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Fishing industry counts cost of Brexit red tape

9 hours 58 min ago

A seafood organisation has warned the Brexit red tape seen earlier this year could be the demise of small fishing businesses.

Seafood Scotland says the cost associated with the new checks and paperwork since the EU transition ended are too much for the sector to bear.

It says border delays at the start of the year cost firms more than £1 million a day.

The cost of new paperwork is estimated at around “£250,000-£500,000 a year.

Seafood Scotland boss Donna Fordyce has told MPs she fears long-term damage is now being done to the industry.

Isles MP Alistair Carmichael says there is now little confidence left in George Eustice as Defra secretary.

MSPs disagree over budget announcement

10 hours 38 min ago

The chancellor’s financial statement has been labelled a “stand-still” budget.

Alistair Carmichael has voiced concern that many fiscal decisions have been put off until the autumn.

He has called for longer-term thinking on corporation tax, VAT rates for tourism and investment in hospitality.

The government confirmed the furlough scheme and self-employment support will continue until September, with a partial expansion in eligibility for the self-employed scheme.

The £20 uplift in Universal Credit will continue for another six months, and corporation tax is to rise on profits above £50,000 to 25 per cent in 2023.

Highlands and Islands MSP Jamie Halcro Johnston said the budget would “help the UK to bounce back from the pandemic”.

“The extension of the furloughing scheme until the end of September is extremely welcome and clearly demonstrates the UK government’s commitment to protecting jobs and household incomes.”

Mr Halcro Johnston also welcomed a freeze on alcohol duty.

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More investment needed for electric cars, says MSP

16 hours 19 min ago

A call has been made on the Scottish government to help kick start the electric car revolution in the isles.

Latest figures from the DVLA show 54 electric cars registered in Shetland.

That equates to just 0.36 per cent of cars in the isles being electric.

In the second half of 2020, 1.66 per cent of all car insurance enquiries from Shetland were for electric vehicles.

Isles MSP Beatrice Wishart says more investment in infrastructure is necessary.

She said the installation of reliable rapid chargers (50KwH chargers) across all the islands in Shetland would be a good start.

“Cars are not a luxury in Shetland because of our geography, and these figures show that if we are to see more electric cars on Shetland’s roads, then investing in infrastructure is the first step that needs done sooner rather than later.”

Huge amount of goodies delivered during ‘Tea in a box’

17 hours 36 min ago

The last three weeks of the Shetland Relay For Life committee’s “Afternoon Tea in a Box” has been a resounding success.

A total of 3,276 fancies, sandwiches and dainties were produced, boxed and delivered, raising nearly £5,000 for the Cancer Research UK campaign.

Malteser tray bake, salt beef bannocks and bacon quiche were said to have proved the most popular with the Shetland public. Boxes were taken as far and wide as Whalsay, Unst and Dunrossness.

One of the organisers, Olive Macleod, said: “It’s been great to see such a great response from Shetlanders and my thanks goes to everyone who baked and boxed.”

The committee are taking a week off to restock their larders, but Afternoon Teas in a Box will be back for Mother’s Day weekend.

Orders open on the Shetland Relay for Life Facebook page on Sunday and deliveries will be made on Saturday 13th March.

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Steve flies high over Brettabister

17 hours 39 min ago

A spectacular image of an unusual cosmic event has been captured by an isles aurora hunter and photographer.

Kev Bryant caught the image of S.T.E.V.E (Strong Thermal Emission Velocity Enhancement) over The Old Schoolhouse in Brettabister during the clam and clear night of Tuesday 2nd March.

Mr Bryant said: “I have seen it before but not as strong, I’ve seen a small version of it.”

The phenomenon is not that rare but was little understood until the European Space Agency’s Smarm mission found STEVE is caused by a 25km (16 mile) wide ribbon of hot plasma at an altitude of 450km (280 miles), with a temperature of 3,000 °C (3,270 K; 5,430 °F) and flowing at a speed of 6km/s (3.7 mile/s).

Mr Bryant is a member of the Shetland Aurora Hunters Facebook page and had received an alert that the northern lights could be present during Tuesday night.

“When I set up a camera to see the aurora I looked up and saw this beam of light. Its not the first one I have seen but it is the best I have taken in Shetland. It was really exciting,” said Mr Bryant.

