The Shetland Times » The Shetland Times Shetland News, Sport, Jobs, Properties, Shop Fri, 31 Jul 2015 12:00:47 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Lerwick man disqualified for drink driving Fri, 31 Jul 2015 12:00:47 +0000 A man has been disqualified from driving for 16 months at Lerwick Sheriff Court after driving a car while unfit through drink or drugs in Ladies Drive last night.

Sean McLaren, 21, of Ladies Drive admitted the charge after appearing from custody at the court this afternoon. He also admitted failing to provide two specimens of breath for analysis at the police station after his arrest.

Honorary sheriff Arnold Duncan fined McLaren £400 for each of the offences for a total of £800, and gave him the option of a four-month reduction in his disqualification to one year if he attends the drink driver rehabilitation course.

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New turbine built on former SSE site Fri, 31 Jul 2015 11:52:18 +0000 Work begins on erecting a new turbine at the Shetland Aerogenerators site at Luggies Knowe. Photo: Dave Donaldson

Work begins on erecting a new turbine at the Shetland Aerogenerators site at Luggies Knowe. Photo: Dave Donaldson

Work has begun on erecting a 121-metre wind turbine on the former SSE site at Luggie’s Knowe for Shetland Aerogenerators.

A 750-tonne crane with a reach of 85 metre was to lift the tower section of the 3MW German-manufactured Enercon machine. The crane was transported to Shetland by the turbine manufacturer specially for the lift.

The turbine will have a tip height of 121 metres once erected, and will be Shetland’s largest. However, it is slightly smaller than the 3.6MW turbine Viking Energy has planning approval for.

Work begins on erecting a new turbine at the Shetland Aerogenerators site at Luggies Knowe. Photo: Dave Donaldson

Work begins on erecting a new turbine at the Shetland Aerogenerators site at Luggies Knowe. Photo: Dave Donaldson

The nacelle section and blades are expected to be lifted and attached to the tower as weather conditions permit. Commissioning work and grid connection will follow.

Shetland Aerogenerators, which owns and operates the Burradale Wind Farm, took over the development, to the north of Lerwick, from SSE.

The power from the turbine will be exported through SSE’s Active Network Management system. It was introduced as part of the Nines (Northern Isles New Energy Solutions) project – designed to let more renewable sources feed into the local electricity grid.

Shetland Aerogenerators managing director Angus Ward said: “We originally thought the project could only be built out next year but thanks mainly to the goodwill of SSE we’ve been able to bring everything forward.

“The Enercon is a highly sophisticated machine which will continue producing clean electricity even in high wind conditions.”

Director David Thomson added that the civil works, including excavations, construction of the access road and pouring of the concrete base, had been ably carried out by Garriock Bros while Orkney firm Bryan J Rendall is doing the specialist electrical works.

He said: “It’s very exciting and satisfying to see the project, which we’ve been working on for the past year, come to fruition and now we can look forward to the commissioning phase.”

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Dirty Lemons ready to hit the road Fri, 31 Jul 2015 10:36:54 +0000 Indie rockers The Dirty Lemons are soon to hit the road, with a mini tour of the Highlands and Islands and an album on the way.
The guitar, bass and drums trio of Anthony Peart, Craig Watt and John William Halcrow have a nine-track record in the pipeline, recorded at Stevie Hook’s studio in Lerwick.
Cranking up the guitars and plugging in the microphones, Peart has been keen to cut the record for some years.
“Anthony has been wanting to do this for four years,” says Halcrow.
“I think Craig has just been partying,” he laughs.
Watt says Hook has had quite a lot of influence on how the record has been mixed, with a diverse range of influences on the album.
The group agree it’s a reflection of their musical tastes – Halcrow is a fan of “old school punk”, Watt “loves the 80s” and Peart is “definitely a 90s grunge” fan. “If you bring us all together that’s what happens,” says Watt.
“The Cult are a big influence”, he adds but there’s elements of Oasis and a bit of the Foo Fighters too thrown in for good measure.
Peart says the songwriting process generally starts off with a guitar riff, though “to be fair it never really turns into a song until we’re all together.”
“The drums change things as well,” says Watt. “It changes the initial idea into a whole different song entirely”.
“Anthony will mumble words that come into his head and about 90 per cent are usually kept,” smiles Halcrow.
Peart and Watt have been making music together for more than 20 years and as a trio they have been together for the last seven or eight.
Halcrow said it started with the premise of playing a rally once a year, and the rest is history.
For a three-piece, it’s a big, full-bodied sound, something that has often been commented on.
“I think it [the sound] surprises us and I think it surprises folk that listen to it,” says Peart.
“I always take it as a compliment.”

