Tuesday, April 10, 2007

In summary

I'm Steven Heddle, born and brought up in Kirkwall. After KGS I graduated from Aberdeen and Edinburgh Universities and worked in R&D and engineering. Since coming home in 1999 I have taken an active part in community life through the Community Council and School Board, and run a business and technical consultancy, and have advised hundreds of local businesses. I'm responsible for a number of websites, including Orkneycommunities.co.uk, and through this have worked with dozens of community groups. I'm married with one son. (More detail...)

I'm standing because I want the Council to be active, forward looking, and representative of the people of Orkney, and thus it would benefit from younger economically active Councillors. I believe I have the drive, determination and sense to make a significant contribution towards representing the people of Kirkwall and securing the future of the County, and am motivated by the great satisfaction I would derive from being able to do so. I would be proud to represent the people of Orkney - I'm not looking for a hobby or a supplement to my income. (More detail...)

You should vote for me as I would take the responsibilities of being a councillor for the ward and for the county very seriously. If elected I will always be contactable and approachable and will keep you informed and seek your views through this website and regular surgeries. I will represent your concerns and opinions firmly and with clarity. I will not make promises I can't keep, and will be well prepared for all meetings. I believe my experience and background means that I should prove to be an excellent councillor, and if there is anything else I can do, ask me and I will try my best. I have already campaigned as an individual on a number of the issues below so my commitment to the community should be clear. (More detail... )

Issues of immediate concern to me are: that the council has to communicate much better and engage in genuine consultation; housing and planning needs to be carefully managed and understandable, and new developments enhance community facilities; care of the elderly must be comprehensive, fair and affordable; young people should have more facilities; Kirkwall's traffic management should be sensitive, and ensure access; KGS should remain where it is and be redeveloped to the necessary standard, but with prudent financing and community access to facilities; Scottish Executive led initiatives should be adapted imaginatively to suit Orkney's context; the owners of the Shore Street oil tanks must be pressured to relocate. (More detail in responses to comments.)

Strategic issues include: improving efficiency and promoting joint working within Orkney to guard against centralisation; using this and the support of the electorate to achieve a fairer funding settlement; all options for use of oil reserves should be considered; sensible investment in development; consideration of North Sea decommissioning at Lyness; investment in agriculture and fishing to develop premium Orkney brands and organics to safeguard industry against globalisation; community owned renewables; supporting rural and isles shops e.g. by providing access to council facilities through them. (More detail in responses to comments.)

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