The Shetland Times » The Shetland Times Shetland News, Sport, Jobs, Properties, Shop Tue, 25 Nov 2014 17:16:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Cue ace Cutt wins international cup with doubles partner Tue, 25 Nov 2014 17:16:10 +0000 International pool winners Rachel Sutherland (left) and Amanda Cutt

International pool winners Rachel Sutherland (left) and Amanda Cutt

A Shetland pool player and her Orkney doubles partner have won an international tournament in Northern Ireland.

Amanda Cutt travelled to Colraine to compete in the Nations Cup of pool, her debut for the Scotland women’s team.

The Scottish team went through the whole tournament unbeaten in the round robin event, topping the leader board and securing their place in the semi-final.

With the help of Amanda they sailed through the semi-final, beating Wales by a very comfortable score.

In the final they were up against a very strong England I team. The Scottish girls had beaten this team in the semi-finals of the European Championships back in April but it was not to be this time. They found themselves 6-1 down in no time but fought to level. It was a little too late though as England secured the win 11-8.

Amanda’s most successful part of the championships was in the women’s doubles event.  She teamed up with long-time friend and inter-county rival Rachael Sutherland from Orkney, who was playing in the Scottish team for the second time.

The isles pairing stormed through to the semi-finals by beating three top English pairings on their way. In the last four they beat fellow Scotland team mates 2-1 to take them into the final. There they played confidently and had a comfortable 2-0 win over another Scotland pairing to be crowned the Nations Cup women’s doubles champions.

Amanda said she and Rachael were, “over the moon to be crowned the champions of such a big international event in the pool world”.

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London launch for cookbook Tue, 25 Nov 2014 16:45:41 +0000 Shetland Food and Cooking by Marian Armitage.

Shetland Food and Cooking by Marian Armitage.

Shetland born teacher and cookery writer Marian Armitage will be hosting the London launch of her cookbook Shetland Food and Cooking on Friday.

The new book was revealed two weeks ago at Shetland Food Fair, where it was well received and where Armitage gave a demonstration of one of the recipes, Valhalla Beef Casserole.

Born in Lerwick and brought up in Shetland, Armitage has lived in London for nearly 30 years, during which time she taught food and nutrition in schools.

At Friday’s launch at Kew Bridge, Brentford, she will be introducing a new audience to the delights of Shetland traditional fare.

Her book features favourites such as sassermaet clatch, rhubarb chutney and tattie soup with reestit mutton, and there will be a chance to sample some typical Shetland products. These will include Shetland lamb, bannocks, her own gravadlax with dill mustard sauce and smoked mackerel pate, all washed down with a glass of Shetland beer.

It will be a real Shetland occasion, with live fiddle music from Helena Hafsteinsdottir.

And if anyone is inspired to try the recipes, a range of Shetland products will be on sale in the venue, Hammond’s Butchers and Deli in Kew Bridge Road.

Recently retired, Armitage said of her book, which also includes contemporary recipes such as Armenian lamb, bobotie, ceviche and beremeal flat bread: “It has enabled me to extend the experience of teaching food and cooking to a wider audience. Although it is about promoting all the wonderful food that is grown, caught and reared in Shetland, it is quite possible to make the recipes successfully from local shops, markets and supermarkets.”

Armitage will be signing books at the food tasting from 4pm to 8pm. Her book is also available at The Shetland Times bookshop.


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Catch Five Eleven (Jonathan Wills) Tue, 25 Nov 2014 14:56:20 +0000 I’m sure the Shetland Insular Cabal, the undeclared political group that meets in secret and now effectively controls Shetland Islands Council, will have thought this through before their famous vote on Guy Fawkes Day that scuppered the council’s education policy and torpedoed our financial planning.

But I’m a slow learner and it’s only just occurred to me: if we do keep open more schools than we actually need, then we can’t cover the resulting deficit in the education budget by reducing staff and materials for all schools; if we did so we’d be providing a lower standard of education for all pupils; and we can’t do that because it would be counter to our declared policy.

Some folk may imagine we can make the necessary economies by stealth: slowly cutting off resources from small schools that are neither educationally nor financially viable, so the parents will eventually vote with their feet, or perhaps with their all-weather, 4×4 radials. But this is not possible either because it would discriminate against the pupils in those schools, whose education currently receives a massive subsidy at the expense of pupils at (to take two random examples) Bell’s Brae and Sound; and we’re bound by our own policy, and by the government’s, to “gonnae no dae that”.