It’s the band’s third attempt at recording the album and Watt says the first few times were a learning curve.
The boys say the record captures the live element of the band, and previous attempts with multi-tracking lost the feel of the trio’s energetic performance on stage.
Next month they will be treading the boards at the Shetland Reel Music Festival in Unst on 14th August, followed by the Heavy Metal Buffet Rock Festival at the Lerwick Legion on 28th.
The Orkney Rock Festival follows on 4th September before the band embark on their mini tour, taking in Orkney, Inverness, Skye and Aberdeen.
The group are excited about hitting the road and Watt explains his old, hefty bass amp will be coming along too.
They’ll be taking his van on tour and Peart says Watt promised to leave the group when the amp packed up, but it’s still going.
So have the boys grown closer after years of rock and roll.
“I don’t like the pair of them,” jokes Peart.
“It’s just getting out of the house at night. I’m just waiting for Craig’s amp to break.”
Until then, audiences can continue to look forward to more from the Dirty Lemons.

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Residents unhappy over workforce accommodation Fri, 31 Jul 2015 09:55:49 +0000 Lochside residents have expressed concern that some of the 300-strong workforce on the new Anderson High School will be housed on-site at the Staney Hill about 100 metres from existing houses.

Building firm Morrison Contractors said they would provide 50 rooms or beds on site as financial closure on the ambitious new high school and halls of residence was announced yesterday.

Donald McLachlan

Morrison Construction regional director Donald McLachlan.

Morrison construction regional director Donald McLachlan said that the accommodation was only there to guarantee workers a bed when they arrived in Shetland and it was intended that they move into locally provided rooms once they got established.

He said he understood the planned accommodation was in the “public domain” already and that Morrison intended to tell people directly when it started sending out newsletters in the area.

But local residents appear to have learned of the plan through rumours from the construction site itself, where workmen told them that they would be building accommodation for the AHS workforce.

The Shetland Times understands that on-site accommodation is one of the options that Morrison had tabled before the SIC’s project management committee, headed by Trevor Smith. It offers the firm “ease of management” of its workforce and can be exercised under permitted development rights without the need for planning permission.

South Lochside resident Sandy McMillan has written to The Shetland Times saying that he was told the accommodation will hold up to 200 individuals “probably no more than 100 metres from the residents at North Lochside and Bruce Crescent.”

He adds: “This type of accommodation should be built out of town, not on the doorstep of residential homes. The Shetland Islands Council planning department, if you can call them that, have totally lost the plot and their marbles.”

He adds that when Nederdale was built by Miller construction, their camp was located out of town, and says that a location beside Shetland Marts north of Lerwick would have made more sense.

Another resident, who declined to be named said that he had received an anonymous tip off that Morrison Construction was planning to build the accommodation block and was outraged this was proceeding without the public being warned.

He said: “I am just appalled this is happening. Anyone else looking for planning permission for anything gets knocked back and this is going ahead without planning permission.
“They should not be doing anything unless the neighbours and folk around here were told of it first.”

He said that he council was acting as a “law unto themselves” where important decisions were made in secret “peerie meetings”.

Les Sinclair emailed on Wednesday saying: “I was told this morning by someone employed in a managerial capacity on the new Anderson High site at Lochside that there is to be accommodation for 140 site workers on the site, at the northern end, in proximity to the office block.

“Since it was the first I had been aware of it, although I studied the plans at the time of the application, I wondered if this was something that was common knowledge?”

