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  1. Ok, so we have hurricane force 12 winds on Christmas Day. Winds are still up to storm force 10 on Boxing day. Despite that the boat goes - as it should. Then why on earth does Northlink Ferries insist on cancelling other times when the weather isn't half as bad? Oh yeah I forgot, the boat will be busy and the crew will be wanting to get home. Give Shetland a single cheque Westminster/Holyrood and let Shetland run its own affairs.
  2. I think it's about time the Trust reforms. They must have wasted so much time and money on this matter. My preference would be 50% councillors (one from each ward) and 50% public appointments. I think that it's essential that the accountability of having councillors on the board is matched by public/private sector expertise. As mentioned above even Edinburgh councillors are starting to admit they didn't have the expertise for the trams project: and look what happened there! If we have a fully elected Trust all we'll have is a bunch of folk with their pet projects for their own particular area. A Whalsay trustee will want a new super duper ferry, a Yell trustee will want a Mareel from Yell... With 'independents' who don't have to worry about re-election we should have people acting in the best interests of Shetland as a whole. We could have accountants, lawyers, business people, representatives from other public bodies etc. Would save money on consultants' fees! I also fear that with a fully elected Trust we'll end up with second class councillors - and look what the first class councillors have done with the finances of our Council! In otherwords, just because someone is elected to a body, doesn't mean they'll be the right person for the job!
  3. Once again this current crop are making a Shetland a laughing stock. I would have welcomed a trust of 7 councillors (one from each ward) and 8 independent appointees. It would provide a great opportunity to get some expertise on board whether it be someone from the voluntary sector, business leaders or professionals. It would have been a great opportunity to enhance community planning in Shetland too. But no. With a referendum the public will choose a fully elected trust because they are told that elections are democatic and so must be correct. We'll end up with a bunch of politicians who will act in their constituents' interests as opposed to what's best for Shetland as a whole. We'll end up with a Whalsay man wanting a £100m super dooper ferry service to Whalsay. Look at how the Council's reserves have dwindled under the current councillors, look at the £15m wasted on bridges and schools that never appeared. Now let's see what will happen when the second class politicians (those who weren't successful at SIC elections) are voted on to the Trust.
  4. Was up Scousburgh Hill and it's such a shame that it has been ruined following use of it by the towers. Are there any plans to clean up that area? Does the Council own it?
  5. I was on the upper deck the other night with a large number of tourists. We were watching the sun set with not a cloud in site. Then up comes Mr Security Man and tells everyone to go down to the lowest deck with all the smokers. Of course on the lowest deck only one person can crane their neck around the back of the vessel to view the sunset leaving the other passengers bewildered. It was pretty embarassing and a far cry from the 'cruise' that Northlink would have to believe. Anyone know why Northlink has this procedure in place whereby they shut down the upper decks?
  6. No court in Scotland will support Mr Hill. He needs to take this case all the way to the Supreme Court before there's any hope of success.
  7. Yep, unfortunately so. The 25th year and nothing on the pier. Hopefully it'll be back to normal next year - these Norskies certainly spend a lot when they're here so let's encourage them to come back!
  8. Yep, unfortunately so. The 25th year and nothing on the pier. Hopefully it'll be back to normal next year - these Norskies certainly spend a lot when they're here so let's encourage them to come back!
  9. That to me is Shetland's culture - a unique mix of Scotland and Nordic. There's no where else in the world quite like it. It's how our flag came about afterall!
  10. It's the erosion of the reserve fund that worries me. Contrary to popular opinion, our oil reserves are sustainable. However this is the case only if members use it wisely. Unfortunately members are spending significantly more than the reserves earn on the stockmarket/interest. This will result in significant cuts in the future. Take for example the most recent figures. The councillors spent from the reserves £8m more than was made through investment. That £8m return could have returned £600,000 for the Council on the stockmarket/interest. That's £600,000/year less spending for future generations forever! Sure using the reserves now may mean we don't feel the full effect of the cut backs. But my gosh it stores up significant cuts for the future generation and the loss of our funding advantage over other authorities.
  11. Totally agree. Shetland isn't Norwegian and some may argue (including me sometimes) that Shetland isn't Scottish. Shetland is a unique mix of Scottish and Nordic tradition. That's why we have fantastic music from the pipes and drums to world class fiddle groups. I think the pipes and drums are perfect to welcome tourists off and on the cruises or when something is required to march too, UHA, carnival etc.
  12. Mutton


    That's a disappointing decision from the Council. It needs to save every penny it can. If it continues to dip into the reserve fund there will be no reserve fund for future generations. I also think a skateboarding area at the Knab is wrong. Ideally it would be at the centre of town next to other sporting activities at the Clickimin. It would be a bonus having it next to the new school. Alternatively there's a horrible bit of wasteland opposite Isleburgh. It shouldn't be put out away from the centre of town next to a graveyard. The Knab is a lovely area of Lerwick and it should be maintained as it is. Not destroyed by tonnes of cement and tar!
  13. The referendum on Scottish independence will come. I believe that Shetland must start thinking of its constitutional position now. Does Shetland want to be part of an independent Scotland? If Scotland says yes, but Shetland says no, Shetland could remain part of the United Kingdom if that's what Shetland demands. It would provide a fascinating oportunity for Shetland to redraw its own relationship with the UK. If it remained part of the UK it could push for more autonomy along the same terms as Isle of Mann. However, if Shetland is to have an 'opt out' clause, the Council, our MSP and MP must act now. An opt out is not something SNP will give in to easily (loss of oil revenue). Negotiations would be long and hard. The outcome of negotiations with SNP may be that Shetland could become an autonomous region within Scotland if it agreed to independence. The fact is that Shetland is in a great position when it comes to negotiations on its constitutional status thanks to its oil reserves. Both the Scottish Government and the UK Government would be willing to let Shetland have more control over its own affairs in return for securing the oil revenue. It's up to the Shetland public, SIC, Tavish Scott MSP and Alistair Carmichael MP to take this opportunity of a life time head on.
  14. Oh here we go again. Bressay Bridge, Anderson High School and now Scalloway school. Will members please stick with the decisions that they have made. This is exactly the kind of antics that we want to get rid of in the Council. The members are being completely selfish by seeking to save the school for political acclaim. By failing to make savings the Council's putting the lifestyle of future generations in jeopardy by relying on dipping into the Council's reserve fund. Future generations have already lost £50m worth of reserve funds in real terms. That means the Council is earning less interest and will have less money to spend on other front line services in the future.
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