The Shetland Times Shetland News, Sport, Jobs, Properties, Shop Fri, 21 Sep 2018 11:23:35 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 Financial challenges flagged up for health and social care Fri, 21 Sep 2018 11:23:35 +0000 An “extremely challenging financial position” continues to face the isles’ health and social care partnership, auditors have warned.

Members of the integration joint board were told by auditor Deloitte on Friday that the board has a responsibility to balance its budget.

The body, which combines SIC and NHS Shetland funds, was told that in 2017/18 it ended up with a surplus of £239,000.

However, NHS Shetland had provided a one-off additional payment of £2.9 million last year to cover its part of the budget.

In a report before members, Deloitte said “this is not a long-term practice and allows the IJB to defer responsibility and action for providing a sustainable service”.

It added a funding gap was predicted of about £2.3 million this year.

Deloitte assistant manager Conor Healy said the IJB could not rely on NHS Shetland to fill the gap and this was not a sustainable approach in future.

A medium to long-term plan was needed, he said. “The IJB knows savings are needed…however it doesn’t know how to achieve these savings,” he said.

• More in next week’s Shetland Times

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Coxswain to take part in maritime rescue exchange in Oslo Fri, 21 Sep 2018 10:40:00 +0000 Lerwick Lifeboat coxswain, Darren Harcus, will be taking part in a lifeboat crew exchange in Oslo next week, organised through the International Maritime Rescue Federation (IMRF).

The week-long programme of activities will be hosted by the Norwegian Society for Sea Rescue, or Redningsselskapet, commonly shortened to “RS” – a Norwegian charity, equivalent to the RNLI.

Mr Harcus is the only UK representative taking part in the exchange and will spend the week with six other people involved in search and rescue at sea, from Finland, France, Greece, Germany, Holland and Sweden.

The programme of activities includes visits to RS rescue stations and familiarisation with RS lifeboats and other rescue craft.

The week also includes sea survival training in a pool, helicopter operations, and time on a training simulator for high speed craft.

The representatives will undertake joint search and rescue exercises throughout the week, and each deliver presentations on search and rescue operations in their home countries.

Mr Harcus said: “I’m looking forward to finding out more about the work of the RS in Norway, a charity with similar aims to the RNLI, and to learn about their rescue operations. It’s going to be a fantastic opportunity to share knowledge with Norwegian colleagues alongside other representatives who work in sea search and rescue across Europe.”

Deputy 2nd coxswain Tommy Goudie will cover the coxswain’s duties while he is away.

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MSP Tavish Scott appointed director of Shetland Space Centre Thu, 20 Sep 2018 16:52:42 +0000 Shetland MSP Tavish Scott has been appointed a director of Shetland Space Centre – the company behind plans to build a satellite launch site in Unst.

Mr Scott is one of several directors appointed to the company, according to papers published on Companies House today. His occupation is listed on the paperwork as Member of the Scottish Parliament.

When contacted by The Shetland Times this evening Mr Scott said he wanted to respond in writing with a “straightforward, utterly transparent explanation”. However, he declined to answer questions about the appointment and said he would send a statement.

In his written statement the MSP said: “I am delighted to have been asked to join the board of Shetland Space Centre Ltd. This unremunerated post will allow me to assist with the incredibly exciting potential for Unst and Shetland in developing satellite information and data services and small scale launch facilities in Unst.

“I believe this can be a catalyst for a new industry across Shetland and I plan to assist in its development. My parents own crofting land that may be used for the launch site so this family interest is a further reason for my involvement.”

One element of the Shetland Space Centre plans is to launch satellites into orbit from a yet-to-be developed site at Lamba Ness. It is there that Mr Scott’s family own crofting land.

Businessman Frank Strang is behind the space centre plans. Mr Strang is also a director of Saxa Vord Limited and Shetland FM Limited.

Shetland Islands Council has entered a “memorandum of understanding” with Shetland Space Centre Ltd. This newspaper understands that does not involve a financial commitment from the council but the SIC will play its part in “selling” Shetland as a suitable location for such a project.


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Aith school to reopen Wed, 19 Sep 2018 18:02:55 +0000 Shetland Islands Council have completed repairs at Aith Junior High School and announced it will open again to pupils tomorrow [Thursday].

SIC officials say an underground heating oil pipe has been replaced, and the heating system has been tested.

The heating system is now working as normal.

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Council told more detail needed in financial plan Wed, 19 Sep 2018 10:04:18 +0000 The SIC needs to provide more detail in its medium-term financial plan – as it looks change services against a backdrop of reduced budgets.

That was the message on Wednesday from auditor Deloitte, meeting with councillors on Wednesday to discuss the 2017/18 audit.

A report before members of the SIC’s audit committee stated that the council has achieved “significant savings over the last five years” but said the local authority will have to consider how it can “fundamentally transform service delivery in order to continue to meet citizens needs with reduced budgets”.

The council is faced with a funding gap of about £15.61 million by 2023/24.

