As a prospective councillor for Shetland South I would like to draw attention to Shetland Islands Council’s press release in response to the Scottish energy minister’s consent for the Viking Energy windfarm.
I refer in particular to the last paragraph where SIC executive manager of economic development Douglas Irvine, speaking on behalf of the council, says: “This is quite a day. An enormous amount of time and effort has been put into this project over the years by council staff. They have been instrumental in achieving this transformational project for Shetland.
“With the developed wind farm and the interconnector in place, an innovative renewable energy industry will become a reality in Shetland. In time, there will be many more jobs, probably hundreds, with people engaged in wind power, tidal power and wave power projects.”
Why has an enormous amount of time and effort been put into this project by council staff over the years when it has belonged to the Shetland Charitable Trust since September 2007?
Presumably you are not referring to years of man hours put in by the planning department, producing a 69-page report recommending refusal, only to have it overturned with a four-page socio-economic report cobbled together over a few days. That 69-page report could not have been “instrumental in achieving this transformational project”, as it was blatantly dismissed – so where was the instrumental work being done?
Precisely what resources have the council been supplying over the years to merit such a statement?
Why has public money been spent providing council resources for a project in which they have no shareholding?
I would be grateful for an answer on this, either from the council or Douglas Irvine as its delegated spokesman.