21st November 2019
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Community council backs calls for consultation over SCT reform

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Lerwick Community Council has supported calls for the public to be consulted over changes to the make-up of Shetland Charitable Trust.

The conundrum over the £200 million-plus trust’s constitutional make-up was brought to last night’s meeting by the organisation’s vice-chairman, Jonathan Wills.

Jonathan Wills

Jonathan Wills: ” I think there should be public consultation.”

Dr Wills, the councillor for Lerwick South, has been vocal on the issue since the trust announced plans to reduce its quota of elected members, through the SIC, on the 15-member board from seven to four.

The rest of the 15-strong board could be made up of appointees selected by a so-called “expert panel”.

A trust meeting has been scheduled for 12th May. But some, including Dr Wills, have been frustrated that public consultation on the proposals is not being carried out.

Dr Wills gained support for his calls when he attended last night’s meeting. A letter will now be sent from the community council to trustees highlighting the case in favour of consultation.

“The Shetland Charitable Trust will be holding a meeting on 12th May. The agenda has proposals to change the governance of the trust, reducing the number of councillors from seven to four,” he said.

“There is to be no public consultation before this goes to the meeting, and I think there should be public consultation.

“The last time the trust changed its constitution, there was an attempt to find out what the public thought about it.

“We may wish to write to the charitable trust asking them to hold consultation, and asking them what the inhabitants of the Shetland islands think about it.”

There were no dissenting voices from within the chamber. Community councillor, Eddie Knight, declared his agreement.

Chairman Jim Anderson added his support, too. On hearing Dr Wills argument in favour of consultation he added: “I wouldn’t disagree.”

• Dr Wills has again written to The Shetland Times expressing his concern at the lack of public consultation over the proposed trust reforms.

About Ryan Taylor

Ryan Taylor has worked as a reporter since 1995, and has been at The Shetland Times since 2007, covering a wide variety of news topics. Before then he reported for other newspapers in the Highlands, where he was raised, and in Fife, where he began his career with DC Thomson. He also has experience in broadcast journalism with Grampian Television. He has lived in Shetland since 2002, where he harbours an unhealthy interest in old cars and motorbikes.

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