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Charitable Trust, independent of Council

sic charitable trust

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#21 Pooks

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Posted 07 December 2007 - 08:46 PM

Back on topic please.

#22 Caeser

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Posted 07 December 2007 - 10:33 PM

I thought da Flea had a good point in the Times today.

Words to the effect of...
'It was a pity of those interested in changing the Charitable Trust did not stand for councillor in May. That way they could change things from within the existing structure, if they felt that way inclined'.

Why was that?

1. Did they try, fail and are now pissed off?
2. Are they happier shouting from the sidelines, knowing they are invincible from where they stand?
3. Are they scared to try, just in case they fail and then where are they then, when they realise no one actually believes they could improve things?

Or is there a separate agenda?

#23 Marooned in Maywick

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Posted 08 December 2007 - 08:35 AM

I thought da Flea had a good point in the Times today.

Words to the effect of...
'It was a pity of those interested in changing the Charitable Trust did not stand for councillor in May. That way they could change things from within the existing structure, if they felt that way inclined'.


I think Councillor Duncan is full of hot air and likes the sound of his own voice too much.
I'm not aware of any of the group of five (Willie Ross, Steve Jack, Peter Hamilton, John Scott, Vaila Wishart - hope I've got the right people) either standing for election as councillors or ever having been councillors therefore I'd've thought they'd've had enough to contend with being new councillors without being agents for change to the Charitable Trust as well.
And unless they were elected solely on the purpose of wishing to change the CT from within, they'd be doing their electorate a huge disservice.

And let's face it - who would vote for someone standing on a single issue - even one as important as this - when there's schools threatened with closure, roads needing improved, ferries to pay for etc.?

Why was that?

1. Did they try, fail and are now pissed off?


Don't recall any of 'em standing this year.

2. Are they happier shouting from the sidelines, knowing they are invincible from where they stand?


None of the three at last week's meeting looked particularly happy to be there but I commend their stance.

3. Are they scared to try, just in case they fail and then where are they then, when they realise no one actually believes they could improve things?


Try what?

Or is there a separate agenda?


I believe there's an agenda separate to those 3 questions you've posed.

Namely that the issue of the CT being overwhelmingly dominated by councillors is one that needs to be addressed.

#24 islandhopper

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Posted 08 December 2007 - 11:21 PM

To me it is not the question of
- whether or not the "protesters" stood for election as councillors or ever having been councillors ... or
- whether or not the elected councillors are qualified to do the job.

The only remaining problem is the fact that under the present situation one body (the council) is allowed to transfer its intentions/political will, the resulting actions and the included risks to a "third party" under their absolute control (the trust) ...
... including the possibility to alter the statutes of the said "third party" in case it is not fitting to their political intentions as council.

I dunno say that it was intended or hat this was the only reason why they acted in the way they did ... but it is possible ... and no-one must wonder if the whole "windmill handling" leads to some similar thoughts in the public.

There is nothing against a "qualified" minority on the board of trustees of let me say 25% + 1 vote but all the rest ist questionable and I'm sure it will be questioned ...

Especially with regard to the windmill project it would have been more suitable to form a special development company ... guaranteeing the whole development costs (defined as maximal agreed loss) up to Xmio £ out of the council's household.

Putting the whole development risk onto the CT without any limitation but leaving the decisions up to the same councillors who want to build "their" monuments is far beyond any kind of being politically correct ... ;-)

#25 Ghostrider

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Posted 09 December 2007 - 12:31 AM

Putting as large a distance between local politics and politicians and the Charitable Trust as possible, can only be a good thing. However, I'm less than charmed by the current initative to do it, far too many failed wannabe politicians and landed gentry among the leading lights for my likings.

#26 Marooned in Maywick

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Posted 09 December 2007 - 02:37 AM

But somebody's got to do it.
And if these wannabe politicians have studied the goings-on of said bodies as part of their election platform then why not have them as instigators of change.
Not one of them at last week's meeting (as far as I can recall) ever expressed any desire whatsoever to become one of the trustees - simply that they felt the public in Shetland weren't getting the best value for money from the CT due to its make-up.

#27 Caeser

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Posted 09 December 2007 - 10:41 AM

From what I can see, if the gang of four and the other 20 odd meeting attenders would come out of the closet, and confirm that they would not be standing for the coveted CT disbursement committee, then their idea would go further. ( I suspect that they would, however, be first at the trough if there was a chance of getting in)

A bunch of failed, wannabee politicians (but are scared to put their names forward for council election, just in case they get beat) and people with massive chips on their shoulders, will really not get a groundswell of the general public behind them.

