Charitable trust needs new trustees

Shetland Charitable Trust is looking for two new appointee-trustees.

There are vacancies to join the seven councillor- and six appointee-trustees on the 15-member trust.

Until two years ago the trust comprised all councillors, along with two appointee-trustees, but now has a majority of appointees.

The charitable trust, one of the biggest in Scotland, spends more than £10 million a year for the benefit of those in Shetland, including social care and welfare, the arts, sport, the environment and heritage.

The two new trustees, to be appointed by an independently-chaired interview panel, will be expected to take part in decisions on all aspects of trust business, from investments to charitable disbursements.

Shetland Charitable Trust’s chief executive, Ann Black, said: “We hope to attract a high level of interest for these posts, which are of crucial importance to our community.”

Trust vice-chairman Jonathan Wills, said: “We have funded, and will continue to support, a wide range of good causes across Shetland, using income from the investments we manage.

“Our new trustees will be public-spirited people with local knowledge and broad experience, willing to work with other trustees for the benefit of their fellow islanders. The work is unpaid but the job satisfaction is high.”

Dr Wills added: “Anyone who’d like to discuss applying to be a trustee, and would like to know more about what it involves, is cordially invited to phone Edna Mainland at the trust offices. She’ll make them an appointment for a chat with me or Ann Black. The phone number is 01595 744994.”

The trust is an independent charitable organisation, originally set up in 1976 to manage income from the Sullom Voe oil terminal on behalf of the Shetland community. These “disturbance payments” from the oil industry stopped in 2000.

The trust’s only source of income is the return on its investments. Its funds are worth about £215m, with about £192m invested on the world’s markets and £23m in the local economy.


Add Your Comment
  • Alan Skinner

    • December 1st, 2014 23:25

    Having been CEO/COO of some major international trust companies, with responsibility for hundreds of billions of pounds, I would love to bring my experience and expertise to the benefit of Shetland residents. However, the last thing I want to do is to have a “chat” with Jonathan Wills or Ann Black. The elephant in the room – SCT’s naive investment in Viking Energy – would have to be addressed, and SCT would have to be moved on to a professional footing.
    I do hope that SCT finds good quality trustees, with appropriate experience and expertise.

    Alan Skinner
    New House

    • Johan Adamson

      • December 3rd, 2014 8:53

      You’re not public sector enough. They are the only ones who know the proper way to give out money. Its not about the investing.

  • Michael Garriock

    • December 2nd, 2014 17:40

    A charade, a paper exercise. What can a system of existing members picking whom will join them ever be, but one of selecting ‘yes (wo)men’ who will get with the program and not rock the eletist little club to which they belong, or upset the ever narrowing select few who gain from the funds they ‘manage’.

    Councillors are elected on the electorate’s perceived belief of their suitability to successfully deliver local public services, not on their perceived investment and business acumen, nor on their views on benevolence to, or ability to identify the perceived needy. Additional members invited to join by that core elite and their existing invited members, are highly unlikely to be anyone unless those of like mind.

    Until and unless the Trustees are comprised entirely of individuals democratically elected specifically for the post with the role of that post firmly in mind, the SCT will remain an unrealised and questionably managed asset. Existing primarily as a thinly disguised cash cow to pick up financial shortcomings in services the Council should be responsible for and budgeting for, and “pet projects” which fall outwith their remit, but they won’t let go the reins of.

    Trustees should ideally have a proven track record of investing and managing funds successfully, and one of identifying and predicting the perceived needy, and of identifying the most efficient and cost effective permanent solution to the issue(s) creating the needy situation.

    While its not impossible to have all those talents present in one person, arguably the preferable governance of the SCT would be two seperate groups of Trustees with each group elected seperately. One group responsible solely for managing and investment, and the second solely responsible for the fair and effective distribution of funds available for disbursement, with each group meeting seperately and operating independently of each other. Whenever necessary meetings could be convened with both groups in attendance, where the realities of Trust income and the aspirations of what it wants to do are debated and overall policy is made.

    The “jack of all trades” trustee approach to date would have been fine as a short term solution until a more permanent arrangement was delivered, it has never worked very well, it isn’t working at all right now, and there is no evidence to suggest it is likely to work again any time soon.

  • john irvine

    • December 2nd, 2014 17:56


    Do you think that anyone with even a sniff of opposition to the “white elephants” will get appointed?

    Not a chance!

    Only those who can be brainwashed need apply.


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