SIC chief executive Mark Boden said that it would have been wrong to announce the accommodation plans before the deal was signed between the contractual parties.

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In this week’s Shetland Times Fri, 31 Jul 2015 06:02:20 +0000 In this week’s Shetland Times:

• One man has died and others are in hospital after being taken ill on a bus trip.

• BT has come under fire after the weekend’s service blackout.

• Two senior posts have gone and one is under review at Shetland Arts.

• Two special constables retire after years of service.

• Fun festivities in Sandwick and Skeld with pictures and reports.

•  Kevin Bridges entertains Clickimin crowds.

• This month’s Music Matters – includes a Fiddle Frenzy preview and an interview with the Dirty Lemons about their album.

• Hockey inter-county reports and football inter-county preview.

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‘Red letter day’ as contracts finally signed on new AHS project Thu, 30 Jul 2015 16:13:55 +0000 Shetland education and the isles in general had a “red letter day” yesterday with the announcement that work is about to get underway “in earnest” on the new Anderson High School and halls of residence in Lerwick following the reach of financial closure on the project.

All contracts and designs have been completed and signed off, giving the go-ahead for the £55.75m school, which will be funded in large part by the Scottish Government through the Scottish Futures Trust (SFT). That would be the final hurdle cleared for the long-delayed project – plans for which were first mooted 20 years ago.

Council bosses and representatives of the hub North Scotland (hNS), which is delivering the project on behalf of the council, and main contractor Morrison Construction emphasised that the Shetland public have got the best deal possible from a project that is set to cost £55.75m in total.


SIC chief executive Mark Boden.

Shetland Islands Council chief executive Mark Boden was adamant that the figure did not represent a rise in costs from a 2012 generalised Scottish Futures Trust “metric” of £42m for such a project and that any deviation in price was due to the weather and the unique costs of building in Shetland.

The council will pay its AHS proportion of its £19m chunk of the costs off in revenue instalments over the next 25 years by which time it will own the building. Scottish Futures Trust will foot the bill for the rest. Arrangements for the halls of residence will be more conventional with the council paying its share in fewer instalments.

It had been the last chance for the SIC to get such an excellent value for money deal said Mr Boden who thanked the SFT for its input. Hub North will also bear the brunt of any financial risk on behalf of the council.

Children’s services committee chairwoman Vaila Wishart said that she was “absolutely delighted” the complex deal had finally been signed by children’s services director Helen Budge, acting for the council.

The four-storey school at the Staney Hill, which can accommodate up to 1,180 pupils, and the three-storey, 100-bed residential building have been designed by Ryder Architecture.

This Shetland Islands Council project is being delivered by hub North Scotland (hNS). Main contractors Morrison Construction have begun their site establishment work and will soon be starting their main earthwork operations. The project is scheduled to be completed by late summer 2017, several months after an earlier announced finish date of April 2017.

The rescheduled timescale was attributed to the delay in reaching financial closure, owing to the complexity of the project, and changes in European rules that had to be tidied up before it could go ahead.

The new Anderson High School will cost £42.01m and the halls of residence £13.74m. Two thirds of the funding for these will come from the Scottish Government, through SFT. The SIC will “principally fund” £3 million in additional works at Clickimin Leisure Centre.

SIC Leader Gary Robinson said: “We’ve reached a significant milestone in this project, and I’d like to pay tribute to the enormous amount of effort which our officers – along with all our partners – have put into getting us to this stage. Chief executive Mark Boden, along with director of children’s services Helen Budge and her team, have done outstanding work over the past couple of years to bring us to this point.”

Ms Wishart added: “The new school will be a real asset to Shetland, and bring enormous educational benefits to our young people. I’m confident that hub North Scotland will deliver a facility for Shetland which we can be proud of for many years to come.”

Hub North Scotland chief executive Angus Macfarlane said it was a” vitally important step” for the new school and was of great significance to the staff, pupils and community.

“As an organisation established to drive improvements to community infrastructure, we are fully committed to delivering a first class facility which will benefit generations to come,” he said.

