Give community councils more powers to stop controversial projects, Scott says

Community councillors have been left asking “what are we doing here” after their objections to major developments were ignored.

That came from Shetland Central councillor Ian Scott, who said the Scalloway Community Council’s plea to turn down a planning application for a proposed Co-op in the area had fallen on deaf ears.

He said it “doesn’t surprise me that very few people apply” to be community councillors.

Mr Scott was speaking at Tuesday’s special SIC meeting, which was discussing the draft scheme from phase one of the council’s consultation into its community councils.

Phase two will start next month and is expected to run until June.

Several members spoke of the need to give people more incentive to join their local community council.

Mr Scott pointed to the proposed Scalloway Co-op as an example of a time when the voice of the community was seemingly ignored by council planners.

But convener Andrea Manson said sometimes councillors, and council officials, were left with “no option but to do what planning law says”.

Council leader Emma Macdonald praised a move which will allow each community council to appoint two youth members, aged between 12 and 16.

However Neil Pearson said he could not imagine too many people that age that would feel incentivised to go.

He added they would not have any voting rights, and said it needed to be about more than a “token attendance”.


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