So it seems we’re stuck with continuing to fund all our schools at the present level, apart from the relatively small cuts we can make by “efficiency savings” that don’t affect the quality of service. Other parts of the local public services will have to find the savings that education can no longer make. I call this Catch 5/11.

The cabal, of course, will already have worked out a detailed plan to deal with this conundrum, this snood, this boorach. They just haven’t told us what it is yet because, well, because it’s a secret and we’re not in their gang, so there …

All we can do as outsiders (and that term now includes several senior elected office bearers) is to speculate on what the new masters of the local authority’s budget may have up their sleeves.

Will they, I wonder, propose some or all of the following, in their cunning plan to bring the council’s spending back to a level it can afford and to preserve its reserves, which in the year 2000 stood at almost £500 million and are now down to just over £200 million:
• Sell one of the large Yell Sound ferries and run a single-ferry shuttle service, with one of the old, smaller boats to cover breakdowns and maintenance periods. Tough on the North Isles truckers, but good news for remote rural shops and a big saving for the rest of us.
• Close the Unst care centre. And while we’re at it, put the charges up a bit at the others. Not popular but it would save a bunch of money.
• Make some big cuts in council subsidies to rural buses. Let country folk drive their own cars or hitch-hike. Ouch!
• Close down the council’s economic development unit. After all, we’re repeatedly told that keeping small schools open will save the economy of various country districts. So why do we need it? Let the market decide.

All of these measures would be very unpalatable and I don’t advocate any of them but no doubt those who do want to keep tiny schools open, when it would be cheaper and better to amalgamate some of them, will have their own, much more popular, proposals ready as the budget planning for 2015/16 and beyond proceeds.

Presumably they’re waiting until after New Year to tell us what’s in their new financial master plan for the years to 2020. After all, they wouldn’t want to make themselves unpopular with the voters by spoiling their Christmas, would they? Nor, indeed, before the council elections in May 2017?

And how, I wonder, will they explain to the electorate why the council has made no real progress on a more rational and “best value” school system despite spending about a million pounds since 1997 on successive failed attempts to do so? “Gutless” is a harsh word but Da Flea was right.

Meanwhile, what about all those CURE posters that deface the roadsides? Yes, I know it stands for Completely Undermining the Rest of Education, but do they have planning permission? If not, what are those busybodies in planning doing about it?

If nothing, why don’t we close down planning and just hire independent advice when we need it? Now there’s a seriously popular idea that would save money, not to mention paper (to judge by the 166-page report on a temporary flue pipe in Sandwick that recently went before the planning board).

Yours, with bated breath …

Jonathan Wills
Independent councillor,
Lerwick South ward
Town Hall,

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Policy forum to be held on school closures Mon, 24 Nov 2014 19:47:06 +0000 School closures could be put on the back-burner with some councillors easing off from the idea of rushing to reconfigure the school estate.

The vice chairman of the education and families committee, George Smith, today called for a policy forum to be held early next year to discuss the future of secondary departments in the isles.

Members were told levels of required savings had dropped thanks to the cuts that have already been made. That led Mr Smith to call for key discussions to focus more on the benefit any changes could bring to education.

He said the council had placed “huge demands” on its staff in recent years. They had to cope, he said, with “competing priorities” such as the new Anderson High School, the Shetland Learning Partnership and other initiatives.

He said a way forward needed to be found with parent councils.

“I think we need to give urgent consideration, including the timescale, of the school’s reconfiguration. I would suggest a starting point should be a policy forum in the new year.”

Meanwhile, details over moves to offer pupils new ways to progress towards their chosen careers through the Shetland Learning Partnership were revealed.

“Virtual learning academies” will run to help give youngsters practical experience before they reach school-leaving age.

The council aims to run courses in care and engineering from next year. Employers are said to be getting on board to help give pupils the skills they will need in the workplace. The vocational experience will be offered first to S5 pupils.

Chairwoman of education and families, Vaila Wishart, said: “It’s a very exciting development. It will give young people more opportunities to get involved in the world of work. Hopefully any certificates they take in their school years will count towards apprenticeships.”

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Guilty of clincal failures but still allowed to practice Mon, 24 Nov 2014 18:48:47 +0000 Lerwick dentist Paul D'Eathe.

Lerwick dentist Paul D’Eathe.

A dentist working for NHS Shetland appeared for the second time before the General Dental Council recently, and was found guilty of misconduct – but has been allowed to continue working under supervision.