Scottish Futures Trust schools programme director Grant Robertson said protecting local jobs, creating better schools and achieving value for money were just a few of the benefits being delivered through the Scotland’s Schools for the Future programme that SFT manages.

“I very much look forward to seeing the new Anderson High School open, and witness the real value of the programme with pupils being taught in modern, first-class facilities,” he added.

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Bus trip pensioner dies in hospital Thu, 30 Jul 2015 11:01:34 +0000 A Lerwick man who was taken ill on a bus trip to Wales has died in the Gilbert Bain Hospital.

The Shetland Times understands that the elderly man was one of a group of four admitted to hospital on Monday after developing fevers and coughs.

Three of the group were admitted with a mystery virus shortly after disembarking from a NorthLink ferry on Monday morning. The fourth presented at the hospital later in the day.

Director of public health Dr Sarah Taylor confirmed to this newspaper on Wednesday night that “there has been a death in the hospital. I can confirm that the other people that we are looking after are improving.”

Full story in tomorrow’s Shetland Times.

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Returning Bridges has Clickimin laughing again Thu, 30 Jul 2015 10:16:42 +0000 More than 1,000 people turned up at the Clickimin on Wednesday night to watch the talented Scottish comedian, Kevin Bridges perform the first of two shows in Lerwick on his new tour, A Whole Different Story.

Bridges, who has performed on Live at the Apollo, was quick to point out that he was glad to be back in Shetland once again, in his “favourite gym hall of all time”. He mocked the Clickimin’s main hall further, comparing his show to “Wednesday night in PE”.

The comedian engaged with the local audience impressively, moving from teasing audience members to using his jokes to mock the recent local news. He joked of the recent swimming pool closure, suggesting that they should just “go screw the bolt back in and open the pool”.

When a member of the audience suggested complex manager Robert Geddes had been on the roof, Bridges swiftly asked: “So, did Robert Geddes loosen the bolt up there? We’re about to get Robert the sack”.

Even with Bridges having no idea who Geddes is, the audience enjoyed the hit at the Clickimin boss nonetheless. Surely the SRT will not follow Bridges’ advice to give him the boot.

Despite making the standard “do you have internet up here?” and “do you even get a summer in Shetland?” jokes that we are used to hearing in the isles, Bridges had plenty of new material that had the audience laughing all night.

There was a lengthy routine about the sleepovers you have when you were a child, but kept getting sidetracked and off-topic, mostly due to the audience members shouting comments to him. However, the joke was hilarious once he managed to move around the crowd’s interruptions.

You could tell that Bridges was a natural comedian, moving smoothly from an improvised joke about politics, to gay sex and back to politics again quickly, while keeping the audience laughing the entire time.

Bridges effortlessly moved past a flicker in the lighting half way through his performance, joking that there was maybe a loose bulb, and asked “are we about to close another leisure facility?” much to the delight of the crowd.

The comedy show was greatly enhanced by Bridge’s support act, Dougie Dunlop. Dunlop’s performance lasted half an hour, but felt like it was only 10 minutes as the crowd lapped up his mix of dry and blunt humour.

Many of Dunlop’s joke referenced getting old, joking that when he buys gifts for his elderly parents now, he buys them with the thought that he may inherit them in mind. He went on to mock his own age, being 42, by joking that when he sees women on nights out now in short skirts, he thinks “I wouldn’t mind putting a duffel coat on that”.

Dunlop gave a special mention to the Harbour Chip Shop for his dinner that evening, encouraging the audience to give the chippy a round of applause. The crowd certainly enjoyed Dunlop’s set and laughed at his entertaining performance just as much as they did Bridges.

The show went down very well with no awkward pauses or missed jokes.

Perhaps there was more swearing than necessary in the show but personally, the profanity added to the very engaging performance.

Sarah Young

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Tiger fund’s thank you Wed, 29 Jul 2015 14:51:51 +0000 Shetland Tiger Fund has received a thank you letter for its most recent donation of £1,000 towards wild tiger preservation.

The letter arrived at co-ordinator Jill Blackadder’s house on Wednesday – World Tiger Day.