• More in Friday’s Shetland Times

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Aith Junior High to remain closed tomorrow after oil leak Tue, 18 Sep 2018 16:03:11 +0000 Aith Junior High School will be closed to pupils and staff throughout tomorrow [Wednesday], the council has advised.

It follows an incident where heating oil leaked into the ground.

Estate operations and roads staff are currently on site to identify and contain the source of the leak, and to excavate and properly dispose of any contaminated soil.

But the council has said in a statement that the heating system will need to be shut down to allow the work to be completed.

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GALLERY: The BIG Takeover – Year of Young People 2018 Tue, 18 Sep 2018 15:38:39 +0000 Young people took over last weekend as the Year of Young People 2018 was celebrated in style.

The BIG Takeover saw over 70 events taking place at eight venues around Lerwick with the fun including music, drama, dance, sports, films, an inflatable assault course and foam parties.

The Shetland Times was at many of the events and there will be extensive coverage in Friday’s newspaper. But, if you can’t wait that long, you might enjoy this gallery of images taken by the Year of Young People Ambassadors.

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More than 600 visitors expected for ninth Shetland Wool Week Tue, 18 Sep 2018 14:44:46 +0000 The ninth Shetland Wool Week will kick off this weekend for a nine-day celebration of the isles’ textile heritage.

Astryd Jamieson models the tree yoke jumper by Alyssa Malcolmson, one of the designs featured in this year’s Shetland Wool Week Annual, Volume Four.

More than 600 are expected to descend on Shetland from around the world for the Shetland Amenity Trust-run festival that includes 300 events.

The programme encompasses talks, demonstrations, workshops, and tours will take place from the very south to the north of the islands. Many classes with specialist tutors from the local community, there will also be a number of workshops from leading industry names from Finland, Canada, Germany, USA, Norway, and the UK.

Da Gadderie at Shetland Museum will host the wool week “Hub”.

Tomorrow will also see the launch of the fourth edition of the wool week annual. It includes 13 knitting patterns that use Shetland wool and have been created by both Shetland-based and international knitwear designers.

Wool week project manager Victoria Tait said: “It’s encouraging that interest for Shetland Wool Week continues to grow and we’re looking forward to welcoming some new and familiar faces. Promotion for SWW is year-round and it’s a fantastic platform to help put Shetland’s textile industry on the international stage, as well as support and promote its people, skills and crofting heritage.”

Museum curator Carol Christiansen said: “Once again, local heritage groups and businesses across Shetland are preparing a warm welcome for all wool week participants to highlight the woollen tradition and industries in their areas. We’re pleased to see more events hosted than ever before.”

The “warm welcome” will nowhere be more evident than at the Anderson High School on Sunday when the opening event will see patron Elizabeth Johnson greet attendees. She has designed this year’s Merrie Dancers Toorie pattern.

The high school will also be the location for a Makers’ Market on Saturday 29th September.

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Tsunamis more common than thought, scientists say Mon, 17 Sep 2018 08:29:46 +0000 Shetland has been hit by at least two more tsunamis in the past 10,000 years than previously thought, and scientists are working to identify where the giant waves originated.

The Storegga submarine landslide off the coast of Norway is already known to have caused a 20-metre high tsunami to sweep across the isles around 8,200 years ago.

But scientists funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) have now identified sands in Shetland that they say prove additional tsunamis hit the isles 5,000 and 1,500 years ago – potentially meaning that tsunamis are a more common occurrence than previously thought in the UK.

• See The Shetland Times on Friday for full story.

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Young writing talent celebrated with top children’s author Fri, 14 Sep 2018 19:22:11 +0000 Eloquent and enthralling storytelling was enjoyed at Shetland Library on Friday night for the Young Shetland Writer awards.

Special guest, acclaimed children’s writer and illustrator Nick Sharratt, opened the evening with an engaging talk on his interest in writing and passion for picking up a pen.

Picking up on this year’s theme of “journey” Sharratt rattled off illustrations of his famous characters including the hugely popular Tracy Beaker.

The Young Shetland Writer winners along with children’s author Nick Sharratt and the competition judges. Photo: Adam Guest.

This year’s competition saw 245 people submit entries, and the five winning pieces were broad-ranging.

Ellie Leslie, nine, had penned an imaginative tale inspired by the Vikings and the loch at Girlsta.

Meanwhie Sophie Johnson 10, shared a powerful and hard-hitting account of a Syrian refugee, and Kirsten Keay, 16, an emotional short-story about her grandfather and the journey of dementia.

Shetland dialect was also celebrated with entries from Teagan Johnson, 11, focusing on lambing in Baltasound, and 15-year-old Hannah-Lisa Laurenson’s perilous tale of collecting eggs from the cliffs.

It is Sharratt’s first visit to Shetland and he was very impressed with the talented young writers.

“The writing was a delight to listen to. It really was,” he said.

“I was really impressed. There’s a lot of talented youngsters here and it’s fantastic that they get the encouragement with this type of activity and competition.”

• More in Friday’s Shetland Times



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