#28 Ghostrider

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Posted 09 December 2007 - 02:49 PM

^^ Exactly! The leading lights at the very least need to nail their colours to the mast right from the start, make clear individual statements of their personal aspirations for the future, "if" a reorganised trust should come to pass.

Personally I'd also prefer, at least the names, of all who attended the meeting and pledged support for the idea to be published, then everyone can judge for themselves where this is headed. One of the leading lights is connected with the main local newspaper business after all, there is virtually no excuse for not making the maximum amount of information as easily available as possible.

There is little trust within the operation of the Trust as it stands due to folk suspecting bias, hidden agendas, cronyism etc etc influencing decisions, what is needed most of all is open-ness and transparency, and unless the new guard start off firmly on that footing I strongly suspect any move led by them will be little other than out of the frying pan and in to the fire.

#29 Marooned in Maywick

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Posted 09 December 2007 - 09:47 PM

From what I can see, if the gang of four and the other 20 odd meeting attenders would come out of the closet, and confirm that they would not be standing for the coveted CT disbursement committee, then their idea would go further. ( I suspect that they would, however, be first at the trough if there was a chance of getting in)

A bunch of failed, wannabee politicians (but are scared to put their names forward for council election, just in case they get beat) and people with massive chips on their shoulders, will really not get a groundswell of the general public behind them.


I can't speak for the other 30 or so (not 20) folk who attended the meeting but I have absolutely no desire to be one of the folk who has the final say in where the money goes - I'd just like a bit more say in who decides.

So that's me (David Smith, Maywick) off your list of meeting attenders who want to be Trustees.

The purpose of the meeting was (as far as I was aware) simply to ascertain opinion - not make concrete decisions on how the Trust ought to be constructed or how the members should be elected/selected.

#30 Caeser

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Posted 11 December 2007 - 06:36 PM

I've had an idea !

Very simplistic of course, but how would everyone out there feel about arranging the CT to be locked away in the hands of an investment bank from everyones reach (current trustees, officials and wannabees!). This way there could be no more sherging about what is spent, where, how much, and by whom!

All that would be returned to the town hall would be profit from investments less inflation. This would protect our nest egg for future generations, without having to depend on the wind farm etc!(Heaven help us).

If the payment was £1 or £10 million we would only be able to budget one year in arrears, with what was cleared funds so to speak in the bank?

This is how most people get by so why not the CT?

It would put an imediate end to wish lists, and overspending. IF the councils operating account ran out of money by the end of October then I guess there would be no wages for a coonty workers until January...........

That would sort out the single status as well! Boy am I getting good at this. Maybe should stand for the council or would that be the CT?

#31 sheepshagger

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Posted 11 December 2007 - 08:50 PM

^keeping to a budget :!: now who's living in cloud cookoo land :?:

#32 Caeser

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Posted 21 January 2008 - 03:01 PM

Following on from the second CT rebel meeting, where it was agreed to exclude councillors from the steering group, does that mean, therefore that steering group members should now exclude themselves from any future council elections?.........................or do they really just want to run both the trust and the council as well.

It's nail your colours to the mast time - methinks??

#33 MuckleJoannie

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Posted 21 January 2008 - 10:38 PM

Following on from the second CT rebel meeting, where it was agreed to exclude councillors from the steering group.


The decision to exclude was initially for the first meeting only, with a final decision to be made following a meeting with the so far unnamed consultant. It may be a good idea to decide on their strategy without councillors, but in the long run they will have to engage with them and persuade a sufficient majority that change is necessary, otherwise the rebel group will just be a talking shop.
One of the themes raised by the rebels is that the Trust does not do enough for social deprivation in Shetland. My view is that they would be better employed trying to alleviate that rather than wasting their time trying to change the SIC.

#34 north

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Posted 27 January 2008 - 06:04 AM

Sorry, but they really lost me when they decided they are going to do anything that involves excluding anyone, on any grounds.

This is a worse idea than letting the council continue to run it. I do not distrust the councillors or the participants, I distrust the current system and oversight that exists.

I am now starting to have serious doubts about the intent of the individuals behind the entire concept of change, if they themselves are limiting transparency and participation from the beginning.

