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Bid Manager Resignation


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I couldn’t believe it when I read in the Shetland Times this week that "the man at the helm of an initiative aimed at bringing brighter prospects to Lerwick’s town centre has stood down suddenly from his role. Laurence Smith has resigned as project manager of the local BID project, which hopes to enliven the street and bring much-needed vibrancy and confidence to the area. His resignation was announced at one of the project’s regular meetings on Wednesday evening".


"Mr. Smith refused to comment on his decision when contacted by this paper today".


No bloody wonder he refused to comment, now if my memory serves me correctly when this post was advertised for, the job was to work 16-21 hours per week for 40 weeks on a rate of £16.50 and then submit the business plan to the council for further consideration.


So a total calculation comes to £13,860 for the 40 weeks now worked and what do you get for that!!!


"Assistant manager Christina Irvine is expected to perform Mr. Smith’s role within the project. She has been involved in the project from the start and said she was not concerned by having to bring it to completion on her own".


If my memory serves me correctly there was no Assistant Manager with this post it was a project assistant who would complete all the admin and do some research for the Project Manager.


The paper stated that “He [Mr Smith] just felt he had that many commitments that he wasn’t feeling he could put his all into the project anymore. He has got an awful lot of work with his three businesses,†she said.


So if he has so many businesses and other commitments why oh why did he apply and appoint himself in the first place!!


Yes he at the time of receiving this post was the Chairman of the Lerwick Town Association, where it clearly stated that "part of this funding will be used to fund the appointment of an individual from the private sector to lead the delivery of the project on behalf of Lerwick Town Centre Association in the short term and, the developing Lerwick BID Steering Group in the longer term".


The following week from the appointment there was an article in the Shetland Times from Mr Smith who had his title in print, Chairman of the Lerwick Town Association. Who else on the association voted for his appointment I wonder , who indeed interviewed for the post?


Conflict of interest I wonder, jiggeryPoo I wonder, jobs for the Boys I wonder, I will keep wondering because the whole affair stinks and what good has it done Lerwick, the retail sector that in this current climate is closing like nothing else on the street......a total SHAM.




(*** Mod - Topic title adjusted ***)

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Something has to be done to stop all of this "conflict of interest brigade" every time I read something on Shetland there seems to be a "similar" bunch of people all trying to get a fast buck from everybody else. If its not councillors doubling up on the Shetland Charitable Trust, or Viking Energy and perhaps both, its local bunsiness men doing another role as Lerwick Centre Developer.


The whole system and its operations must be looked at and changed. Get different trustworthy people in the right places, you have a vote coming next year, I advise that you use it wisely.

I might have to move back home and knock a few heads together!

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I couldn’t agree with you more Man of Kent; I think the Shetland people will have to think Very Very carefully next year when they choose their councilor.


It's time Shetland had a shake up and things started happening for the Island and not for others greed. New younger vibrant passionate people are needed to lead the way on council!!


When I lived in Shetland the few times I contacted my councilor - well left a message on their telephone they didn’t even do me the courtesy of an acknowledgment, let alone help find a solution for my query, much too busy making big decisions....mmmm


I don’t think I need to point them out!!!

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It is getting folk to stand, who are committed. Single issues will not benefit the islands, or anywhere.

I have always maintained that folk should stand up, for a start, try filling the parish seats first, you can work from there.

It is quite intimidating, you don't just win an election, and be a councillor, you need training, depending on what committee you are on, there are many legal things to get your head around.

I feel sometimes, with the allegations put here why there has not been a Scrutiny Panel, a Cabinet and some Governance. Too many independents perhaps.

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Shetlandpeat I agree with you and share some of your thoughts, I don’t think it’s getting folk to stand - those who are committed, those who want to stand will. You say "Single issues will not benefit the islands or anywhere"...what single issues are you meaning? I’m sure anyone thinking of standing for council has all their issues laid out and ready to fight for them.


I totally agree with you as you said "folk should stand up", however to "try filling the parish seats first" is not an idea I would suggest nor recommend.


Indeed as you say and I agree with you that, "It is quite intimidating, you don't just win an election, and be a councilor, you need training, depending on what committee you are on, there are many legal things to get your head around", I am sure anyone who stood in the past or who will stand in the future will indeed continue to get training or may have had training in some other electric!! In fact all newly elected councilors are offered a package of training from all ranges of subjects, in fact they have them listed on the SIC website with a list of all the councilors who took the training.


