Not remotely charitable (Donnie Morrison)

The recent letter in The Shetland Times signed by 10 charitable trustees makes interesting reading. The end paragraph states that the trust money is, quite rightly, being used to support charitable causes as the founders intended.

Strangely there is no mention of the millions of pounds lost by ridiculous failed investments in various companies all approved by past and present trustees. This public money was never intended for trustees to play at being venture capitalists, their latest foray being the Viking Energy windfarm.

On 6th July 2011 eight of the trustees voted at a questionably quorate meeting to allow a further £420,000 to be paid to the VE company. A portion of this money is being used to pay a salary, amount confidential, to councillor Allan Wishart. Viking Energy also sent numerous people on a jolly – or as councillor Manson calls it, a learning journey – to Glasgow to view the Whitelee windfarm. None of this can be considered as a remotely charitable cause.

It would seem that the true purpose of the charitable trust has been sadly mishandled.

Donnie Morrison


Add Your Comment
  • Maureen Bell

    • January 16th, 2012 10:02

    I wholeheartedly agree with Mr Morrison and suggest that an audit is conducted on all of the withdrawals from the trust fund over the past five years – the period can be extended if irregularities are found in the pilot audit.

    The alternative could be if the trustees are able to prove, in hard copy, the honesty of their work and decisions.

    It is very sad, as a Shetlander, to feel so ashamed of the reported alledged misdemeaners of the members of our local government.

  • Douglas Young

    • January 16th, 2012 17:46

    Mr Morrison is correct, and there seems to be a mistaken belief that the Trust has money; it does not, we do, and they are ONLY there to administer it. If the Viking Windfarm is a charity then it must register as one, and then proceed to be non-profit making. The latter it has achieved with startling speed and efficiency.

  • Kathy Greaves

    • January 18th, 2012 15:16

    I totally agree with these sentiments. The monies held in trust is supposed to be for the benefit of the people of Shetland, to add value to our lives, to provide for our future, and not to make individuals richer.

    Whilst no one is denying that some funds have been used over the years sensibly, for good causes, not only for the provision of homes for the elderly – but there have been some errors of judgement too. Who is not still agrieved, angry even, at the £millions given to support salmon fams and various other ventures – some having had more than one bite of the cherry – whilst not sufficient funding is given to schemes which could help the younger generation.

    No Charitable Trust finance for the provision of music for children in our schools when the SIC found they could no longer afford to ; nor have they funded the cost of knitting lessons in our schools. What else could they provide funding for both at school and in other areas which would encourage and inspire the young?

    I was always led to believe that children are our future; their traditional skills may be needed to keep Shetland afloat if/when VE has lost our money and put us into dept.

    Also, what has the Trust/SIC and VE actually signed us up for? Is it legal, is it binding? Has anyone seen documentation, and can we all check it out?

    Kathy Greaves


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