The photo also shows the trajectory of a satellite to the right of STEVE, which differs in its appearance from a shooting star by the fact that its path is outlined by a series of dots, rather than a continuous  line.

STEVE was in the air over the schoolhouse for around 30 minutes.

Leitch warns Shetland could see more cases emerge

18 hours 1 min ago

Efforts to stop the importation of coronavirus into island communities are “definitely going to help” – according to the national clinical director, Jason Leitch.

But Prof Leitch has warned Shetland could see more new cases of coronavirus emerge, despite daily-updated records showing none since last month. (more…)

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Drone will survey district heating network

March 2, 2021 | 4.22pm

Long-running plans to conduct a thermal imaging survey of Lerwick’s district heating pipes are due to go ahead tonight (Tuesday).

A drone will be used to help identify any leaks or inefficiencies.

The Shetland Flyer will be leading the operation.

The job was originally due to happen earlier this year.

But poor conditions have prevented the operation from taking place before now.

Manager Rory Gillies said: “We’ve never had suitable weather.

“It was planned originally for Up-Helly-A’ night. But the district heating had a shutdown because there was a fault at Gilbertson Road.

“Then, until the end of February, there was snow on the ground all the time, and after that it was wintry and wet.”

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Indoor visits to care homes resume

March 2, 2021 | 3.03pm

Residents at isles care homes will be allowed up to two visits per week in a “welcome” relaxation of rules.

Each resident will also be able to have up to two designated visitors.

SIC deputy director of social care Jo Robinson said the news was “a huge step forward”.

“Our teams have been working hard to ensure the safe return of visits to our care homes, and this will certainly go a long way towards supporting the wellbeing of residents, as well as their families and friends.”

Steps have been taken to support the return of indoor visits, the SIC said, including testing programmes for staff and visitors.

P4-P7 pupils to return to school in mid-March

March 2, 2021 | 2.35pm

P4-7 pupils will return to school on Monday 15th March.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon confirmed all primary pupils would be able to return in two weeks time, at Holyrood this afternoon (Tuesday).

Some secondary school pupils will be able to return from the 15th as well, with S4-6 pupils taking priority.

Secondary pupils will continue with a blended learning model, but Ms Sturgeon said they would all be back into school after the Easter holidays.

Ms Sturgeon also offered up an encouraging sign, saying that the Scottish government was considering accelerating the exit from lockdown.

“If we can go further and faster, we will not hesitate to do so,” she said.

Scotland is aiming to move back to a levels system by the end of April.

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Winning murals selected to adorn Lerwick shop walls

March 2, 2021 | 1.37pm

Two murals have been selected to feature in the centre of Lerwick later this year.

The designs by artist Gavin Renshaw and Glasgow-based collective Cobolt were the winners of a public vote.

Mr Renshaw’s work will be painted on adjacent walls at the No. 88 restaurant and on the side of Bayes, while Cobolt’s effort will appear across from the Peerie Shop Cafe.

All female group Cobolt have chosen a sea theme for their Lerwick mural, which features a line from local poet’s Christine De Luca.

Mr Renshaw’s features both a yoal and a standing stone.

Shetland Arts exhibition manager Jane Matthews said that over 640 people had voted for their chosen murals.

“Thank you to everyone that took the time to have their say. I’m delighted that the two chosen designs will add to the LOCUS art trail,” she said.

The murals are expected to be painted in July or August.

Gavin Renshaw’s winning mural.

WATCH: Living Lerwick release video promoting town centre’s ‘magic’

March 2, 2021 | 1.00pm

A new video from Living Lerwick and Shetland Heritage has been released, reminding residents of what a  ‘magical place’ the town centre continues to be.

The video comes as more venues around Lerwick, such as the library, several charity shops and the sports centre, all began welcoming people through their doors this week.

The four and a half minute video takes a humorous look at one man’s attempts to lure would be online buyers to the wonderment of the town centre, with the tag line “Imagine there was a magical place where you could go and find nearly everything you might need.

“It’s not a myth – it exists, and what’s more; it’s local!”

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MSYPs raise issues in virtual meeting

March 2, 2021 | 10.15am

The effects of coronavirus on young people were at the forefront of talks held between MSYPs and the Liberal Democrat’s Holyrood representative.

Topics of discussion also included education recovery, the student experience and access to local mental health services.

