Having witnessed the meeting in the town hall last week, I am appalled at the apparent incompetence of the Shetland Charitable Trust.
Not only did the trustees fail in their second attempt to manipulate democracy by trying to force through a paper asking for more money for Viking Energy – they had to be reminded of their own rules when it came to having enough members present to vote.
None of this comes as any surprise though. Like many others in my area (and whatever councillor Gussie Angus’s conversations with “crofters in the area” might have led him to believe), I remain horrified at Viking’s plans, and now it would appear the Scottish minister believes the people of Shetland approved wholeheartedly of the project – because the council backed it. Well, did they?
What about Sandy Cluness’ promises of a referendum? Where is our public inquiry? When will the whole community be given the chance to express their views? A phone poll by a local newspaper is not enough – the real feeling of the community was better illustrated in the number of official planning objections submitted to the ECU, with 1,114 in favour and 2,736 against. Our outgoing elected members should hang their heads in shame to think they represented us so poorly.
An election is on the way, though, so if you have concerns about this destructive, divisive, expensive and pointless project, make sure you let your candidates know. They’ll be on your doorstep, asking for your vote. You should have a few questions for them too.