Councillor’s criticism over lack of college merger update

A councillor has questioned “the point” of a board he sits on due to a lack of information and updates.

George Smith made the remark at Wednesday’s Shetland College Board meeting, in which he asked why no college merger report had been presented for them to scrutinise.

The Shetland South councillor called the “absence” of a report on the merger “regrettable”.

That led him to ask: “I am really wondering what is the point of this board at the moment.”

Jane Lewis, the new principal appointed to lead the Shetland college merger, responded by saying: “I did not realise the level of detail you would like to have at this board.”

She added that they were working on developing the business case for the merger, that this case “will come here to this board for a detailed look at” and she was “happy to work with members of the board with the draft case”.

Shetland North councillor Emma Macdonald also raised questions regarding the merger, including the satisfaction of staff, a lack of communication between the college and board and whether the merger had made recruitment more difficult.

She said she had found out “a lot of stuff” from the media, rather than the college itself.

Professor Lewis had earlier provided an update on college activity.

This update included the number of applications having fallen for this academic year, increased requests from employers for vocational training, school talks and an opening evening on Wednesday.

More in Friday’s The Shetland Times.


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