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.