Sustainable Shetland joins criticism of trust reform proposals

Anti-windfarm group Sustainable Shetland has added its voice to criticism of the nature of reform proposed for Shetland Charitable Trust and the short consultation timetable.

Following an attack by the Association of Shetland Community Councils (ASCC) yesterday, Sustainable Shetland said today: “We find the proposed changes to the governance of Shetland Charitable Trust to be inadequate and unacceptable. Your proposals seek to continue the undue power and influence of councillors over the policy and governance of Shetland Charitable Trust.

“We object strongly to the extremely short timescale allowed for this consultation. The charitable trust’s own review group has taken two years to produce this proposal, the public of Shetland had just 16 days to respond. This does not meet good practice guidelines for community consultation and indicates the lack of weight given to genuinely reforming the trust, or consulting with the public.”

Sustainable Shetland had submitted a detailed response to the previous consultation on charitable trust reform, but had received no response from the trust on that occasion.
Members of the group believe all trustees should be directly and democratically elected.

Responding to comments yesterday by charitable trust and review group chairman Bill Manson that the process “was not couched as a consultation”, Sustainable Shetland vice-chairman Kevin Learmonth said: “Charitable trust adverts clearly said Governance Review Consultation, so the real problem here, illustrated by Mr Manson’s attack on the Association of Shetland Community Councils for daring to respond to the consultation, was that this process has been carried out in bad faith, in a ridiculously short timescale, against all measures of an honest, decent and respectful consultation.”


Add Your Comment
  • Evelyn Morrison

    • September 21st, 2011 9:42

    Today’s meeting at tthe Town Hall to debate the governance of the Charitable Trust should be interesting.
    When I wrote to the councillors / trustees individually asking them about the legality of their roles as trustees of the Charitable Trust and their involvement with Viking Energy I received only four replies – both the independant trustees and two councillors one of whom was Bill Manson, Chairman of the Charitable Trust and Chairman of Viking Energy.
    So can we deduce that Councillor Manson as Chair, appears to have taken it upon himself to reply for the rest of the councillors / trustees?
    Does this mean that today’s debate is purely an academic exercise?

  • Kevin Learmonth

    • September 21st, 2011 16:20

    Sustainable Shetland is not, and has never been “anti-windfarm”.
    Our objection is to the Viking Energy Project. We made no objection to Cullivoe Windfarm. We think the Gremista windfarm has a lot of merit. Opposing one project doesn’t mean you oppose all projects.
    Will health promotion campaigns warning of the dangers of high-fat, high-sugar foods now be described as “anti-food”? How about objectors to a specific housing development, are they now all “anti-housing” campaigners?
    No doubt the accidental and erroneous statement inserted by your editor will be corrected shortly.

  • Erik J Smith

    • September 21st, 2011 17:35

    What a load of rubbish, Kevin. You know fine well that no Viking means no interconnector so no other wind power, or tidal, or wave. If you got your way we would be locked into fossil fuels for the next 40 years.

    I really wish you would stop trying to portray yourselves as friends of the environment, we all know it’s just a pack of lies, you’re NIMBY’s, pure and simple.

  • Erik Moncrieff

    • September 21st, 2011 17:45

    Mr Learmonth’s umbrage at the Shetland Times wording “Anti windfarm group Sustainable Shetland” is interesting. As he states, his group’s main objective is to oppose the Viking Energy windfarm. Its constitution emphasises this, listing it as its first objective, along with support for smaller renewable projects and sustainability in general. When challenged by the pro-Viking lobby as to their silence on other developments, such as Total’s peat excavation, their response is universally to state that Sustainable Shetland is effectively a single issue group.

    Surely the Shetland Times adding “anti windfarm” is a reasonable clarification to what is a particularly poorly chosen name. Had “Sustainable Shetland” been named more accurately (perhaps “Stop Viking Energy” or “Stop Large Windfarms in Shetland”), the Shetland Times would not have needed to add the term. What would Mr Learmonth have preferred to read? Simply “Sustainable Shetland” or “Anti large windfarm group Sustainable Shetland”?

    For the record, I do not find my own position to be either rabidly pro or anti the Viking project itself.

  • ian Tinkler

    • September 22nd, 2011 8:13

    Erik J Smith, just to keep you up to speed, if the Scots Nats under Salmond, have their delusional way, 2400 square miles of Shetlands seas will have countless hundreds of turbines just offshore. To take this electricity to the mainland would hopelessly overload the interconnector planed for Viking Energy… Shetland would have to have many new interconnectors and converter stations dotted around the coast. Under this happy scenario Viking Energy’s destructive affect on Shetland would become almost insignificant. Happy thoughts. Reference (http://ww

  • John Tulloch

    • September 22nd, 2011 8:54

    STOP PRESS: 200 trillion cubic feet of gas discovered in Lancashire! – Hasta la vista, Erik J., Salmond, old Uncle Bill Manson et al.

    Mwah, mwah, mwah!


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