Your candidates views on autonomy – The Question

Here is a copy of the email we sent to all the council candidates:-

Dear {{First Name}},

Firstly, we would like to extend our congratulations to you for deciding to stand in the upcoming Council Elections. It is a difficult and often thankless task but is vital to the future well being of our communities.

Wir Shetland recognise the vital role Councillors play in shaping Shetlands future, indeed we are lucky enough to have one (Andrea Manson) within our ranks and her help has been invaluable.

The political landscape we live in is currently undergoing momentous changes. Who really believed that Donald Trump would win when he first announced his candidacy? Who really believed when David Cameron was elected that his “Re-negotiation” with the EU would lead to Brexit? And who believed that we would be facing the prospect of another Scottish Independence Referendum within four years of the last one?

Change, by its nature, brings uncertainty but can also bring opportunity. Brexit brings the opportunity of a greatly enhanced Shetland economy through expansion of our fishing fleet and associated service industry. It also brings worrying uncertainty to the agriculture sector with the potential removal of subsidy and the loss of import tariffs causing the market to be flooded by cheap food from outside of the EU.

In our view, Shetland has a choice. We can let these changes happen to us and simply hope for the best, or we can take charge of our own destiny and ensure we and our descendants live in a fair, just and prosperous society. Throughout history Shetland has had strong ties to the rest of the world, positioned as we are at the heart of the Scandinavian islands and surrounded by natural resources. We have a golden opportunity to build on this long history and create a society to be proud of.

Given our beliefs and aims, we would like to know; What is your position on autonomy for Shetland?

In particular;
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)?

The only purpose of Wir Shetland is to work for a better future for Shetland and it’s people. We believe the best way to do this is by obtaining self governing status. The exact form of autonomy is up for debate but we strongly believe it is a debate which must be held.

We would be more than happy to discuss ideas and hear your views either before or after the election, whether you are successful or not.

Sincerely,
Wir Shetland Committee
James Titcomb (Chairman)
Andrea Manson (Treasurer)
Kathy Greaves (Secretary)
Duncan Simpson (Membership Secretary)
Paul Bird
Gary Smith
George Dickson
Aaron Smith
Norman Leask
Ivor Arthur

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