My name is Ryan Thomson and I am standing as a candidate for the North Isles electoral ward for the 2017 Shetland Islands Council elections which will be held on Thursday 4 May 2017.
I was born in 1985 and was raised in Baltasound, Unst, I lived in Baltasound until 2009. I attended Baltasound Junior High School from Primary 1 right through to Secondary 4, then studied through the Shetland College whilst working at the Unst Partnership and Isles Telecroft. I have lived in Shetland all my life.
I now reside in Wadbister and own Tagon Stores in Voe. I continue to have links in the isles, with many family members living in Unst, and I try to return home as much as possible. I am married and we have three boys,
In my spare time I enjoy watching sport within and out with Shetland, also on the TV, travelling south to watch football games when I can. I play snooker and pool, squash and enjoy fishing and golf, and can often be seen attempting to do something akin to running in the gym. I like doing things for charity, recently raising money for Cancer Research and McMillan by walking from Sumburgh to Skaw, then running the Edinburgh Marathon in 2014.
Why I’m standing for election on 4 May 2017
I believe that the Shetland public, particularly those in rural areas, have felt an increasing distance between themselves and Toon Hall. Between school closures, botched consultations, and a general focus on centralisation, rural and island communities have lost faith in the Council. It doesn’t have to be like this.
What I promise to bring to the Council is freshness, complete transparency and regular ongoing communication with islanders and the public. When I announced my plans to stand for Council people approached me offering good luck wishes, but also offering advice and information on what they want to see in their Councillor. They want a Councillor who is approachable and one who they can talk to regarding issues affecting them. I promise to be the person to stand up for the North Isles communities, to fight our corner and to make decisions for the benefit of the islands.
We need someone representing our islands who isn’t afraid to speak their mind, to stick up for the isles and put us first. I promise to debate strongly, to make important decisions which benefit us all. At this very important time Shetland needs a clear vision for the future for all our islands. Continuous cutbacks from central government mean there is a serious threat to our way of life and we need someone strong minded to help prevent cuts to our education system which would have a devastating effect on rural communities. I believe the North Isles are particularly vulnerable to these cuts and I will fight strenuously to prevent that from happening.
If I am elected, I promise:
- At all times to put the North Isles – Unst, Yell, Whalsay, Fetlar and Skerries – first.
- To fight against cuts to Education and Social Care
- To promote our islands within and outwith Shetland
- To make steps to improve transport links
- To make steps to improve mobile and broadband coverage
- To listen and represent the views of the constituents and act on their behalf on the Council Chamber
- To always act in an open and transparent manner and give reasons for any decision made