We’ve been asking the candidates in the upcoming council elections what their views on autonomy are. The specific questions we asked are:-
1. Do you believe Shetland should have more powers locally?
2. Do you think autonomy is something the next Council should investigate (as the Orkney Islands Council are taking steps to do)?
We shall be adding a page for each response as they come in.
Davie Sandison – Shetland Central.
Thank you for forwarding on your questions sent to all candidates in the forthcoming elections. I am happy to confirm my views on the broad issue of council powers and the debate on options for autonomy.
My election leaflet contains clear statements that have relevance here, as follows: –
- I will continue to support campaigns to bring decision making powers to Shetland. The Our Islands Our Future initiative will take time but has already resulted in commitments to an Islands Bill and to island proofing of new legislation.
- I am opposed to any further centralising of decision making powers in Edinburgh and will campaign for powers to be brought back to Shetland in any area where we are perfectly capable of running our own affairs.
So the answer to your Q1 is Yes. I believe in the principles of subsidiarity, whereby decisions should be taken at the lowest possible level, closest to where they will have their effect, i.e. in a local area rather than for a whole country.
Regarding your Q2, my position is less clearly defined. Firstly, i believe that Shetland is quite capable, in the long term, of moving in stages toward greater autonomy. I am not inclined to see the development of this as a function of the coucil however, but rather for individuals/groups to develop the specific case and detail and gain support through whatever political engagement necessary – in the same way as any other political grouping.
I trust these answers are helpful to you and look forward to further debate on the issues you raise,
Prospective Candidate, Shetland Central Ward