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The Shetland Islands Council (Scots: Shetland Islands Cooncil) is the local authority for Shetland, Scotland. It was established by the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973 and is the successor to the former Lerwick Town Council and Zetland County Council. This council was established in 1975 and was largely unaffected by the Scottish local government changes of the mid-1990s.

Flag of Shetland Sealtainn
Shetland Islands in Scotland.svg
Coordinates: 60°18′14″N 1°16′08″W / 60.3038°N 1.2689°W / 60.3038; -1.2689Coordinates: 60°18′14″N 1°16′08″W / 60.3038°N 1.2689°W / 60.3038; -1.2689
Admin HQLerwick
 • BodyShetland Islands Council
 • ControlIndependent
 • MPs
 • MSPs
 • Total567 sq mi (1,468 km2)
Area rankRanked 12th
 (mid-2017 est.)
 • Total23,100
 • RankRanked 31st
 • Density40/sq mi (15/km2)
ONS codeS12000027
ISO 3166 codeGB-ZET

It provides services in the areas of Environmental Health, Roads, Social Work, Community Development, Organisational Development, Economic Development, Building Standards, Trading Standards, Housing, Waste, Education, Burial Grounds, Port and Harbours and others. The council is allowed to collect Council Tax. The Fire Service is part of the Highlands and Islands division of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.

In 2011, structural reforms saw the creation of the Political Leader position, with the Convenor becoming a civic leadership post.[1]


Political compositionEdit

Party Councillors
Independent 21 [2]
Scottish National Party 1

In the 2017 election, one SNP councillor was elected unopposed in the Shetland South ward, with Independents elected to the remaining seats.

Political leadersEdit

  • 2018–present: Steven Coutts
  • 2017-2018: Cecil Smith
  • 2012–2017: Gary Robinson
  • 2011–2012: Josie Simpson


  • 2012–present: Malcolm Bell
  • 2003–2012: Sandy Cluness
  • 1999–2003: Tom Stove
  • 1994–1999: Lewis Shand Smith
  • 1986–1994: Edward Thomason
  • 1975–1986: Alexander Tulloch

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Josie Takes the Helm". Shetland News.
  2. ^ "About your Councillors"

External linksEdit