Dentist Paul D’Eathe faced charges brought by two patients – referred to as patients A and B – regarding his failures in their treatment over a 10-year period. He admitted many charges and the GDC found the majority of the allegations against him proven. Mr D’Eathe’s fitness to practice was found to be impaired but he will be able to work if he co-operates with the conditions laid down by the GDC.

A statement from NHS Shetland read: “NHS Shetland is aware of the outcome of the findings of the recent GDC hearing.

“We always work closely with the professional regulators and will, therefore, continue to provide the required professional support and supervision over the next year.”

The charges against Mr D’Eathe cited his failure to update Patient A’s medical history between 2001 and 2011 and Patient B’s medical history between 2001 and 2010. He was said to have made inadequate clinical notes in relation to both patients, including the absence of records of numerous appointments and he failed to take appropriate diagnostic radiographs.

In respect of Patient B, he failed to take radiographs prior to undertaking crown treatment in January 2002, and failed to organise the proposed teeth extractions in a timely manner.

Regarding Patient A, the orthodontic treatment provided was not of a standard expected in a number of respects. In particular, he failed to undertake an orthodontic assessment prior to commencing orthodontic treatment, failed to obtain informed consent and did not undertake accurate monitoring during the course of treatment.

The GDC concluded: “The committee considers that the clinical failures identified in this case were numerous, wide-ranging, repeated over a protracted period of time and were serious. In particular, the failure to provide Patient A with sufficient information to enable informed consent in relation to your orthodontic treatment is a serious failure of good practice.

“Moreover, the clinical failures identified in the treatment you provided to both patients were compounded by the significant and serious shortcomings in your record keeping relating to many consultations. It notes that for some consultations that took place there were no clinical notes recorded at all.

“In the light of the findings against you, the Committee is in no doubt that throughout the 10-year period when you treated Patients A and B on numerous occasions you breached the following paragraphs of the GDC’s Maintaining Standards: Guidance to Dentists on Professional and Personal Conduct.

These include the fact that the patient is entitled to a high standard of care, the treatment, its risks and alternatives must be explained, consent must be given and medical history must be updated.

This is the second time Mr D’Eathe has been before the GDC. Earlier he was found to have failed in his treatment of 14 patients between 2004 and 2011, and he was suspended for two years.

He returned to work in April this year with conditions imposed on his registration.

These included undertaking a training, revision, assessment, mentoring and support programme and a practitioner action plan formulated for him by NHS Education for Scotland.

He had to have a clinical supervisor within NHS Shetland who would report on his progress to the GDC, and he had to confine his work to the NHS and not undertake any out of hours or locum work without the agreement of the GDC.

He also had to notify the GDC of any professional appointment he took, together with the employer’s contact details, and allow the GDC to exchange information with his employer. Additionally he had to inform the GDC of any disciplinary proceedings taken against him, and notify them if he applied for work outside the UK.

Although he failed to engage with NHS Shetland to address his deficiencies until just before his suspension, he undertook training while suspended and has made progress since being reinstated in April.

He will continue to work under these conditions until August.

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Primary pupils drive home the speeding message Mon, 24 Nov 2014 16:43:28 +0000 Highlighting the dangers of speeding (back row, from left): SIC road safety officer Elaine Skinley, Inspector Lindsay Tulloch, PC Carole Smith, Scalloway Primary School road safety officer, Julie Jamieson. Front: Scalloway school junior safety officers Rhea Isbister, Robbie Young, Mikey Millar and John-Lee Rosie. Photo: Dave Donaldson

Highlighting the dangers of speeding (back row, from left): SIC road safety officer Elaine Skinley, Inspector Lindsay Tulloch, PC Carole Smith, Scalloway Primary School road safety officer, Julie Jamieson. Front: Scalloway school junior safety officers Rhea Isbister, Robbie Young, Mikey Millar and John-Lee Rosie. Photo: Dave Donaldson

Pupils from five Shetland primary schools teamed up with police officers and Shetland Islands Council road safety officer Elaine Skinley to highlight the dangers of speeding.

The junior road safety officers, all P6 pupils, from Cunningsburgh, Hamnavoe, Scalloway, Tingwall and Bell’s Brae primary schools will be learning more about the dangers of speeding on Shetland’s roads. On Monday they were given the chance to operate the hand held speed camera.

Chief inspector Eddie Graham said: “This project is designed to educate the junior road safety officers in the hope that they take what they have learnt about road safety back to their friends in the classroom and to their families back home. The children thoroughly enjoyed their day, engaging very positively throughout.

