extent than any other issue since I was first elected.

The Shetland Times poll showed a roughly even balance in Shetland between those who support the project and those who oppose it.

As Shetland’s MSP, I am asked to represent both sides which is what I have done. My ability to do this would be compromised were I to support one side or the other.

I regret the decision by the council to reject my suggestion for a consultative ballot of all Shetland residents.

This is information councillors may still need to help them to make the further decisions they may have to make, on our behalf, such as on whether or not to invest in the project.

But the immediate issue is the planning application currently with Scottish ministers.

I have asked ministers for the application to be considered at a public inquiry.

This would allow an independent assessment to be made of the application.

Given the size of the project, such a public examination of its merits and impacts is justified.

Tavish Scott
MSP for Shetland.


Add Your Comment
  • Johan Adamson

    • February 23rd, 2011 10:45

    This windfarm project is too expensive. It costs virtually all of our capital and all of our land, scarce resources which basic economics says we should not squander. Land is precious, Shetland land is even more precious to us. It is now also costing us our community; too high a price.

    If I had known Bill Manson was playing a numbers game, I would have also brought my mother and bairns out to the march. Mam represents the past, a Shetlander promised benefits from oil, now living in fuel poverty, as we all are, because it costs so much; the bairns the future, uncertain. Design a windfarm just for us, not huge, no cable, away from settlements and Shetland will benefit. We need nothing grandiose, not to make money necessarily, but to make power for our use and for the use of industry who come here to work. We don’t need to become an industrial zone. The idea of a windfarm was trumped up to replace oil money, but this manufactured industry is now completely outdated and unnecessary.

    The people who marched were the ordinary people of Shetland, people with vision, and people who instinctively know when something is wrong. Please councillors, be less arrogant and listen to those you represent.

  • Kay Manley

    • February 23rd, 2011 11:17

    I agree completely with Johan Adamson’s comments. Please please listen to her and all the other voices of reason.

  • Gordon Harmer

    • February 23rd, 2011 16:45

    Please councillors, be less arrogant, wow that some statement, when 1.5 % of Shetlands population think that they speak for the other 98.5 %, that’s arrogance.

  • Jane Booth

    • February 23rd, 2011 20:19

    Johan, I don’t know what fantasy world you live in if you don’t think Shetlanders have benefited from the oil money.

  • Johan Adamson

    • February 24th, 2011 9:15

    Thanks for your comments – Gordon, I don’t think I speak for the others – dont you think councillors should listen to their own planners and our MP? And Jane, I know we have benefited, but if we lose our money on this Viking energy monster, where will we be then?

  • Sandy McMillan

    • February 24th, 2011 18:25

    Tavish you know deep down, what the outcome of this fiasco will be, these nine councillors (numpties) knew exactly what they were doing when they voted for this, now they will spend all our money, with not a hope in h— of getting a return on this, ‘well what do you call it’, there so much been said against Viking Energy I cant think of word to say that would come within the water shed, unless there is a public vote, which you Tavish could push for in Holyrood without taken sides, all we ask for is the fair hearing, as most Shetlanders know there is absoulutly nothing in VEs proposed plan that will benifit Shetland, or does some one know somthing i dont know.

  • Alistair Tulloch

    • February 25th, 2011 12:44

    Well Mr Harmer, if we are now quoting actual stastics, then 1.5% of Shetlands population showing their hand, is a much higher figure than the 9, yes thats nine members who have voted to approve the windfarm development. Although its a long time since I did stastics at school, I think that the number 9 works out to be somewhere around 0.04% of the population, which I am quite sure is not all that democratic.
    The call for a ballot is the fair way out, but I personally believe that the fear of losing the democratic vote will ensure that there will be no vote on the subject. So we will never know what the majority of the population actually want. The empire rolls on…………

  • Ian tinkler

    • February 26th, 2011 19:54

    Tavish is i am afraid to say, a castrato politician. A political prositute of a politician, afraid to show an opinion, it may loose a vote or two. Leadersip of a neuter, Joe Grimond, Winston Churchill turn in your graves.

