The Anonymous Widower

Winning Over The Anti-Frackers

Edmund Marshall is a retired MP.  In a letter to the Times today, he talks of his part in the Zetland County Council Act 1973 and the effect of the Act, on the Shetland Islands. This is talked about here on the Scottish Government web site, with this paragraph being the most relevant.

Closer to home, we have an example of the way in which one local community – Shetland – was able to accrue a legacy for its future on the back of oil and gas exploration. Shetland Islands Council showed foresight in securing via, primarily, the Zetland County Council Act 1974 a lasting revenue stream for the benefit of the islands from the development of the Sullom Voe terminal. The result of this Act and subsequent contractual negotiations is that Shetland today has a lasting legacy of around £216m. 7 This figure is over and above the funds contained in the Shetland Reserve Fund, administered by Shetland Islands Council.

30. The Shetland Charitable Trust, established in 1974 to manage the income stream accrued to Shetland, today provides funding to a number of charitable organisations and projects where there is a clear benefit to the Shetland community. Over the years, the Trust has made a contribution to creating a modern, positive and healthy community in Shetland. Shetland Charitable Trust’s financial strength has also given it the power to establish joint venture projects to move into the renewable energy generation market.

Dr. Marshall finishes his letter, by saying that fracking could be dealt with by similar provisions.

It would lead to some rather heated arguments in some councils, as to whether to accept the fracker’s shilling. It is a choice about whether you want lower Council Tax and new community facilities, or fracking.

I very doubt that a similar Act will happen in the greater UK, as payments like this really get the Treasury’s ire.  I’m surprised that they allowed the Shetlands to get this independent finance! Perhaps none of the Treasury’s mandarins had been north of Watford and Shetlands meant Rockall to them.

January 11, 2014 - Posted by | World | , ,

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