“With road safety being one of the top priorities in our local policing plan for Shetland, it is an excellent opportunity to educate all generations in staying safe out on our roads.

“It is hoped that the high visibility junior patrols will also serve as a strong reminder to all Shetland’s road users to kill their speed.”

Junior road safety officers from Whiteness, Aith, Sandness and Sound primary schools were to get their chance with the speed camera yesterday.

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Gas plant difficulties hit Petrofac shares price Mon, 24 Nov 2014 16:26:03 +0000 Difficulties in finishing the Sullom Voe gas plant project have contributed to a dramatic fall in Petrofac shares of almost a quarter.

The 24.8 per cent tumble on the FTSE 100 came after the company said it expected to make a loss on the £800 million Laggan-Tormore project this year and make no money on the plant in 2015.

Overall, the firm anticipates profits this year to reach $580 million – or £362 million – and even lower next year at $500 million.
The gloomy predictions have come amid concerns surrounding a drop in oil prices and a potentially detrimental impact on the industry.

Chief executive Ayman Asfari said the company was still well-positioned for the future.

“This has been a difficult period for Petrofac and the industry.

“In the main, our project delivery is in good shape, but it is clear that on a small number of projects our execution has fallen short of the high standards we set for ourselves.

“We have faced these actions and have taken robust action to address them and believe this leaves us on a surer footing for the future.

“The foundations of the business remain strong. I am confident that Petrofac will meet the challenges presented by certain projects in our portfolio and the medium-term growth prospects for our business remain strong.”

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Bid for public to vote for Sandwick hall in People’s Millions Mon, 24 Nov 2014 16:10:10 +0000 The Carnegie Hall needs your vote. Photo: Dave Donaldson

The Carnegie Hall needs your vote. Photo: Dave Donaldson

The committee of Sandwick Carnegie Hall is appealing to the public to get on the phone tomorrow and make a call to the People’s Millions in a bid to win cash to redo the hall kitchen.

The hall has succeeded in making the Final of the Peoples Millions Competition and is bidding to win £47,946 to refurbish the hall kitchen, which it says is the “heart of our hall”.

Hall committee member Evelyn Jamieson said: “We are encouraging Shetland to back our project by voting for us on the 25th November – the winner is the community with the most votes. Our committee have been working hard distributing flyers, multi texting/e-mailing, Facebook and Twitter all coming into play, to get the word out. Hopefully Shetland will show yet again how supportive it can be when it comes to raising funds and volunteering for any local project.”

The phone number to cast y0ur vote for the Sandwick Carnegie Hall is 09015 228215 / Mobile: 6228215. The competition is accepting 10 votes from each home or mobile phone, so you can register your vote 10 times. The hall’s supporters will be busy tomorrow handing out leaflets and putting up posters as well as reminding members of the public to vote.

Haltadans perform in the cosy Carnegie Hall in Sandwick. Photo: Dave Donaldson.

Haltadans perform in the cosy Carnegie Hall in Sandwick. Photo: Dave Donaldson.

Competing against the Sandwick Hall in the STV North region is Clowndoctors Go North (Hearts & Minds Ltd.) project.

According to the Sandwick Hall’s submission, the renovation will make the hall a more modern, functional place to hold community events and to appeal to local community groups. A new improved kitchen will mean the hall will be able to be used by a wide range of local groups.

It adds: “Our community have shown by their sheer numbers attending any event in the hall that they are supportive in all the committee are doing to save the hall from closure. Fundraising in the Carnegie has been amazing as we see not only people from our own community but from outwith – travelling from various parts of Shetland to join our fun. We support many local charities and would like to see this aspect of our activities continue.

“A new upgraded kitchen will enhance the experience for all who use the hall – allowing us to expand the activities we do, making it a valuable asset to our Community.”


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Library to host novelist for Book Week event Mon, 24 Nov 2014 12:24:31 +0000 Shetland Library will be hosting the novelist Lindsay Inkster during Book Week Scotland this week.

A nurse and midwife with strong Shetland connections, Inkster (her maiden name, in real life she is Dr Lindsay Reid) has written two novels Lassickie, published in 2013, and its sequel In the Sky the Larks Still Sing, newly published in September.

The first book in the series is set in turn of the century Shetland and Aberdeenshire, and the second follows the fortunes of the character Charlotte and her family as World War One looms.

