Appointments and disappointments (Gordon Dargie)

Nobody should be allowed to appoint their own successors to public office. Now that it has finally been brought to establishing independent trustees (The Shetland Times, 19th August) the charitable trust should be no exception.

And no independent worth that reputation would want to be appointed by our serially disappointing councillor/trustees now seemingly trying to pass the black spot.

It’s all very well that the trust has achieved many benefits for Shetland (as has the council for that matter) but it is not good enough for the community that the trust and the council go on being run as one and the same thing.

It is a serious concern to me, for example, that although one of the main aims of the trust is to support education and although Shetland students are increasingly in need of support, or risk being excluded altogether, we hear little of the trust’s response. Instead we get the council’s agenda of cuts and that’s about all we are likely to get from the current group-think of our councillor/trustees (and we never did get told the cost of the schools bureaucracy, did we?).

Meanwhile anything that might support individual students, such as the Zetland Educational Trust, is pitifully small and allowed to diminish, shuffled around in various reorganisations of the council. (Incidentally, after the latest re-organisation, who is running the Zetland Educational Trust now? And who is still eligible for support? And how can people apply?)

The election of trustees would openly review what might, and might not, be achievable, not just for the organisational needs of the council but for the benefit of people in the community. And at least give the charitable trust the chance of a fresh start.

Gordon Dargie


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