The Shetland Times Shetland News, Sport, Jobs, Properties, Shop Wed, 23 May 2018 11:08:36 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 Finnie calls for ferry nationalisation Wed, 23 May 2018 11:08:36 +0000 A renewed call has been made for NorthLink Ferries to be brought into public ownership “at the earliest opportunity”.

Spokesman for transport and islands at the Scottish Green Party, John Finnie, is behind a parliamentary motion insisting the service should run in the interest of public service rather than “private profit”.

It comes ahead of a Scottish government statement on the Northern Isles ferries, which is expected to be made on Thursday.

Mr Finnie said: “The good folk of Shetland deserve more frequent, affordable and reliable ferries, run in the interest of public service, rather than solely for private profit.

“It was good to see the Scottish government recently purchase the three northern isles ferries. This should be the first step in bringing the whole setup back into public ownership.

“The RMT has been campaigning on this issue for some time and I fully support their calls to nationalise the service. Ensuring properly staffed vessels which are subject to collective bargaining can only benefit northern isles communities.”

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Bright future for fishing industry, says LPA chief executive Wed, 23 May 2018 09:53:44 +0000 Ongoing investment in new infrastructure shows there is a positive future for the fishing industry, according to Lerwick Port Authority chief executive Sandra Laurenson.

Despite uncertainty over fishing policy post-Brexit and a squeezed pelagic market Ms Laurenson said: “The latest investment by the industry and the Port Authority will help

Investment of around £150 million will see the delivery of five new Shetland pelagic vessels during 2018/19. Photo: Gareth Easton/courtesy of LPA

sustain and develop the Shetland sector’s future, harbour activity and the strength of the Shetland economy.”

The port authority will again have a stand at the Skipper Expo International conference in Aberdeen which starts on Friday. Ms Laurenson highlighted multi-million investments that, she says, show there is confidence in the whitefish and pelagic sectors.

One significant development is the £7.6 million replacement whitefish market. Construction started this month and will double the capacity to 1600 square metres. The work, by Tulloch Developments, should be finished in early-2020 and it will be located at the new Mair’s Quay.

The quay and Mair’s Pier was finished last year at Holmsgarth.

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Sandness grower demands more action on sustainable food Wed, 23 May 2018 06:00:04 +0000 A Shetland food producer has been involved with a coalition lobbying the Holyrood government – demanding action to make Scotland a “Good Food Nation”.

Penny Armstrong, of Transition Turriefield, is among those lobbying the Scottish government. Photo: Jim Nicolson

Penny Armstrong from Transition Turriefield in Sandness took part in a Kitchen Table Talk organised by the Scottish Food Coalition. It has produced a report highlighting the cost of buying healthy food and the environmental impact the food industry has.

The coalition wants the Scottish government to consult on a bill before the parliament’s summer recess and wants help to create “local food economies, make all food production sustainable and to improve access to good food”.

Ms Armstrong said: “This is a huge issue which is affected by, and impacts on, many different aspects of our lives. There are no easy answers but when food is perceived as a commodity, a chore and an unwanted expense then it can hold no respect in people’s lives.”

• More in The Shetland Times.

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RAF flyby: Typhoon jets ‘wave’ to Bell’s Brae pupils Tue, 22 May 2018 15:53:58 +0000 Bell’s Brae Primary pupils abandoned their classrooms and headed out onto the playground to see two Typhoon jets roar by at 500 feet.

The flypast was held as part of the RAF Baton Relay – an event aimed at celebrating the air force’s first century.

A specially-designed baton is being flown by the Typhoons to 100 sites associated with the RAF in 100 days.

So the high-powered aircraft from RAF Lossiemouth ventured up to the air force’s old stamping ground in Saxa Vord, and Bell’s Brae was also included on the agenda.

Youngsters turned out to hold up a 10 metre by six metre RAF 100 flag for the pilots to see, and photograph.

