Monday, 1 November 2010


Generally, the term decentralisation refers to dispersing political decision making away from centralised government and into the hands of local authorities and communities. The current UK government have embraced the concept - Greg Clark, the Minister of Decentralisation, is committed to devolving power from “Whitehall to town hall” and, thereafter, down to communities, and a pre-election David Cameron cited plans to grant local authorities a new “general power of competence”. The now Prime Minister followed up his pledge with, “They [local councils] can do anything they like as long as it’s legal”. These are potentially worrying governmental promises for anyone who has been following the antics at the Lerwick Town Hall over the past year or so.

In Shetland, however, decentralisation is more commonly used in reference to more tangible commodities, such as jobs and housing, and is often used in opposition to all things Lerwick-centric.