Brian Smith and his union colleagues are absolutely right in their assertion that Shetland may be heading for economic and social catastrophe. Let no-one for one minute think that this is just overpaid, underworked council employees trying to look after themselves. Never have I been more concerned about Shetland’s future as we know it.
To hear the council blithely accept the plans to remove 15 posts and £1million from the Shetland economy, with even more savage cuts to come, will result in a further loss of revenue for shops, leisure centres, taxis, pubs, restaurants and so on, not to mention the local construction industry.
If Shetland Islands Council continues with its strategy of drastically reducing its spending with the resultant effect on public services in order to maintain its reserves for future generations, my fear is that there will be no future generations as those mobile enough will look to leave Shetland. Let’s have a proper debate about the future of Shetland and the level of public spending needed to sustain and develop Shetland economically and socially.