The Shetland TimesThe Shetland Times Shetland News, Sport, Jobs, Properties, Shop Tue, 23 Sep 2014 19:20:59 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Witnesses react to armed police drama Tue, 23 Sep 2014 18:28:02 +0000 Armed police during the incident on Tuesday afternoon.

Armed police during the incident on Tuesday afternoon.

Eye-witnesses have described the dramatic moment armed police swooped on a Lerwick street.

A Murraystone resident said he arrived home from work at 4.30pm and saw a man standing at the side of the road. He later witnessed the same man allegedly pointing a weapon at police officers.

Referring to his first sighting he said: “I thought it was a bit weird. He was standing there … He was on the phone the whole time.”

The witness described going inside his house and locking the door behind him. His intention was to call the police, but officers arrived on the scene before he made the call.

“I went inside and just as I turned around to look and see what he was doing, the police were here.”

He said he believed the man had come down off Staney Hill. He added joggers had been running past before the police arrived at the scene.

The man said there was a “stand-off” between the man and police which lasted around 45 minutes.

He added police were situated at either end of the road.

“Nothing really happened and then the ‘Swat team’ arrived.”

He said two armed officers jumped over fences in a bid to apprehend the man. “They shouted ‘freeze, get down on the ground’.”

He said the man went down on his knees with his hands behind his head.

One Helendale resident, who did not wish to be named, said her son had spotted the man as he walked by their house.

“I just heard from neighbours … Then my son said he had seen him going through the communal bit near the house.

“We could see him afterwards, over at Murraystone, but we couldn’t really see what was happening.

“It’s quite a scary thing for Shetland. You don’t expect that kind of thing in Shetland.”

• A man was arrested in connection with an alleged firearms incident on Tuesday afternoon

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Teen held over alleged firearms incident Tue, 23 Sep 2014 17:01:07 +0000 A teenager is being held in custody following an alleged firearms incident in the isles.

Police Scotland have confirmed that a 16-year-old man is being held.

At around 3pm officers were given reports of a man acting suspiciously, and who appeared to be in possession of a firearm in the Scord area of Scalloway.

Armed officers based in the isles, with support from armed officers from the mainland, were immediately deployed. They found the man in Lerwick’s Murrayston, where he was arrested at around quarter past five.

Police say no one was injured, and inquiries are continuing.

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‘Firearms incident’ in Lerwick Tue, 23 Sep 2014 16:29:06 +0000 A man has been arrested following reports of a firearms incident in Lerwick.

Residents were told to stay in their homes and traffic in parts of  Lerwick ground to halt as police acted on reports that a gunman had been spotted in the town.

It comes after reports earlier today that a man with a weapon had abandoned a small boat in East Voe near Scalloway.

Householders in Fogralea, Nederdale and Murrayston are being advised to stay indoors and motorists are being told to avoid the south road in Lerwick as police deal with the incident.

One commuter caught up in the traffic said the area was “completely clogged”.

He said: “There are a lot of police cars and vans with the police lights flashing around the Westerloch junction.”

It is understood firearms officers have been flown to Shetland by helicopter to help the local force deal with the incident.

Another eye-witness said police were maintaining a strong presence at the first turn-off for Gulberwick on the south road.

“There are vans of police dogs and a big van with police, with helmets. They look like they’ve got guns and have got all their protective, bullet-proof vests.

“They closed the road between Tesco and where the Clickimin Loch is. They closed there, so I had to go round through the houses and I got to the top and the traffic was jammed as well. There were lots of police”

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Essential repairs commence on Nil Desperandum Tue, 23 Sep 2014 15:50:24 +0000 Peter Chroston and Tim Senften at work on the Nil Desperandum.

Peter Chroston and Tim Senften at work on the Nil Desperandum.

Essential repair work has begun at Hay’s Dock in Lerwick to the former fishing boat Nil Desperandum, following a successful request for volunteers by Shetland Amenity Trust.

Built in 1947, the former seine-netter is believed to be one of the best examples of her kind left. She was built for the Ministry of Defence but purchased by the Wiseman family in 1951 after which she spent 50 years fishing the waters around Shetland.

The vessel has been deteriorating in recent years, and was gifted to Shetland Amenity Trust by former skipper James Wiseman in April 2012 in order that she could be preserved, with a view to becoming a floating display for visitors to the area.

