New candidates announce they will stand in May elections

The chairman of Sandwick Community Council says he will stand in the SIC elections for Shetland South.

Bryan Peterson, a senior manager at Shetland Arts, says serving on the community council gave him a “good grounding” in issues affecting the area.

The 45 year-old was born and brought up in Lerwick, but has lived in Hoswick for 12 years.

He has listed the cost of living and housing as two main priorities that concern people in the area.

Mr Peterson says the SIC must work “at a strategic, national level” to help mitigate the impacts that already affect isles residents disproportionately.

“We are surrounded by renewable and mineral energy that is vital for the UK, so we must negotiate with Holyrood, Westminster and energy companies to redress the cost of living imbalance.

“The SIC Local Housing Strategy 2022-27 sets out the plans for new affordable housing, and the modernisation of existing housing, and it will be up to the new council to hit the ground running to ensure the ambitions are delivered.

“Supporting the construction industry is key to this – we need more apprenticeships to expand local capacity, and new financial models to allow contractors to get on and do the work.”

Meanwhile, a former community councillor says he will stand in the SIC elections for Lerwick South.

Peter Coleman says his experience with “the outskirts of politics” gave him a “desire to see improvements”.

Mr Coleman, who is manager of electrical wholesaler L.E.S.S., has also served as a member of Hjaltland Housing Association committee for nine years.

“I recognise the need for an increase in good quality housing,” he said.

“There is a severe lack of housing in Shetland which causes many issues.”

He added he was “apprehensive” about the rising costs of living.

“Living in Shetland adds another dimension of additional expense onto already spiralling costs.

“I want to ensure that Shetland Islands Council supports people through this period to the best of its ability.”

On Friday, current Lerwick South member Cecil Smith announced he would also stand.


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