It is the 18th time the tiger fund has made a £1,000 donation which goes towards protecting tigers and other endangered species in Kaziranga National Park, Assam, India. It also helps many other campaigns and projects through the Environmental Investigation Agency.

Mrs Blackadder said the first school tiger project began in 1995 and fund-raising started the following year. Plans are being made to hold a 20th-anniversary celebration.

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SSE confirms 20 per cent investment in gas fields Wed, 29 Jul 2015 11:32:07 +0000 Delays at the Shetland Gas Plant have contributed to further losses by Petrofac associated with its work on the Laggan-Tormore project.

SSE confirmed in will buy a 20 per cent stake in Total’s Laggan Tormore project, which includes Shetland Gas Plant.

Energy company SSE, is to buy a 20 per cent stake in Total’s Laggan Tormore project including Shetland Gas Plant, the energy supplier announced today.

The deal, where SSE has agreed to invest $915 million in Laggan Tormore by 2018, follows rumours earlier this year that Total, which retains 60 per cent of the project, was seeking to sell some of its share. The remaining 20 per cent of the project is owned by Dong Energy.

A statement from SSE said that its wholly-owned subsidiary SSE E&P UK Limited, has entered into an agreement with Total E&P UK Limited to acquire: a 20 per cent interest in the four gas fields and surrounding exploration acreage approximately 125km north-west of Shetland, collectively known as the Greater Laggan Area; and a 20 per cent interest in the new Shetland Gas Plant.

SSE chief executive Alistair Phillips-Davies said: “As we have regularly said, most recently in our trading statement last week, we are focused on maintaining a balanced range of energy businesses, and we have regularly set out our wish to seek new opportunities to increase SSE’s presence in the upstream gas sector where assets can be acquired for a fair price, and that is exactly what this deal represents.

“Following extensive due diligence, we have agreed to acquire a series of very good assets and entered into a partnership with one of the world’s leading gas and oil companies. The acquisition means we will be able to introduce further diversity across our investment programme.

“It comes following a period of relatively low wholesale gas prices and is therefore timely. It completes our portfolio of gas production assets for the foreseeable future.

“The acquisition, including the Shetland Gas Plant, represents further investment in the UK energy infrastructure that gives access to gas from north-west Europe to help secure energy for customers and to help meet the needs of our gas-fired power stations, which will have an important part to play in supporting security of electricity supply.”

The transaction will comprise £565m for the assets (reflecting their value on 1st January 2015) plus additional forecast investment of £350m in the period to 2018 to complete the entire development.

SSE acquired gas production assets in 2010 and 2013 and has “regularly set out its intention” to increase its asset base to help meet gas demand requirements.

The company says it expects Shetland Gas Plant to become fully operational this financial year. It will process and export gas and condensate from the west of Shetland for delivery to the St Fergus Gas Terminal, making it “one of the most important infrastructure developments in the UK.”

It is expected to process and export west of Shetland gas and condensate well into the 2030s.

SSE now estimates it will hold reserves and resources of over six billion therms (equivalent to over 100 million barrels of oil) over the life of all of the fields in which it will have an interest. There is also the possibility of additional reserves being extracted.

The fields to be acquired by SSE are new and will have relatively low operating costs. They are not yet producing gas, but the Greater Laggan Area development is expected to start production this financial year and peak production – at around five million therms of gas per day – is expected to be achieved during 2016.

Production from the acquired fields is expected to be sustained at that level until around 2020, before declining over the following 10 years without further development, making this a long-term investment.
The agreement comes at a time when SSE’s existing fields’ production volumes are expected to decline.

In 2014/15 the output resulting from SSE’s ownership of gas production assets was just under 400 million therms. The acquisition should allow SSE’s average annual volumes of gas produced to be at a higher level than those it reported in 2014/15 until around 2020/21; and to remain above 200 million therms until around 2024/25.

SSE expects to invest a total of around £350m in further development of the assets in the period to 2018, including around £170m for the current calendar year as part of its existing plans to invest around £5.5bn net of disposals across the four years to 2018.

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