  • Gordon Harmer

    • February 28th, 2011 13:11

    Well Mr Tulloch If you want to number crunch and massage figures you had better go back school and learn a bit more about statistics, and democracy.
    Those nine councillors represent several thousand constituents and in a democracy an elected member speaks for and on behalf of the people who elected him/her.
    You are very much in the vain of all who speak on behalf of Sustainable Shetland you massage figures and facts to make a very unconvincing argument.
    Luckily the majority of the Shetland population are wise to you and common sense will prevail.

  • G Leask

    • March 9th, 2011 21:33

    Mr. Harmer,

    I humbly refer you to the official records re. the election of one of the “9” referred to in the above diatribe. Would you be so kind as to interpret the table below and then let this forum know what percentage of Shetland’s population actually elected Councillor Rick Nickerson so enlightening us on how many he speaks on behalf of.

    Thanks in anticipation.

    Shetland South
    A three-seat ward.

    Candidate 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th Elected?
    Jim Budge 350 363 217 84 41 31
    Allison Duncan 501 265 210 91 41 42
    Jim Friedlander 75 103 104 78 97 147
    John Hunter 148 179 209 128 100 42
    Gordon Mitchell 225 254 195 127 53 61
    Rick Nickerson 286 218 205 116 71 50
    Allison Duncan elected at the first stage.
    Jim Budge elected at the fourth stage.
    Rick Nickerson elected at the sixth stage.
    Valid votes: 1,585
    Rejected as void: 22
    Votes needed to be elected: 397
    Turnout: 63.67%

  • John Kryton

    • March 11th, 2011 9:12

    Ive been watching this debate with some interest and am amazed at the lack of understanding of the word democracy. G Leask, your figures look impressive but mean nothing, Rick Nickerson was elected by democratic means and therefore represents every one in his ward even the voters who chose not to vote. So when he speaks or votes he is speaking and voting for every one in his ward weather you like it or not. All you have pointed out with your figures is there is some thing wrong with the voting system and the only way to change that is for more people to rise of their buts and go and vote next time.

  • Pete Morley

    • March 13th, 2011 22:02

    As an avid visitor to your beautiful islands I can think of nothing worse than seeing a forest of wind turbines blighting the landscape.
    What is also alarming is that the people of Shetland will not benefit from this technology,mainland Scotland will so let them have the wind farm in their back garden.
    Shetland people will suffer,Shetland wildlife will suffer, yes, we all want a sustainable energy plan and cleaner fuel sources but at what cost

  • G Leask

    • March 19th, 2011 0:39

    Perhaps Mr. John Cryton will take time to read again the above posts from Gordon Harmer and myself and reflect on his assertions. Probably not. However in his post he refers to MY figures looking impressive. He surely failed to note that I quoted the published Official Figures and merely requested Gordon Harmer to interpret the table and then let this forum know what percentage of Shetland’s population actually elected Councillor Rick Nickerson so enlightening us on how many he speaks on behalf of.
    My request was based on Gordon Harmer’s previous posts where he challenged interpretation of statistics and stipulated that “in a democracy an elected member speaks for and on behalf of the people who elected him/her”.
    John Cryton may also take time to reflect on the accepted definition of “represent”. Probably not.
    Gordon Harmer the forum awaits a response to your deliberations.

  • Gordon Harmer

    • March 21st, 2011 13:33

    I some how think that only you await, G Leask not the forum, there you go speaking for people you don’t represent. There is a councillor for the ward I live in and even though I did not vote for him if I needed to see a councillor about a problem I had, he would be the person I would go to as he is my representative in the council. So there is your answer as far as who does a councillor represent, every one in his ward. Why I should want to interpret your figures they mean nothing as far as who does a councillor represent, and they are YOUR figures as YOU have used them to try and make a very lame point.


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