Jimmy Wiseman on the deck of his former boat the Nil Desperandum. Photo: Stephen Gordon

Jimmy Wiseman on the deck of his former boat the Nil Desperandum. Photo: Stephen Gordon

Mr Wiseman said he was delighted that the boat’s restoration had begun and that she would be preserved for future generations.

Several volunteers were on hand yesterday morning to assist with the dismantling of the mast, with the removal of the heavy winches scheduled shortly.

A cover will be fitted to enable the volunteers to carry out significant repairs to the deck and deck beams while protecting the boat from deteriorating further. This work will continue over the winter.

Peter Chroston, a lead shipwright on several projects and a boat builder with 25 years’ experience in the restoration of wooden boats is co-ordinating the Nil Desperandum’s repair.

He said: “I enjoy the challenge of working on old traditional built boats.”

Mr Chroston replied to an advertisement seeking help to restore the Nil Desperandum and agreed to lead co-ordination of the repairs.

Tim Senften is another leading volunteer. A retired teacher originally from Ohio in America, he knew he would be able to help using his practical background and broad range of skills and trades which include joinery, electrician, engineering and welding.

Mr Senften said: “I like the identity of old boats and feel that it’s an important heritage point for people to identify with their past.”

Anyone who is interested in volunteering to assist with repairs and regular maintenance of the Nil Desperandum should contact Shetland Amenity Trust deputy manager Alan Blain on (01595) 694688.

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SIC’s highest earners revealed Tue, 23 Sep 2014 14:38:48 +0000 The council’s monthly wage bill has fallen by nearly £1.5 million over the last three years – but the number of staff earning over £50,000 a year has dropped by only one from 111 to 110 in the same period.

The latest figures in the SIC’s final audited accounts for 2013/14 show that monthly wages dropped from a high of almost £7.5 million in May 2011 to £6m in January this year. Annual payment run spending has decreased by over £10m per year from £80m in 2011/12 to £70m in 2013/14.

“Exit packages” – money paid to council officials when they leave the SIC – rose from £1.047m in 2012/13 to £3.019m in 2013/14.

SIC chief executive Mark Boden.

SIC chief executive Mark Boden.

Elected councillors themselves saw an increase in combined remuneration from £468,000 in 2012/13 to £488,000 in 2013/14. This was composed of an increase in salaries from £352,000 to £358,000, and increase in allowances from £33,000 to £36,000 and an increase in expenses from £83,000 to £94,000.

Topping the list of council high earners was chief executive Mark Boden, who has taken a notably lower profile approach to the role than some previous incumbents. His  salary was £101,069 in the last financial year. He was followed by the directors of children’s services, development and corporate services, respectively Helen Budge, Neil Grant and Christine Ferguson on £80,849 each.

Infrastructure director Phil Crossland was paid £41,370 for part of a year while his successor Maggie Sandison earned £39,817.

Director of community care services Sally Shaw received £33,211, before her post was deleted, while executive manager of governance and law Jan Riise was paid £72,648, executive manager of finance James Gray got £70,401 and executive manager of children’s and families Hughina Leslie was paid £64,844.

Exit packages for 2013/14 included £330,000 spent in the £100,000 to £149,999 band; £264,000 in the £80,000 to £99,999 band; £356,000 in the £60,000 to £79,999 band; £902,000 in the £40,000 to £59,000 band and £554,000 in the £20,000 to £39,999 band.

Among senior councillors, leader Gary Robinson topped the table with a salary of £27,388; Shetland College board chairman Drew Ratter came in second with £20,859 in salary and expenses; convener Malcolm Bell received £20,317; planning chairman Frank Robertson received £18,302; Cecil Smith, Alastair Cooper, Allan Wishart and Vaila Wishart were paid £18,825 and Andrea Manson, George Smith and Allison Duncan received £17,852 each.

• More detail on the salaries paid to council officials in this week’s Shetand Times.

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Apprentice is building a bright future Tue, 23 Sep 2014 09:16:32 +0000 Apprentice Christopher Smith with NCC principal Andy Walder (left) and television personality Alexander Armstrong at the awards ceremony.

Apprentice Christopher Smith with NCC principal Andy Walder (left) and television personality Alexander Armstrong at the awards ceremony.

A Shetland apprentice is building a name for himself after winning a top construction industry award.