As part of the RAF’s 100th anniversary celebrations two Typhoon fighter jets flew over Shetland on Tuesday afternoon. They took off from Lossiemouth around 2pm and were in Lerwick barely 15 minutes later, making two passes over the town. They then headed up to Saxa Vord in Unst, climbed to 40,000 feet and flew south again. Photo: John Coutts

The children waved and yelled with excitement as the jets made two flybys over the school. One of the planes even dipped its wings to give a little wave to those down below.

Explaining the event to the youngsters was Squadron Leader Danni Nowalski. It was Ms Nowalski, who has isles connections, who invited Bell’s Brae to get involved.

She said the event was being held to commemorate the RAF’s past, celebrate its people and inspire future generations to become a part of the RAF.

Speaking after the flypast, she said: “We are all about inspiring young kids, and I think it’s safe to say they’ve been inspired today. It’s been quite cool.”

Head teacher Jennifer Wadley said the day had come about after the school received an email from Ms Nowalski.

“We jumped at the chance for a number of reasons – one is that it’s something that is happening across the UK, and it’s good for our pupils to be aware of it.

“It’s a bit of history and it’s good for them to be aware and to celebrate the work that the servicemen and women do.”

• Full coverage from Bell’s Brae will be included in Friday’s Shetland Times.

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Beloved motorbike auctioned off for mental health charity Tue, 22 May 2018 10:51:10 +0000 A woman whose father died of heart disease last year is to auction off his beloved motorbike at the Simmer Dim Rally next month.

The draw will take place on Saturday 23rd June with all funds going to mental health charity Mind Your Head. Richelle Fraser says her father, Stewart Fraser’s health problems were caused by heavy drinking linked to mental health issues and she wanted to do something in his memory that would benefit the charity.

Richelle has written an article where she explains in her own words why she is doing this. You can read the full article in Friday’s Shetland Times.

She wrote: “My dad got so much enjoyment out of this event [the bike rally], and he is well known for his antics and what he brought to it.

“While having a talk with friends about what I should do with the bike, one suggested having a raffle with the bike as the main prize and putting the money into a good cause in the memory of dad.

“I guess that’s why we are here today. So please buy some raffle tickets. The response fae the Shetland community in donating for this cause has been overwhelmingly touching. In buying a ticket I feel people are pulling together, and are putting back into our community.”

Mind Your Head service manager Anouska Civico said: “To offer to raffle something that is so personal to her dad and her family in recognition of the work we do is so generous.

“When I read Richelle’s story about her dad it certainly resonated with me and it will with many people, so as well as raising money for the charity it will help raise awareness of other people’s struggles and perhaps will encourage people to seek help if they need it.”

Should you wish to buy or sell raffle tickets on behalf of Richelle then please contact Anouska on 01595 745035.

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Look out for tourists when driving in town Tue, 22 May 2018 10:08:40 +0000 Police and town centre-based organisations have warned motorists to be extra careful when driving on Commercial Street.

They fear that as Lerwick town centre becomes busier because of the influx of cruise ship tourists there is a “higher risk” of accidents.

The stretch of road between the Market Cross and the Fort Chip Shop is a pedestrian only zone from 11.30am to 5.30pm between Monday and Friday, with only disability badge holders permitted to drive through for access purposes between those times.

Police inspector Martyn Brill said: “We would like to take this opportunity to advise drivers to be mindful of pedestrians in and about the town centre, particularly when visitors from cruise ships are enjoying the local area.

“The times during which the majority of vehicular traffic is prohibited from the main part of Commercial Street are clearly signposted and I would stress police will enforce the road traffic legislation where necessary.”

Living Lerwick project manager Emma Miller said: “At this time of year when there are often a large number of cruise ship visitors walking through the street, and not familiar with the road layout, there is a higher risk of an accident occurring.

“Verbal feedback strongly indicates that local shoppers are also often frustrated at having to dodge traffic during pedestrian only times, especially when there’s no blue badge on display in the car.”

• More on this story in Friday’s Shetland Times.