Just the same old thing, under new management! I can see it getting hi-jacked into a politically motivated scheme that might end up blowing more money than the exisiting group - and potentially with less accountability.

Of course, I am always open to having my mind changed again.

#35 Marooned in Maywick

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Posted 27 January 2008 - 09:08 AM

I do hope anyone will put me right if I've got this wrong...

I feel that if there is a meeting arranged for a particular purpose (i.e. setting up a steering group) then people attending the meeting will broadly agree with the aims.
The feeling I got from the latest Change the CT meeting was that most people who voted felt that councillors attending the steering group setting up meeting would not be a good idea as they'd still have a foot in both camps, so to speak.
Personally I was one of the 5 who voted to allow councillors to attend, but perhaps that's just me displaying political naivete - I'd like to think any councillors attending the steering group setting up meeting would have done so with the best of intentions for the people of Shetland.

#36 north

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Posted 27 January 2008 - 06:24 PM

Well, I for one agree with you. The very notion of creating a group that excludes anyone from participating, is to me an unacceptable breach of the entire democratic process.

I have to say that the Councillors who have bothered to take the time out of their own lives to attend these meetings are precisely the type of participant that a reformed organization needs - the other councillors obviously just attend their meetings because they are required to.

I think the entire process needs to be changed, but the very notion that in its initial stage of conception, it feels a need to exclude anyone is completely and totally unacceptable.

My fear from a group of so inclined individuals, is that once they became ensconced in their positions, an entire new agenda might arise, and there would be no means to debate it or remove them from power.

They would need to convince me otherwise - but I would remain resolutely opposed to any organization that disqualifies any legitimate participant on a basis that the reforming organization themselves determines.

#37 Claudias

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Posted 27 January 2008 - 07:45 PM

^ ^
Why are you not then opposed to the SIC? They pack the Charitable Trust with their own members to the exclusion of others.

#38 north

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Posted 27 January 2008 - 08:03 PM

I am entirely opposed to the current set-up with the SIC. However, this is the established method by which the entire charitable trust is governed, and in electing a councillor, you are also electing the members of the charitable trust. If you read one of my much earlier posts, you can read my surprise at that fact!

My issue is that in an attempt to reform the manner under which this organization is governed and its membership elected, or selected, no person should be eliminated from the ability to participate or have input into the changes and improvements being considered.

I see the current proposal as WORSE than anything the SIC could create, due to the fact that it specifically excludes specific willing or able participants, whatever their position or role. Intrinsically, I do not trust any group that wishes to exclude any other, because typically, this is because there is an agenda other than the primary cause, that will be revealed at some later date.

As I have said before, I am completely open to having my mind changed.

#39 Caeser

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Posted 27 January 2008 - 08:36 PM

Following on from the second CT rebel meeting, where it was agreed to exclude councillors from the steering group, does that mean, therefore that steering group members should now exclude themselves from any future council elections?.........................or do they really just want to run both the trust and the council as well.

It's nail your colours to the mast time - methinks??


As I said before, I believe the 'rebels' have shot themselves in the foot with their decision to exclude individuals from the process.

What I reckon we have is a bunch of people who want to be politicians but are afraid to put their heads on the block in an election.

They do not really want to sort out boring things like roads, essy carts etc, but want to play god by handing down the feel good factor funds.

I am currently unsure where our current trustees are supposed to have gone wrong? I feel they have done very well. We have excellent roads, leisure facilities, old folks homes and schools. (Indeed such is their success in building schools, we now clearly have far too many!)

Is it some business investements which have failed that has upset the rebels? Is it not however, a case of better to have tried and failed than never to have tried at all...........?

Maybe we should just leave all our funds in th stock exchange, not invest anywhere, and wait until the markets collapse? Would that have been more appealing than having supported a failed business?

It would be a good idea if the rebels could put their investment / spending ideas to the forefront to see if the public think they are any better than what has gone on before?

It would be some excellent propoganda for the next elections whan the rebels could all stand, and no doubt become elected such was the strength of their ideas.

We're waiting...........................?


The

#40 Njugle

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Posted 27 January 2008 - 09:32 PM

Or they could start their own investment club, specialising in venture capital, there's plenty of folk around here with more than a few bob to spare, local investors in local ventures, it works in Norway. :wink:

If that was successful they could look to taking over public funds, otherwise.....?





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