Christopher Smith, 24, took home the National Construction College (NCC) Outstanding Apprentice of the Year award at the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) Pride of Construction Awards ceremony at Old Billingsgate in London on Monday.

The awards mark CITB’s 50th anniversary and celebrate key contributions made by individuals, companies and training partners to the industry.

National Construction College student Christopher – who works at Irvine Contractors Ltd in Lerwick – is in the third year of his apprenticeship.

After being presented with the award by television personality Alexander Armstrong, Christopher said: “I’m proud to have received this award.

“The training and support I have received during my apprenticeship from my employer, the NCC and CITB have helped give me a great start in the construction industry.”

NCC principal Andy Walder said: “Christopher is an outstanding apprentice and a worthy winner of our Outstanding Apprentice of the Year award due to his attitude, aptitude and ability.

“We are delighted to recognise and credit his achievements as he excels in his trade.  Christopher is a credit to the industry and we wish him further success in his career.”

Leslie Irvine of Irvine Contractors said: “His commitment and enthusiasm shines through to all who come into contact with him both employees and customers.

“He consistently shows the right attitude towards work, is a strong team player, an integral member of our staff and an important part of our succession planning to help our business to grow in the future.”

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Thousands of pounds donated in memory of Vaila Tue, 23 Sep 2014 08:59:18 +0000 The freinds and family of Vaila Tait who have raised thousands in her memory.

The friends and family of Vaila Tait who have raised thousands in her memory, with the cheque to be presented to Mind Your Head’s Chris Wright (left).

A group of friends has raised more than £2,000 for mental health charity Mind Your Head – in memory of  Vaila Tait who died earlier this year.

The friends raised the sum in the run up to the local charity’s annual fun run held last month and were delighted with the total.

Ann-Marie Goudie, one of the driving forces behind the fund-raising, said: ‘We started fund-raising for Mind Your Head by holding a Chinese fund-raiser night at The Great Wall, sharing our fund-raising page through social media and taking part in The Mind Your Head Fun Run.”

“We chose Mind Your Head as we wanted to raise money for a local charity to further help people who suffer from mental health problems and also raise awareness within Shetland.

“In total we have raised £2,285.00, which we are totally overwhelmed with, a huge thank you to every single person who donated especially The Shetland Catch, Katy Shewan (who donated amazing prizes on the Chinese fund-raiser night) and The Great Wall.

“In memory of Vaila, including donations collected at her funeral, over £3,780 has been donated to Mind Your Head, it’s truly heart-warming to see how many people have supported us through this and we honestly can’t thank you enough, Vaila would be so proud”.

The main organisers of the team were sisters Shona Tait and Sadie Tait and a very good friend of Vaila, Ann-Marie Goudie, but they could not have done it without the help of the rest of the team members.

Vaila’s parents expressed their gratitude to everyone for their kindness and support.

The group made the decision to put the money towards Mind Your Head’s proposed mental health support service, and these first funds will help the charity with their plans to develop and launch the service in late 2015.

The Mind Your Head team thanked everyone connected to the “In Memory of Vaila” campaign for all of their hard work in their fund-raising.

Mind Your Head projet worker Chris Wright said: “This is an outstanding amount to have raised in such a small amount of time and we want to thank the team for their amazing efforts”.

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Mossbank women in charity headshave Mon, 22 Sep 2014 15:20:07 +0000 Two Mossbank women have raised more than £5,000 for cancer charities by having their heads shaved.

Marie Vice and Jade Forrester both had their long locks trimmed by clippers in the Welcome Inn on Friday night.

Jade Forrester, left, and Marie Vice before the headshave.

Jade Forrester, left, and Marie Vice before the headshave…

Marie Vice, left, and Jade Forrester after the headshave.

…And the pair after their encouter with the hair clippers.











Sponsor sheets they put out prior to the cut have pledged £4,900, and a raffle on the night raised £400.

The money will go to the Starlight Children’s Foundation, which grants wishes to terminally ill children, the Honeypot Children’s Charity which helps young carers, Macmillan Cancer Support and the Orchid charity, which fights men’s cancer.

Marie’s hair will be sent to the Little Princess Trust, which makes wigs from children undergoing cancer treatment. As it costs £250 to make a wig, she decided the money from the raffle will go to this charity.

Marie said of the drastic step: “I was quite nervous and worried what my little boy Dylan would think. It’s quite cold [without my hair] and I’m going to buy a hat.

