5 WEEKS TO GO!
It’s been a busy and interesting week of preparation, booking ferries etc. I’ve set aside dates for where I should be so looking forward to getting around and seeing as many islanders as possible.
As you’ve probably acknowledged by now, safeguarding island education is high on my list of priorities. I’ve been looking back at the timeline of events during the previous council.
The previous council was elected in May 2012, within four months, fresh proposals were put to our councillors which would have closed nearly a THIRD of all schools in Shetland.
After reading through the blueprint for education which was presented to Councillors in August 2012, it was agreed to start consulting on nine potential school closures.
The Junior high schools in Whalsay, Skerries, Aith and Sandwick, along with primaries in Burravoe, Olnafirth, North Rue, Sandness and Urafirth were under threat.
When libraries are needing moving around the Council can find the £900k required. When the Town Hall needs to be refurbished the Council can look around and find the £1.7m needed. When botched runways are exposed £5.5m can be found to pay HIAL.
There is a real appetite for school closures in rural areas within the Shetland Islands Council. There is absolutely no appetite for school closures anywhere else in Shetland.
If you vote for me on the 4th May, I will make sure and do everything I can to try and prevent any further cuts to our rural education. I will work together with the other North Isles Councillors, and indeed put the island’s message across in the Council Chamber that closing any more schools in Shetland is simply not an option.