Will elections be any better? (Jeemie Smith)

It is a great pity that the work of the charitable trust working group has been totally ignored by those councillors who are fighting a rearguard action and using delaying tactics, against change, secure in the knowledge that they will not have to implement any changes, which will be imposed by OSCR.

So we’re to have a referendum. What’s it going to cost and who’s going pay for it?

The charitable trust will have to find the money, which means cuts somewhere else.

By the time the referendum is completed, and it has to be done properly, it’ll probably cost about a quarter of a million, and the result could be ignored by the councillors, as they did the working group report, and might find no support from OSCR.

Then we could have elections to the trust, another quarter of a million down the drain.

Democracy is expensive I know, but in this case, is it value for money? We used democracy to vote in the councillors, and there is some doubt as to their collective effectiveness, even Peter Hamilton agrees, but uses the words “incredible mess”.

What guarantee is there that elections to the charitable trust will get us any better results?

The NHS in Shetland seems to work pretty well with appointed members, but they do have to have some qualifications, and are vetted prior to appointment. The local group deciding on LEADER funding again is appointed, and works incredibly well and efficiently, using council and private members.

Maybe we should give membership by appointment a try, and have the referendum at the end of the four years. Oh, and any non-council members would have to be appointed by someone other than the council. The council members of the trust will be elected by the public of Shetland.

Jeemie Smith
3 Kirtleside,


Add Your Comment
  • Kevin Learmonth

    • September 22nd, 2011 12:28

    Erm, perhaps the £420,000 recently given by the Charitable Trust to Viking Energy could have been used for a referendum instead, or indeed care homes, social care, arts, culture, education, recreation, environment…
    You are probably right in saying this u-turn is a rearguard action by some councillors. If so, pressing for a clear, early and binding referendum is the best response to any possible delaying tactic. But it’s surely good news when trustees have to resort to democracy and listening to the community they serve as a last resort.
    Did Jeemie have any names in mind when thinking of hand-picked trustees?


Add Your Comment

Please note, it is the policy of The Shetland Times to publish comments and letters from named individuals only. Both forename and surname are required.

Comments are moderated. Contributors must observe normal standards of decency and tolerance for the opinions of others.

The views expressed are those of contributors and not of The Shetland Times.

The Shetland Times reserves the right to decline or remove any contribution without notice or stating reason.

Comments are limited to 200 words but please email longer articles or letters to editorial@shetlandtimes.co.uk for consideration and include a daytime telephone number and your address. If emailing information in confidence please put "Not for publication" in both the subject line and at the top of the main message.

200 words left

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Get Latest News in Your Inbox

Join the The Shetland Times mailing list to get one daily email update at midday on what's happening in Shetland.