SIC to ask religious representatives not to take up committee positions

The SIC is to write to the three religious representatives appointed to its education and families committee asking them not to take up their positions.

Councillors today agreed to install Radina McKay of the Shetland Inter Faith Group and Shetland Churches Council Trust nominee Martin Tregonning on the committee. They will join the previously appointed Reverend Tom Macintyre, of the Church of Scotland, who failed to win election to the council in May’s elections. The appointments are a Scottish legal requirement.

Councillor Jonathan Wills took the opportunity to renew his attack on a “ridiculous” and “medieval” law which means three of the education and families committee’s 14 members are unelected.

Dr Wills won uniform support for his idea of writing to the three appointees asking them not to take up their posts, pending discussions on creating a forum to allow different religions’ views on education to be taken into account.

He believed those views deserved to be heard and taken seriously, but it was wrong for them to be given formal committee voting powers in a democracy. He stressed his remarks were not designed as any kind of slight against the individuals involved.

SIC political leader Gary Robinson agreed the law was “quite archaic in its origins”, adding it was a “political matter that needs to be pursued”.

Mr Robinson is already speaking to Cosla and other Highlands and Islands councils due to concerns that three religious representatives can exercise a greater influence in smaller authorities than they would in larger city councils.


Add Your Comment
  • Robert Wishart

    • July 5th, 2012 9:03

    Good move. Well past time to end this nonsense.

  • Veronique Denyer

    • October 19th, 2012 9:34

    How pleasing to see the SIC taking the first step in Scotland to remove this anachronistic appointment without election to what should be a neutral education committee.

    Hopefully Gary Robinson’s contact with Cosla will advance the total removal of unelected members to all education committees.

    Well done SIC!!


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 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.