Central Ward

Central Ward

There are many (too many to mention) issues that affect each of the very different areas within the Central Ward, but I will highlight some that I see as important below. Constituents of the area may put forward other issues they feel are important through the contact form of this site, if they wish them to be included here and added to the key issues that I would bring forward, if elected.

Scalloway || Trondra || Burrra || Tingwall || Other Areas || The Ward As A Whole

Scalloway

A key issue for Scalloway in the years to come will remain to be housing. It will be essential for councillors to work together with the SIC’s planning officers to prepare the next iteration of the Local Development Plan to ensure that both private developers and Hjaltland Housing Association can find suitable sites for development. There is, and will remain to be, much demand for housing in this area and while housing can, and does, take place outside of designated areas in our local development plan, changes in government planning policy require designated areas to be included ups which housing development can be achieved.

A new or refurbished fish market is essential for the future of our local industry. As a member of the Harbour Board in the last council I have highlighted this at every opportunity and, if elected, will continue to work toward bringing forward the business case for supporting this development, given’s importance to one of our key industries. The requirements of size for modern methods of fish handling, affordable refrigeration and the necessity for a fish market to uphold standards for food handling  are all challenges for council officers to weigh against the availability of external funding and the substantial increase in landings in the last two years. The fishing industry is in a period of growth and we need to plan for the future.

Scalloway Harbour as a whole needs greater promotion to bring in addition revenue from oil and tourist traffic. We are the nearest port to the West of Shetland oil fields and are an ideal destination for tourism traffic. The next council will also have to work to ensure that the aquaculture and fishing industries that are vital to our economy, and the national interests, are defended against pollution or environmental risk.

Traffic management in Scalloway continues to be a challenge. Major change in traffic flow on the Main Street has been considered but the implications of creating a one way system have been ruled out, as it may only create new problems and actually reduce safety. Innovative schemes to improve parking, to allow better traffic flow, may be the most effective way to improve things and this is a subject I understand and will continue to pursue.

The Scalloway Primary School is under significant strain due to restrictions in resources and the fluctuations of pupil numbers and their diverse needs and it is incumbent upon councillors to work together with the School’s service to assist the school’s staff to overcome each new challenge as it arises. With the impending introduction of increased hours for nursery pupils there will be yet another major challenge for our excellent integrated school and early years campus.

Trondra

Road safety in Trondra can be supported through effective engagement with the local police in ensuring that our local policing plan continues to highlight road safety and community engagement as two of the three key priorities for local policing. As well as direct input, councillor representation on the Community Resilience and Safety Board is valuable and is a role I held in the last council.

Burra

Burra is another area where planning of future housing development must assist developers and not restrict them. The Burra Isles and Hamnavoe are a thriving community and this should be nurtured and supported. The school and parent council have proved very effective in bringing together the community to the benefit of the areas young people. A variety of community groups are also very effective in Burra and liaison with the SIC Community Development can continue to bring benefit to the area. Issues like traffic management will remain an issue for Hamnavoe and working together with the effective community council will continue to be the best way to benefit the community

Tingwall

Tingwall has enjoyed a period of substantial growth in recent years, with new housing developments around Strand. It will continue to be an important role for councillors to work together with the Tingwall, Whiteness and Weisdale Community Council to ensure that housing developments, industry and community facilities can grow together to benefit residents and proprietors without conflict or detriment.

Strom, Wadbister and other areas

One of the key challenges for the next council will be to work together with the government and Ofcom to ensure that all our rural areas can eventually achieve high speed broadband by whatever means. The government and British Telecom, while trying to achieve this, have shifted the goalposts several times over the past five or more years, but we are a at a point where they need to start working together with the SIC and Shetland Telecom to ensure that their own targets can be achieved. During my last term as a councillor this is something I have pursued directly with Ofcom and been given assurances that they will commit to considering how best to provide tailored solutions that bring this essential part of modern life and business up to the standard it should be.

The Ward As A Whole

The prospect of large scale wind farm development is a key issue in the future of the Central Ward. I stand by the opinion that I have held, and not been convinced otherwise, since the earliest days of the Viking Energy proposal that the landmass of Shetland is too small to accept turbines and development on an industrial scale. While there may be some financial gain through community benefit schemes, the visual, aural and ecological impact are risks that cannot be dismissed.

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