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Windfarm funding meeting collapses after intervention by protester

A crucial meeting of Shetland Charitable Trust to agree the next £6.3 million funding for Viking windfarm descended into farce today when six trustees walked out and left too few to proceed with business.

Five trustees declared an interest and said they would leave the meeting. They were then joined by Florence Grains who objected to the calling of a special meeting while the trust is out to consultation on reforming its constitution.

Her action drew applause from 20 of the protesters from Sustainable Shetland who were able to squeeze into the chamber at Lerwick Town Hall while others watched on a videolink from upstairs.

That left just 11 trustees. Twelve are needed for a trust meeting to be quorate. However the problem did not seem to be noticed by trust officials or vice-chairman Jim Henry.

As he was about to proceed with the debate he was interrupted by one of the protesters, Rosa Steppanova, who said: “You have no quorate!”

After a quick head count the meeting had to be cancelled. Afterwards Mr Henry said he did not expect another attempt to be made to convene a meeting until after the council elections on 3rdMay.

There was jubilation outside among the protesters. Ms Steppanova said she was shocked by what she had seen. “They were going to proceed with a meeting and a member of the public had to actually point out that they were inquorate. So if they can’t even count to 12 how can we trust them with all those millions?”

The trustees who declared an interest and declined to take part were Frank Robertson, Allison Duncan and the three directors of Viking: Bill Manson, Caroline Miller and Alastair Cooper.