Final hustings hears of issues in the town

The Shetland Folk Festival may have proved too much of a draw for all but the most hardened of political observers, but a small, dedicated crowd attended a council election hustings at the Clickimin Leisure Centre, nonetheless.

Organised by the town’s community council, and chaired by LCC chairman Jim Anderson, the debate centred on the two Lerwick seats.

Candidates for Lerwick North, Malcolm Bell, Stephen Leask and John Fraser, were the first to answer questions in the Bowler’s Bar yesterday afternoon.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the final candidate for Lerwick North, Thomas Williamson, who this month described his appearance on the ballot papers as a “cock-up” and urged voters not to back him, was not taking part in the debate.

Candidates for Lerwick South, Peter Campbell, Amanda Westlake, Frances Valente, Beatrice Wishart and Cecil Smith later took part as well.

Questions ranged from how candidates intended to stand up for Lerwick schools, and – in a closely related issue – what should be done with the old Anderson High School once pupils and staff have moved to the new Clickimin development.

The new high school project is being constructed on land previously occupied by the much-loved campsite. Candidates were quizzed on whether they would support a new campsite emerging somewhere in the town.

Questions were also asked on whether a reorganisation at the SIC could help to cut down on staff, in order to free up resources for investment in capital projects.

The relationship candidates expect to have with community councils was covered, as well as measures which could be taken to encourage walking and cycling in the town, particularly among young people, as a way of discouraging a build-up of traffic.


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