Youth parliament representatives Jonathan Dorrat and Leighton Anderson discussed the issues with MSP Beatrice Wishart.

The meeting followed previous engagement between them.

Ms Wishart said: “I want to ensure that Shetland is a great place for young people to live, study and work.

“So I’d like to thank Jonathan and Leighton for once again taking the time to discuss with me about how we can best support young people in our community.”

She added: “The voting age at the Scottish election is 16 which gives young people a real voice at this election to talk about what they want to see improve.”

WATCH: Who Cares? Scotland release Lerwick video

February 22, 2021 | 3.47pm

A projectiles film, capturing the streets and spaces of Lerwick, has been released as part of the Festival of Care.

The video, released by co organisers Who Cares? Scotland, record the projected words and reflections of the #ShetlandCrew of care experienced young people, on the themes of home and belonging.

The projections could been seen on various buildings around the town during this past Friday and Saturday evenings.

A flag raising ceremony at the town hall on Friday 19th February, marked the beginning of this, the second annual Festival of Care, with the theme of ‘Being the Light’, focusing on how young people bring light into our lives.

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Lerwick buildings lit up for care festival

February 22, 2021 | 11.17am

Buildings across Lerwick became the temporary canvas for poignant messages penned by care experienced youths as part of this year’s Festival of Care.

Mareel and the large white oil tanks at the end of Mitchell Street were all illuminated with messages of hope and despair last Friday evening.

The art installation was part of the second annual Festival of Care which kicked off with a flag raising  ceremony at the town hall and an online curtain raiser, also held last Friday 19th February.

The festival runs until Tuesday 23rd February with online workshops and forums.

Click here for more information.

WATCH: Soothing scenes at the Burn of Lunklet in Aith

February 22, 2021 | 9.05am

The gentle waterfalls at the Burn of Lunklet in Aith made for a serene spot to enjoy yesterday’s (Sunday) pleasant weather. 

WATCH: Hillswick Wildlife Sanctuary’s cute video of Tamar the otter cub goes viral with more than 300,000 views

February 21, 2021 | 11.19am

A video of a rescued otter cub has become a viral sensation.

Hillswick Wildlife Sanctuary posted the video of Tamar, who was rescued from Yell, to let folk know how her recovery has been going. 

Within just five days, it was viewed more than 300,000 times after picking up thousands of shares, comments and likes on the sanctuary’s Facebook page. 

Sun rising over Bressay

February 19, 2021 | 11.13am

Richard Marshall sent in this stunning shot of the sun rising over Bressay this morning (Friday).

If you would like your photography shared with our readers, either in the newspaper or online, you can send photos to editorial@shetlandtimes.co.uk

Festival of Care begins at Lerwick Town Hall

February 19, 2021 | 11.02am

The second annual Festival of Care got off to a blustery start with a flag raising event at Lerwick Town Hall.

The event, a collaboration of Shetland Islands Council and Who Cares? Scotland, will focus on care experienced youngsters with the theme of ‘Being the Light, how care experienced youngsters bring light into our lives.

Sian Wild, advocacy and participation officer with Who Cares? Scotland, Cllr George Smith and invited guests attended the event, while Amber Thomson played traditional tunes on her violin.

At 12pm an online opening ceremony will be held and the event runs until Tuesday evening with online workshops and a series of art projects to be projected onto Lerwick buildings this evening from 7pm.

Cllr Smith said: “This is the launch of the Festival of care, Being the Light with the raising of the flag that was designed by young people for the first festival. It’s really good to see it flying from the town hall. The council, working in partnership with Who Cares? Scotland to make sure we have got the best services we can for young people in the care system.”

To find out more, register for workshops and watch the opening ceremony, click here.

Winter waves too much for NorthLink – but not hardy swimmers

February 13, 2021 | 11.52am

The NorthLink ferry MV Hrossey had to leave Lerwick at 3pm yesterday (Friday) afternoon because of an adverse forecast – but that did not stop a hardy bunch of sea swimmers from taking to the water.

Shona Manson, Suzanne Manson and Susan Anderson have been swimming at Bain’s Beach in Lerwick since last November.

Photographer John Coutts captured this brilliant shot of the Hrossey passing behind them yesterday afternoon as they took to the water for their daily swim.


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