Shetland features in both books, and is home from home for Inkster, who first visited as a child in 1946.

She remembers the trip on the old St Clair, sleeping head-to-tail with her peerie brother Alan in a mahogany bunk and spending a happy month with their cousins the Reids in Walls.

Alan moved to Shetland permanently in 1968, and started the jewellery company Hjaltasteyn. He married Ruby Moncrieff in 1971 and together they started Da Gairdins in 1991. Alan died in 2009.

Inkster’s Shetland connections go back further than that however. Her grandmother Charlotte Lindsay Stewart came to Shetland as a young teacher, aged about 20, in the 1890s, and married Robert Inkster of Scalloway who was factor of Burra Isle.
Inkster herself comes to Shetland every year and enjoys her time in the isles.

• Shetland Library will be hosting two events featuring Lindsay Inkster. The first will be held in the Yell Community Library on Wednesday evening and the second will be in Lerwick’s Old Library Centre (next to Shetland Library) on Saturday afternoon, 29th November.

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Industry warns discard ban could bankrupt fleet Mon, 24 Nov 2014 11:25:53 +0000 The Scottish fishing industry is in peril from the discard ban unless governments act urgently, fishermen’s associations are warning.
Large swathes of the industry face bankruptcy unless member state governments can assert their authority over the European Commission to prevent the discard ban.
Stoking the pressure behind the so-called “landings obligation” are organisations like the Pew Trusts, which ignore the economic carnage that will follow from the ill-conceived conservation measure.
That is the stark message ahead of the December Fisheries Council from two of Scotland’s biggest fishing bodies, the Scottish White Fish Producers’ Association (SWFPA) and Shetland Fishermen’s Association (SFA).
Proposals are for a marginal quota increase for haddock and potential reductions for species such as cod and whiting. These will be discussed at the ongoing EU/Norway talks leading up to the annual EU summit on 15th December. European Commission officials apparently see no serious impediments to the introduction of the discard ban for the main white fish stocks in January 2016.
The SWFPA and the SFA believe that fishermen will be put out of business unless there is an urgent rethink about how fishing opportunities are set for 2015 and beyond.
SFA executive officer Simon Collins said he was surprised that officials within the European

Shetland Fishermen's Association chief Simon Collins.

Shetland Fishermen’s Association chief Simon Collins.

Commission seemed to think very little needed to be done prior to implementing the discard ban.
“There is a lack of urgency among bureaucrats in Brussels. It is shocking how detached they are from the realities of their policies and the impacts they are likely to have on the communities they are paid to serve.”
SWFPA chief executive Mike Park said: “No fisherman that I know is happy throwing perfectly good fish back into the sea, which is why both the SWFPA and SFA support the intent of the landings obligation.
“However, without significant increases in quota and the introduction of flexibilities to the quota system, it simply will not work.
“Fishing boats will go out of business because the new rules mean that all fishing must stop when vessels run out of the first quota.
“We call on the governments of all member states to recognise the serious dangers of allowing a ban to go ahead without significant additional changes to the management regime and the way they set catch limits.”
The SWFPA and SFA have also launched a scathing attack on the US-based Pew Charitable Trusts after discovering that the organisation is soliciting signatures from Scottish businesses and groups to a letter condemning ministers for allegedly allowing increases in overfishing.
“The Pew Charitable Trusts and other so-called green organisations lobbied successfully to have the discard ban or landings obligation introduced,” said Mr Park.
“But as they studied their graphs in their warm city offices they gave no thought to how it might be implemented in practical terms.
“And now that governments and civil servants are coming to realise that a discard ban under the quota system is likely to destroy perfectly sustainable fisheries around the Scottish coastline, what do they do?
“Instead of acting responsibly in helping to find a successful way forward, they turn on fisheries ministers and seek signatures from Scottish businesses to a letter which is a complete caricature of the situation attacking fisheries ministers for failing to meet deadlines.
“Civil society needs to wake up to the fact that Pew and others like them are spending a multi-million pound war chest dictating how we in Scotland and other parts of Europe manage fishing dependent communities.
“How dare they given that Scotland’s fishers provide leadership on sustainable practices for the rest of Europe.”
Mr Collins added: “It is typical of urban greens who are so far removed from the families that depend on the sea, whether it be here in Shetland or around other parts of the Scottish coastline.
“They need to abandon their anti-jobs crusade and accept that a botched ban would have grave implications for communities that have successfully coexisted with the marine environment for centuries.”

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