“I feel an enormous sense of achievement. I’m amazed at how generous people have been and want to thank all the local companies who have donated raffle prizes.” She also thanked hairdressers Nykaela Christie and Louise Taylor, and Ann McKimm of the pub for hosting the event.

The haircut night was particularly emotional, she said, as Jade’s partner Dean Pritchard proposed – something he had secretly planned. The wedding is scheduled for 2016.


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Hundreds show support for stop Trident campaign Mon, 22 Sep 2014 10:49:39 +0000 More than 400 people have backed a new campaign to stop the renewal of the Trident nuclear weapon system.

Shetland Against Trident was set up this weekend and already has 419 likes on Facebook. It is described as “a local group campaigning against the renewal of the Trident nuclear weapon system”.

Shetland Against Trident launched at the weekend.

Shetland Against Trident launched at the weekend.

“Shetland Against Trident primarily exists to raise awareness of Trident, and encourage the local people of Shetland to lobby our local MP, Alistair Carmichael, to sign Early Day Motion 37,” the page states.

“Early Day Motion 37 calls on the [UK] government to cancel plans to replace the Trident nuclear weapon submarines, arguing the case on both security and spending grounds.”

The group argues that as well as the moral grounds against Trident, the scheme also has major financial implications. Replacing it will cost more than £100 billion over its lifetime – enough to scrap tuition fees for 30 years, it said.

Folk are encouraged to tell Mr Carmichael they are against Trident and encourage him to sign the early day motion through the Campaign For Nuclear Disarmament website.

Marshall Brill of Shetland Against Trident, said there was strong support in Shetland against the scheme, based on the initial response in 24 hours. He also noted the wider picture, with a Guardian poll in April showing more than 70 per cent of people did not want the UK to renew the Trident nuclear weapons system.

He said there would also be more information about the campaign for those not on Facebook. This would probably be along the lines of a meeting or distributing leaflets.

Mr Carmichael said this morning that he had not yet been contacted, but would be happy to speak to the group.

“They will doubtless be aware that the final decision on the renewal of Trident will not now happen until after the general election. That’s because of the influence of the Liberal Democrats in government,” he said.

If it were left to the Conservatives or Labour Party alone there would be “nothing still to discuss,” he added.

Mr Carmichael said early day motions were a parliamentary device that allowed back-benchers a voice on an issue.

But as a government minister, he said he was not allowed to sign the early day motion, because of ministerial code.

Though he could still engage directly with ministers responsible, he said, and influence the debate in that way.

Mr Brill said he would see how things develop over the short term but would be happy to have discussions with Mr Carmichael at a later date.

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Celts are County Shield winners Mon, 22 Sep 2014 08:37:40 +0000 The winning Celtic side. Back (from left): Ryan Wood, Ryan Grant, Thorfinn Craigie, Daniel Johnston, Jack Clubb, Paul Grant, Robert Smith, Jamie Duffy, Thomas Grant. Front: Billy James Buggy, Tom Moncrieff, Jordan Simpson, Lowrie Simpson, Connor Regan, Joel Bradley (captain) and James Aitken. Photo: Kevin Jones

The winning Celtic side. Back (from left): Ryan Wood, Ryan Grant, Thorfinn Craigie, Daniel Johnston, Jack Clubb, Paul Grant, Robert Smith, Jamie Duffy, Thomas Grant. Front: Billy James Buggy, Tom Moncrieff, Jordan Simpson, Lowrie Simpson, Connor Regan, Joel Bradley (captain) and James Aitken. Photo: Kevin Jones

Celtic defeated Whalsay 2-1 on Saturday afternoon to secure the County Shield, the final knockout competition of the senior football outdoor season.

James Aitken was the man who did it for the Lerwick side, with two goals against a Whalsay team missing a few players because of work commitments and Karl Williamson’s wedding hamefarin.

Lee Irvine got a consolation for the Bonnie Isle side but it came too late and by all accounts Celtic were worthy winners of the Gilbertson Park clash.

James Aitken scores his first of two goals. Photo: Kevin Jones

James Aitken scores his first of two goals. Photo: Kevin Jones

Steven Kerr from GTS Direct, who are sponsoring this season’s County Shield competition, presented the trophy to a delighted Celtic captain Joel Bradley after the match.

For report and more photos see The Shetland Times on Friday.

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