New housing on a hill above Lerwick. With a population of around 7,000, Lerwick is the biggest town in the Shetland Islands which have a total population of around 22,000. In 2020 the Shetland council voted to look at ways of obtaining financial and political independence from Scotland. Shetland and its waters lie on large oil reserves that have been exploited for many years by the UK Goverment. Any hint of independence for Shetland would cause the Scottish Goverment a headache as they are relying on the money from those reserves to push their own independence agenda.