He could stand again… (Jonathan Wills)

Billy Fox complains that “Not once in past councils or this one have we specifically debated and taken a decision with regard to an interconnector cable and its implications”.

He had the opportunity to have such a debate three times: when the SIC Development Committee considered the policy on the cable; when the Policy & Resources Committee did likewise; and when it came before the full council. On each occasion he remained silent and the policy was agreed, unanimously.

Council policy can be changed, of course, but not within six months of being decided. So all Billy has to do is wait a while, then organise a secret meeting of his informal group, where they can all agree to vote against continued support for the cable (without listening to tiresome arguments at the council meeting), and he will get what he wants.

What Billy wants appears to be this: no connection to the National Grid for Shetland, ever; the loss of the charitable trust’s Viking investment of £10m; the collapse of plans to develop wind and tidal power in the North Isles; the permanent loss of between £10m and £20m a year to the charitable trust; and our continued reliance on polluting, climate-changing oil and gas – until it runs out, of course.

How many people share this wish list? One way to find out would be for Billy to stand on an anti-grid connection ticket in next year’s general election. I’m not sure how he’d get on in Orkney. They’ve got a cable to the National Grid already. Maybe it should be disconnected?

Jonathan Wills
Town Hall,


Add Your Comment
  • Ali Inkster

    • August 13th, 2014 17:22

    So you could you and the rest of the council if you are so sure of yourselves jonathan.

    • Laurence Paton

      • August 14th, 2014 3:55

      All those connected with VE seem to be getting quite twitchy .
      Is it a case that the writing is now on the wall for this project and they are trying to lay the blame of it’s failure upon the members of Sustainable Shetland?
      Also it gets quite tiresome hearing those supporting this project peddle the lies about saving the planet and reducing fossil fuel consumption.
      No figure can be quoted as to how much less diesel is burnt at Lerwick power station thanks to the Burradale 5 , I have heard that it could be as much as zero ?
      Also there are already very large numbers of aero generators, hydro dams and solar panels world wide yet consumption of all fossil fuels remains undiminished.

  • John Tulloch

    • August 13th, 2014 18:44


    You say: “Council policy can be changed, of course…….. So all Billy has to do is organise a secret meeting of his informal group, where they can all agree to vote against continued support for the cable (without listening to tiresome arguments at the council meeting), and he will get what he wants.”

    I’m sure Billy appreciates the tip!

    I guess that’s “politics”. I hae nae sympathy, tak on!

  • Johan Adamson

    • August 18th, 2014 10:30

    I think Orkney has a grid connection (which we should have got too at the same time they did) but it is in need of updating to take renewables. They dont have SCT coffers so where will they get the money from?

    I dont think anyone is against renewables. Maybe Viking should change to tidal and consult the public. You may find no one is opposed if it doesnt cause destruction and the benefits will be quantifyable and felt in the Isles. Instead of filling SCT coffers the residents could benefit from free electricity?


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