17th November 2019
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Chairman was impartial (members of Shetland Charitable Trust)

8 comments, , by , in Readers' Views

We wish in the strongest terms to defend the integrity of the chairman of Shetland Charitable Trust in light of the recent attempt by vice-chairman Jonathan Wills to cast doubt on his behaviour and motives.

The facts are very clear. Firstly, Bobby Hunter is a trustee because he was selected to serve by an appointments panel, not because of his role as Lord Lieutenant of Shetland. Historically, the Lord Lieutenant was a member of the board by virtue of his position, but this practice was ended in 2012 under the last reform of the trust’s governance arrangements.

Secondly, in his role as chairman Mr Hunter maintained a strictly impartial position on the independent review of trust governance led by the Institute of Directors. Mr Hunter allowed all trustees their full say, including Dr Wills who was the only trustee granted the privilege of having an appendix summarising his views incorporated in the final report.

At our meeting last May to decide upon the new arrangements Mr Hunter quite properly allowed time for a full and open debate, but in no way attempted to influence the trustees’ decision. Once that decision had been made, however, he quite properly fulfilled his duty in representing the choice made by a majority of trustees. To suggest otherwise is plain and simply wrong.

Thirdly, unlike the vice-chairman, the chairman has accepted this democratic decision and adhered to the terms of the trustees’ code of conduct which binds us to the principles of collective responsibility (i.e. to support the trust’s position when decisions have been taken) and respect for fellow trustees.

As vice-chairman, Dr Wills has additional duties both to support the chairman and to represent the decisions made by trustees, whether or not he personally agrees with them.

In abusing his position as vice-chairman to publicly attack the trust’s chairman and the trust’s decisions, Dr Wills has displayed a lamentable contempt towards his fellow trustees, the trust itself and the democratic principles that he claims to champion, while detracting from the good work done by trustees and staff.

Keith Massey
Peter Malcolmson
Ian Napier
James Smith
Drew Ratter
Andrew Cooper
Tom Macintyre


Shetland Charitable Trust
22-24 North Road,

About Jim Tait

Jim Tait is news editor at The Shetland Times.

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  1. Robert Wishart

    Self-serving drivel. They just “don’t get it” or see the damage they are doing to the trust’s reputation.

  2. Alan Skinner

    I could not agree more with Mr Wishart.

  3. Peter Hamilton

    Where are their arguments to support their coup? Happily not all trustees signed.

  4. ian tinkler

    Why so frightened of democracy? What is there to hide?

  5. ian tinkler

    “We wish in the strongest terms to defend the integrity of the chair of Shetland Charitable Trust.” Just why do you need to do that? Does his record not stand on itself? Whoops. (wind farm supporters group leader, £10 million of SCT funds). Just rock me . Keith Massey, Peter Malcolmson, Ian Napier, James Smith, Drew Ratter, Andrew Cooper’ Tom Macintyre, I am sure your are all sincere.

  6. Michael Garriock

    A pile of babble from an un-mandated arrogant patronising rabble attempting to defend the indefensible.

    Cuckoos in the nest.

    The door is where you guys left it coming in, kindly close it behind you on the way out, and careful it doesn’t smack you on the arse as you go.

  7. David Spence

    In the regards to the SCT, acting on behalf of the Shetland people with their relationship with the Viking Energy Project, I am sceptical at best if this investment is truly in the interests of Shetland and more steering towards those of the few, lets say?

    Would the people of Shetland be correct in asking for a ‘ public enquiry ‘ into what exactly this relationship is, and who will mostly benefit from it? Who advised the SCT to invest in the VEP, and what would be the, if any, long term commercial pro’s or con’s of such a ‘ high risk investment ‘ ?

    • ian tinkler

      David Spence, If I am elected in the forthcoming Council Election, I will certainly push for a public inquiry into Viking Energy and the Trust monies squandered on it. Especially with reference to those conflicts of interest that appear so clear to most folk. I will also contact the investigative media and push for their talents to look under every stone. It is not only Trump wishing to drain the swamp, we just may have a swamp of our very own! I am making no claims here, just my own cynical suspicions. If there is nothing to hide, why so frightened of democracy and why the lack of transparency?


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