Consultation on a new scheme for Community Councils in Shetland opens today and Shetland Islands Council is asking for views and representations on five different proposals.
The first phase of the consultation, which will run for 12 weeks, focuses on the areas and composition of Community Councils. There are currently 18 Community Councils, and the first option proposes no changes to the number and areas of Community Councils. Option two would create a single new Community Council for Fair Isle, Fetlar, Foula, Papa Stour and Skerries, with subsequent adjustments to the boundaries of Dunrossness and Sandness & Walls Community Councils.
The third option proposes creating a single new Community Council for Fair Isle, Fetlar, Foula, Papa Stour and Skerries, as well as creating five new Community Councils that match the Shetland mainland multi-member wards. The Community Councils in Bressay, Whalsay, Unst and Yell would remain unchanged.
Option four would create new Community Councils that match the multi-member wards. Option five proposes no changes to the existing Community Councils, other than boundary adjustments to Dunrossness and Sandness & Walls Community Councils to allow the creation of new Community Councils for Fair Isle and Foula.
In addition to the five proposals being consulted on, there is a sixth option, which allows respondents to submit their own proposals should they wish to do so.
Phase One of the consultation opens on Friday 20 October 2023 and responses can be made until 5pm on Friday 12 January 2024.
More details and a link to respond to on online survey are available at www.shetland.gov.uk/ccschemereview. A series of public drop-in sessions is being planned for November, and more details will be announced soon.
Councillor Dennis Leask, Chair of the Development Committee said: “We really want to hear from as many people as possible on the options to review community councils in Shetland. The last major review of the Community Council Scheme in Shetland took place in the mid-1990s and it’s important that we ensure this is still fit for purpose today. I’d urge anyone with a view, whether they’re involved with any community council or not, to respond to the survey and give us their thoughts.”