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Fresh concerns raised over air traffic control centralisation

7 min ago

Highlands and Islands MSP Jamie Halcro Johnston has  raised fresh concerns over air traffic control centralisation.

 In a letter to Transport Secretary Michael Matheson, the Conservative MSP said Hial progressing with plans to introduce remote control  before an island impact assessment is completed was not consistent with the spirit of legislation.

He said: “It’s no secret that there are profound concerns across my region – particularly in Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles – about the safety implications of relying on unmanned control towers. 

 “The Scottish government own Hial – they promised that an islands impact assessment would take place and it seems clear that any changes should not happen until the assessment has been carried out.

“I very much hope that, even at this late stage, the Scottish government will relent and start listening to the concerns of our local communities; those which will be most impacted by these proposed changes”.

Feedback sought on new council website

36 min ago

Shetland Islands Council is giving the public a sneak preview of its new website, with the opportunity to provide feedback on its design and functionality.

The new site will be more interactive across a wider range of devices, and will also help meet new accessibility guidelines which now apply to all public service websites.

The existing site will be kept up to date until later in the year when a full switch-over will take place.

ICT executive manager Susan Msalila said:  “We’re very pleased to be able to let people get an idea of what the new website will look and feel like.

“This ‘beta site’ is a cut-down version, and doesn’t cover the whole range of council services at the moment, but it will allow customers to see for themselves how well they can access our services using their phone or tablet.”

The small-scale test site is now live at https://beta.shetland.gov.uk/

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Council imposes 20mph limit due to barrier repairs

18 hours 44 min ago

Motorists heading to meet a ferry at Toft have been urged to allow extra time for their journey due to roadworks.

Shetland Islands Council has imposed a 20mph speed limit on the Dales Lees section of the A968 between Voe and Toft.  

Contractors are replacing barriers along the carriageway and the speed limit is deemed necessary to reduce the risk to workers.

It will be in place for the duration of the works.

The SIC has advised drivers to allow extra time for their journeys and apologised for any inconvenience.

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Government cuts put workers at risk, Labour claims

July 13, 2020 | 10.59am

Government cuts are putting workers at risk when safety is at the forefront of employees’ minds because of coronavirus.

 Labour has pointed to research it claims shows the number of inspectors across Scotland has fallen by 42 per cent since 2010 from 96 to 56.

 Over the same period, the total staff employed by the Health and Safety Executive in Scotland has fallen by 41, a cut of 16 per cent. That includes a fall of 13 in the number of full time equivalent health and safety inspectors.

Rhoda Grant MSP said“This is a disturbing insight into the real safety issues faced by workers as a direct consequence of years of government cuts.

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Funding secures future of ‘Warmer Greener Homes’ project

July 13, 2020 | 9.58am

A grant of £122,925 has been handed to Citizens Advice Bureau to help Shetlanders improve energy efficiency.

The money from the Scottish Government’s Climate Challenge Fund (CCF) will fund the Warmer Greener Homes Shetland project for two more years.

Bureau manager Karen Eunson said it would help them continue offering tailored support.

“Some people ask about financial support for installing insulation and renewables, others borrow one of our energy monitors or seek advice on switching energy tariff.

“The advisers’ goal is to help households save money on energy bills, reduce their carbon footprint and often achieve a warmer home too.”

The first of the energy clinics will be held next week: Wednesday, 2-5pm; Thursday, 5-9pm; Friday, 10-1pm; Saturday, 10-1pm.

Bressay Up-Helly-A’ next festival to be postponed

July 13, 2020 | 9.17am

The Bressay Up-Helly-A’ festival has become the latest fire festival in the winter calendar to be postponed due to coronavirus.

In a short statement on Sunday evening, 2019 Bressay jarl Ross Manson said on behalf of the Bressay committee that they had to “regretfully announce” the postponement of their 2021 event.

Mr Manson said that it had been a “unanimous decision” to delay the 2021 event.

“Given the ongoing uncertainties surrounding the global coronavirus pandemic, we have taken the unanimous decision to postpone the festival for a year, in the hope we can return to a more normal way of life in time for the 2022 event.”

Bressay follows Lerwick, Scalloway and Nesting in pushing back next year’s festivals.

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Council reports no ‘significant issues’ with folk wearing face coverings on public transport

July 12, 2020 | 12.07pm

The SIC has reported “no significant issues” with passengers refusing to wear face coverings on public transport.

Face coverings were made compulsory on public transport, including buses, taxis and enclosed areas on inter-island ferries, last month.

On Friday, people visiting shops were also required to wear face coverings. 

The SIC said: “There have been no significant issues on council run ferries or on public bus services in recent weeks. 

“Council staff are not aware of any passengers who have been refused travel because of not wearing a face covering.”

Police launch annual motorcycle safety campaign

July 12, 2020 | 11.47am

Road users in Shetland are being urged to be vigilant of motorcyclists as part of an annual summertime campaign.

Police Scotland has launched its safety campaign in a bid to raise awareness of the risks to vulnerable road users. 

Motorcyclists are among the most vulnerable road users.  While they make up just one per cent of the traffic on our roads they account for around 13 per cent of fatalities.

During the summer months, police increase their focus to motorcycle safety as larger numbers of people take their bikes out to take advantage of the good weather.

Superintendent Simon Bradshaw from Police Scotland’s road policing division asked all drivers to be mindful of other road users and pay particular attention for motorbikes. 

He also urged  motorcyclists to always ride responsibly, ensuring they wear all the necessary safety clothing and travel at safe speeds, appropriate to the conditions they face.

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WATCH: Feeding time for six selkie pups at Hillswick Wildlife Sanctuary!

July 11, 2020 | 10.46am

Hillswick Wildlife Sanctuary currently has its hands full looking after six seal pups. 

The team recently shared a video of feeding time, which it says can be “quite an experience”

For more information about the sanctuary visit https://www.hillswickwildlifesanctuary.org/

Shetland Flyer captures stunning shot of Uyea

July 9, 2020 | 3.56pm

Rory Gillies of The Shetland Flyer captured this stunning image of Uyea in the North Mainland from his drone. Credit: Rory Gillies / Shetland Flyer Aerial Media.

WATCH: Aerial footage of orcas from Shetland Wildlife

July 7, 2020 | 3.47pm

Hugh Harrop captured this amazing aerial footage of a pod of orca’s swimming through the isles last week.

WATCH: Amazing drone footage of orcas

July 6, 2020 | 11.20am

Andrew Simpson took this stunning drone video of orcas passing through the Sands of Sound on Friday evening.

The ’27s’ pod made their way up the South Mainland coast, paying a visit to Lerwick around 6pm before heading over to Bressay.

Many folk were lucky enough to see them on their journey, sharing photographs and videos like the above to social media.

An empty Meal Beach in Burra this Sunday afternoon

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