Let’s follow the rules (Jonathan Wills)

Christopher Ritch should check his facts before accusing people of hypocrisy (Comment on my previous letter, “The Wreckers Should Resign”, Readers’ Views 4th May).

The fact is that the council has never taken a formal decision to build a new school at Knab Road. Since the 1990s it has been policy to build it at Lower Staney Hill. That policy was unanimously re-affirmed by the council on 16th September 2009, after my colleagues had supported my proposal for an intensive, three-month review of the project. So I didn’t try to reverse a council decision, as the Seven Scalloway Samurai are now doing, and as Christopher Ritch alleges, but was in fact doing my best to ensure the council stuck to its agreed policy.

I am still trying to do this, despite the hope in some quarters that the current “Gateway” re-appraisal of the project will persuade the council to opt for a cheaper refurbishment of the existing AHS buildings. Any fool can tell you it’s cheaper to refurbish than to build new. We don’t need an expensive, detailed study to tell us that.

There are three insuperable problems for the refurbishment lobby: it would cause up to six years of disruption to staff and pupils; it would not solve the basic difficulty that Knab Road is a mile from the geographical centre of the town’s population (Clickimin); and it is not and never has been council policy.

The council’s Old Norn motto translates as: “By laws shall the land be built”. So let’s start following our own rules, shall we?

Cllr Jonathan Wills
Town Hall,


Add Your Comment
  • Christopher Ritch

    • May 9th, 2011 8:23

    Jonathan should take the time to read my comment again. I did not accuse him of hypocrisy. I agree that it is a poor idea to build a new school at the Knab.

    Back to the subject of Scalloway School – it would make more sense to bus some AHS pupils over to Scalloway. No need for new social areas in Lerwick if there is space at Scalloway already.


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