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Call for council to be clear on space race Mon, 21 May 2018 15:09:01 +0000 A rocket has been placed under Shetland’s attempts to join the space race.

Councillors have been told the authority needs to be clear on its position if Unst is going to maximise its potential as a satellite launch site.

It comes after the island was highlighted in a far-reaching report – entitled “Sceptre” – commissioned by the UK Space Agency.

Saxa Vord was listed in the report as a suitable location for a vertical launch site.

The Westminster government wants the UK to have its own sovereign capability to launch by 2020.

A business case by Shetland Space Centre is being supported by the SIC and Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

However, other sites in Caithness and the Western Isles are also in the running to house the site.

Members of Monday’s development committee were reminded that the deadline was fast looming.

Head of the department Neil Grant told councillors: “You’ll be aware of the national media coming out about what the UK government plans are for a vertical satellite launch in the UK.

“Twenty-twenty is not far away. We have three entities in the north of Scotland interested in vertical launch.

“There’s a UK government commitment to whittle that three down to one, and we clearly want Shetland’s case to be the winner.

“The council needs to be clear on its position. I’m proposing that I take back a report as soon as I can that defines what the options for the council are and should be.

“In terms of economic opportunities, it’s pretty huge. In terms of how the council engages with it, I guess that’s the question.”

A local space event, hosted by Shetland Space Centre, is due to take place next week.

The event is being organised to showcase the supply chain, as well as the proposed launch site and infrastructure.

Major players in the industry are due to attend.

• More on this story in Friday’s Shetland Times.

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Man accused of assault to danger of life Mon, 21 May 2018 12:44:44 +0000 A 42-year-old man has appeared from custody at Lerwick Sheriff Court charged with assault to severe injury and the danger of life.
Mark Whyte, from, Glasgow appeared on petition in private on Monday.

He made no plea, was committed for further examination and released on bail.

Plans for college merger pushed forward by education committee Mon, 21 May 2018 12:28:40 +0000 A full merger of Shetland College with the NAFC Marine Centre and Train Shetland is being pushed forward.

Members of Monday’s education and families committee heard of plans for a full business case to be built up by October ahead of the plans going before the Scottish government.

The idea of merging college services has been on the go for a number of years.

SIC officials have lately been busy whittling an initial nine options down to a preferred shortlist of two.

The first is that the Shetland Fisheries Training Centre Trust, which operates the NAFC in Scalloway, serves as a “host” organisation, taking control of the other college services and widening its remit accordingly.

The other preferred option is that a new, independent organisation be created, which will serve as part of the University of the Highlands and Islands network.

Committee chairman George Smith, who worked at Shetland College between 2006 and 2011, said it was “absolutely imperative” members get behind the proposals.

Addressing members, he said he felt the need to “declare an interest” in his passion for tertiary education.

“I think we should never underestimate the value of the learning opportunities that are provided. We can’t afford to fail our current and future learners.

“If we have the courage to move forward we can create a better future for tertiary education. It’s in our hands.”

• More on this story in Friday’s Shetland Times.

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National award for social enterprise Cope Mon, 21 May 2018 11:07:55 +0000 The social enterprise Cope picked up a national award in recognition of the work it does for people with learning disabilities.

Cope was the winner in the Enterprise category of Scotland’s Learning Disability Awards.

Chief executive Ingrid Webb said the organisation was delighted.

“We are committed to giving people with disabilities the opportunity to participate in a supportive and inclusive work environment, free from stigma and discrimination.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank each of every one of our customers for their continued support. Without you none of this would be possible.”
Employability manager Alison Moar said: “A huge part of our success is due to our team of people with learning disabilities who every day produce, promote and sell a wide range of items through different business outlets.

“I hope this recognition raises awareness in Shetland, and beyond, of just what people with learning disabilities can do in a business setting if they are given the right opportunity and support.”

The Scottish Learning Disability Awards were part of Learning Disability Week 2018.

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