Free world I guess and Independents are needed as much as the rest!!


I don’t want to stray from the point on this link as I feel it had to be said, and if the truth be told this is just the tip of the iceberg.

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Starting with Parish would give a little experience in the system. I would not want to vote for someone purely because he wanted to get rid of green paint, unless he or she could show how the other colours of paint could be enhanced to replace the green paint.

Getting back to the topic....



I had heard there were many plans and some folk may not have liked them. It can be very difficult to chair a group when there are many opinions but no compromise.

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The problem I found with the scheme is that voting within the scheme that would be carried out by businesses is based on their rateable value. So if some of Shetlands larger businesses enter into the scheme they would entirely dominate the voting.


It should be one person one vote. Or in this example, one business one vote, not how much you're worth.

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I agree JA Stewart, one man/woman one vote is the only fair way for any election. Cant have a block vote like the Labour Party Conferences, would never do. All that would achieve is the same incompetents as you have now?


I also like the idea of an apprentiship on a Parish Council prior to serving on the SIC. You might get a more professional person conducting business on our behalf, having spent time on a smaller scale and learning what its all about. After all, you are paying these people a salary plus expenses to represent us/you.


Good luck with what ever happens.

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Council members are ex-officio members of the Community Councils too and certainly in Lerwick are often in attendance.


People always say we should pay councillors and MP's less but then you just get lesser quality personnel. I've worked in an MP's office and not only is it very much flat oot work, they get little thanks and plenty of berating. Would you like a job where every single word and sentence you say is analysed to make you look bad?


Hell, I'm a Community Councillor and I've already had individuals on here directing abuse at me on something they were entirely wrong about (Apparently the reason I was for the Scalloway school closing is because I'm a toonie with no understanding/connection to that side of Shetland. They of course neglected to realise I was raised in Burra and half my family is from that area but whatever).


Public office is a thankless task that many see as not worth the effort. I'd like to see successful entrepreneurs at the helm of the economy, not a history graduate.

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After all, you are paying these people a salary plus expenses to represent us/you.


This is where things fall down just now IMO.


Any public representative, whether they be a community councilor or elected member, should do just that, represent the public.


Their own views are completely irrelevant and it is vital they have the integrity to fight for the opinion of those they represent even if it is in direct contradiction to their own.


It has become very clear that some members of the current council do not have a grasp of this fundamental requirement.

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Any public representative, whether they be a community councilor or elected member, should do just that, represent the public.


Their own views are completely irrelevant and it is vital they have the integrity to fight for the opinion of those they represent even if it is in direct contradiction to their own.


I'm afraid this is completely incorrect - an oft repeated myth. Elected representatives are not there to reflect exactly the views of their constituents.


For one thing, how are they to know what their constituents think on every issue? Ask them, one by one? Totally impossible. Or perhaps conduct a referendum? Similarly impractical. Plus, if you conduct democracy by referendum then you have no need for representatives.


In addition, elected representatives must consider the views and well being of all their constituents, not just the majority. Rule by majority on every issue can very easily result in minorities between trodden upon. This is one of the real benefits of a system of representatives - it allows for balance. It's often said that people can be more stupid collectively than individually, and a 'pure' democracy can easily become mob rule.


Further to this, politicians, because of their roles, have access to more information on many issues than do the public. They are in a position to make 'informed' decisions (though there's no guarantee of course that they will do so). The public mood on certain issues can be shaped by many things - particularly the media - and on the whole can be very susceptible to undemocratic influences (like Rupert Murdoch, for instance). Equally, on certain issues - capital punishment is a good example - the law is out of step with the public's view, but the reasons for this are to do with maintaining a civil, humane society.


Finally, politicians' job is in part to represent but also (and perhaps equally) it is to lead. Politicians must listen to the public, but they should also be brave enough to express their views, and to try and persuade people to change their minds on certain things. There's been a move away from this in recent years (with Tony Blair's obsession with focus groups etc), and I don't think it's particularly healthy. Politicians should be able to say "This is what I think and this is why I think it. If you agree and if you trust me, then vote for me. If I disappoint you, don't vote for me next time".


Obviously it's all a bit more complex than this, but I've gone on long enough...


This is totally off topic now, but nevertheless, this is a modern myth that bothers me quite a bit, so I thought I'd throw my thoughts in.

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