Shetland Islands Council

The Shetland Islands Council (Scots: Shetland Islands Cooncil; Scottish Gaelic: Comhairle Shealtainn) 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.

Shetland Islands Council
Full council election every 5 years
Coat of arms or logo
Coat of arms
Council logo
Convener of the Council
Andrea Manson, Independent
since 23 May 2022
Leader of the Council
Emma MacDonald, Independent
since 23 May 2022
Chief Executive
Maggie Sandison
since 28 February 2018
Shetland Islands Council composition
Political groups
  Independent (20)
  SNP (1)
  Labour (1)
Single transferable vote
Last election
5 May 2022
Next election
6 May 2027
Með lögum skal land byggja (Old Norse: "By law shall the land be built up")
Website Edit this at Wikidata

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]


As of 2022 the council has the following councillors:

Shetland Island Council
Party Seats
Independent 20
Scottish Green Party 1
Scottish National Party 1
Scottish Labour Party 1


Political LeadersEdit

No. Political Leader Party Period in office Election Depute Leader
1 Josie Simpson Independent 2011 - 2012 2007
2 Gary Robinson Independent 2012 - 2017 2012 Billy Fox (Independent)
Michael Stout (Independent)
3 Cecil Smith Independent 2017 - 2018 2017 Steven Coutts (Independent)
4 Steven Coutts Independent 2018–2022 2017 Emma Macdonald (Independent)
5 Emma Macdonald Independent 2022–present 2022 Gary Robinson (Independent)


No. Convener Party Period in office Election Depute Convener
1 A.I. Tulloch Independent 1974 - 1986 1974
John Jamieson (Independent)
John Butler (Labour)
Edward Thomason (Independent)
2 Edward Thomason Shetland Movement 1986 - 1994 1986
Willie Tait (Independent)
William Anderson (Shetland Movement)
3 Lewis Shand Smith Independent 1994 - 1999 1994 James Smith (Shetland Movement)
4 Tom Stove Independent 1999 - 2003 1999 John Nicolson (Liberal Democrat)
5 Sandy Cluness Liberal Democrat[a]
2003 - 2012 2003
Florence Grains (Independent)
Josie Simpson (Independent)
6 Malcolm Bell Independent 2012–2022 2012
Gary Robinson (Independent)
Cecil Smith (Independent)
Beatrice Wishart (Independent)
Cecil Smith (Independent)
7 Andrea Manson Independent 2022–present 2022 Bryan Peterson (Independent)

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Sandy Cluness was first elected as a Liberal Democrat councillor in 2003 but stood as an independent candidate in 2007.


  1. ^ "Josie Takes the Helm". Shetland News. 7 March 2011.
  2. ^ Stewart, James. "Politics". Shetland History Online.

External linksEdit