Former Freefield Centre worker plans to lodge claim for unfair dismissal from council
A council worker at the Lerwick Freefield Centre who was sent home after writing an outspoken letter against SIC proposals to close the much-valued resource has had her contract terminated.
Torana Bland, from Leaside in Firth, has appealed against the decision by the authority to let her go, and plans to lodge a claim for unfair dismissal.
Earlier this year she sparked real concerns over freedom of speech after she wrote a letter to The Shetland Times criticising council moves to close Freefield where she helped run the busy five-day-a-week OAP lunch club.
Ms Bland was sent home in light of the letter’s publication on 2nd March.
A copy of the letter was sent to the council’s legal team. In it she said the SIC had been “sneaky, secretive and made a bloody pig’s ear of the jobs they have been entrusted with”.
The letter also stated: “Why don’t you grow up and do the job you are paid to do, and not pick on the vulnerable, and those who cannot speak for themselves? You are nothing but a set of bullies. You are slowly turning Shetland into a ghost-town.”
At that time Shetland Islands Council repeated the statement that it does not comment on staffing matters.
Meanwhile, Ms Bland is one of two people running as candidates for the Co-operative in Shetland. The other one is Vic Thomas.
In a statement published in an election booklet by the Co-op, Ms Bland says staff training should be provided to help make both Lerwick and Brae stores warmer and more welcoming.