Whalsay folk to get say on location of new ferry terminal

Whalsay folk have been invited to have their say on the location of the isle’s new £10 million ferry terminal at a series of consultative events a week on Thursday.

It follows last month’s decision by councillors to delay the decision on where to build – either in Symbister harbour or the North Voe.

Vice convener and Whalsay councillor Josie Simpson had persuaded members of the infrastructure committee to opt for Symbister despite a recommendation from officials to choose North Voe.

That decision provoked a backlash in Whalsay and the Full Council agreed on 18th September to put off the decision until further consultation with islanders had taken place.

Now the council is to host an all-day drop-in session in the Symbister public hall on 29th October where officials will be available to provide information and answer technical or operational questions. They will also note folks’ views.

Meanwhile councillors will visit both sites during the afternoon. A public workshop, chaired by infrastructure chairwoman Iris Hawkins, will be held in the hall between 7pm and 10pm.

Councillor Hawkins said: “It has become very clear in recent weeks that there is a range of views in the Whalsay community when it comes to the best site for a new ferry terminal. It is important that we understand these in order that we can take fully informed decisions.

“Therefore, the council considers it important to provide a further opportunity for the whole community to continue to contribute to the decision-making process.

“It is also important that the community has this chance to discuss and understand the full range of issues and the constraints that this project faces. After all, it will be one of the most significant factors in shaping Whalsay’s long term future and I would encourage as many people as possible to contribute to this process.”

The results of the consultation day will be presented in a report to the infrastructure committee on 24th November prior to the decision being taken.


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