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Yell Community Council

Minutes of Meeting of Yell Community Council


Monday 15th May 2017 at 7.00pm in the Mid Yell School


Present:                Mr L Odie (Chairman), Mrs A Jamieson (Vice-Chair), Mr S Henderson, Mr A Priest & Dr M McDonnell

In Attendance:    Mrs J Lyth (Clerk), Ms F Browne (N.I Dev officer), Cllr R Thomson (ex officio), PC Simon Findlay and Ms Lynsay Cunningham

Apologies:            Mr G Hughson, Mr J Nicolson & Mr R Jamieson

Visitors:                Mr Craig Robertson (Executive Manager, SIC Ferries)           


Mr Odie welcomed everyone to the meeting


5/17/2 VISITOR: Mr Craig Robertson – Executive Manager, SIC Ferries

Mr Robertson opened the discussion by explaining to members that his job was to safeguard the ferry service in Shetland and has a fixed budget to do so. With a fixed budget for the last 3 years and rising costs this actually means a dwindling budget. There is no internal funding for ferries for 17-18 and discussions are ongoing with the Scottish Government for this. Within his dept, no growth and no additional costs are permitted.

Mr Robertson can make small changes to the timetable as long as there is no extra cost involved. All other timetable changes should be put to Michael Craigie 2 months before the timetable being published. YCC request that the last ferry were moved from 22.55pm to 23.15pm so that folk from the North Isles could then utilise the Mareel more which would also benefit SIC. Mr Robertson says that this would incur additional costs.

Internally, Transport Planning is currently looking at the whole structure of ferry and bus services for improvements.

Scot Gov’t would like smart ticketing throughout Scotland, the next meeting about this is next Friday and will include Calmac ferries and Northlink. New ticket machines will be coming to Yell Sound shortly, on a trial basis, which will take card payments. SIC are simplifying the council website to make it easier to find what you are looking for and new simplified ferry timetables will be going up at terminals shortly, hopefully this will help tourists.  The booking office is now open on Sundays, this is needed for booking amendments, commercial bookings and tourists. SIC are making changes to the whole back office operation, looking at better online services for commercial vehicles and booking amendments.  Mr Robertson stated that this was only a small cost which was within his budget.  There is currently a problem with some folk booking multiple ferries for one journey so ferries can appear to be full online when they are not, this is mainly on the Whalsay run.

The vending machines are getting old and expensive to maintain, currently looking at the costs and possible alternatives for these.

The linkspans will all need money spending on them over the next few years. All the current improvements at the terminals are being funded by additional grant funding.

Annual re-fits are done through a procurement process to ensure value for money and the ferries are put back into service at the earliest opportunity. They take longer than the Northlink re-fits as all the work is done while away whereas the Northlink can have some of their works done at the dockside in between sailings. While the Fivla is in use more cars are being left behind especially on Mondays when only 1 ferry is used. It was noted that today many cars were left behind at Ulsta at 4pm and Toft at 4.30pm.

YCC acknowledge that text notifications and communications have improved with some exceptions.  YCC  are very concerned about the amount of folk leaving the islands due to the current and future uncertainty regarding the ferries. YCC further suggest that higher tourist fares could offset cheaper commuter fares.

Mr Robertson said that staff turnover has improved and there are now better plans in place for the future.





5/17/3 MINUTES

17th April 2017 –the minutes from the April meeting were approved by Mrs A Jamieson & Mr S Henderson

Action: clerk forward to ASCC, L&A, Finance, Police, NICWO and post on website


5/17/4 CO-OPTION

Ms Lynsay Cunningham attended the meeting tonight as she would like to become more involved with the community and is keen to become a member of Yell CC.  As YCC already have the maximum number of co-opted members (3) she can become an additional co-opted member (who carry no voting rights) and stand at the next by-election to gain full voting rights, assuming that she is successful. Co-option was approved by Mr S Henderson & Dr M McDonnell




The North Isles Community Involvement & Development officer reported that:

  1. She is beginning to speak to the elderly in the community to investigate whether they have any concerns, including issues around isolation and transport.
  2. She is also looking into Treasurer training for small groups.
  3. Peerie Breeks are having issues with attendance so are looking at options as this is an expensive venture to run.





FERRIES – Outstanding matters

  1. Information request – YCC requested data for the number of vehicles being left behind at terminals, this has now been received.


FERRIES – Matters arising

  1. Community Hire requests – 4 new C Hire requests received. Mr Henderson declared an interest for Cullivoe Hall and Mr Odie and Mr Priest declared an interest for Burravoe Hall. Requests are: 02/07/17 for Party at the Pier, Cullivoe Hall; 30/09/17 for Ruby Rendall Concert at Burravoe Hall, this will coincide with another c hire on the same night; 07/10/17 for a birthday party at Mid Yell Hall and 29/10/17 for a Halloween Party at Burravoe Hall. All were approved by Dr M McDonnell and Mrs A Jamieson.  This takes the c hire requests for the year to 8.
  2. Ferry Services Procurement meeting – no members can attend this meeting on 18th
  3. National Transport Strategy Review – YCC received a consultation but the document was very hard to read and not very useful as only official evidence could be used as a response.

Action: clerk to forward requests to ferries dept


6.2 ROADS – Outstanding matters

  1. 30mph in Mid Yell – this was brought up at the ASCC meeting on 25th Neil Hutcheson gave a road safety presentation but there was no time for questions. Mr Odie has invited him to give the same presentation at a YCC meeting.
  2. 20mph outside school this is still not complete
  3. Speeding in Mid Yell – a temporary speed detector has been installed at Sunnyside in Mid Yell, YCC query if, once it has served it’s time there, it can be further utilised in another section of the road in Mid Yell to bring awareness of speed.

Action: clerk to contact roads dept


6.3  MID YELL CHURCH – after YCC made the suggestion that the war memorial was moved to the churchyard, Church of Scotland have replied saying that there is no funds available to do this. It is understood however that grant funding should be available from the War Memorials Trust.



  1. GP/nurse vacancies – YCC remain concerned that it took so long to advertise the position, and that Yell and Unst posts have been clumped together on one advert and that both positions been advertised with the same salary when one practice has nearly double the number of patients than the other practice. Locum costs are very high so YCC feel that this should be treated with urgency and SHB should be innovative in their approach to recruitment.
  2. Ambulance in Yell – the Scottish Ambulance Service is still looking for a replacement co-ordinator in Yell but has not been successful to date. YCC further request that the post be advertised as agreed at our meeting in February. Although this has now gone onto our Facebook page YCC query why this is taking so long to advertise properly. Currently the ambulance is being kept in Westsandwick and SAS are phoning around to get a volunteer, that volunteer then needs to go to Westsandwick to pick up the ambulance and then go to the person in need. This whole process is taking a very long time and obviously could become life threatening or even fatal.




        2017/116/PPF New build at Vatster, noted.



Yell Tourist Group is disbanding. FestiYell could continue if a new steering group took it on and the halls were willing to work together to put events on. YCC to call a meeting with those involved last year. Suggested date for meeting 14th June.                                                               

  Action: Clerk to contact Andy Ross for contacts from previous FestiYell





Review of support to ASCC – SIC Dev Services are looking at the options for future support to the ASCC. A report was sent to all CCs with various options to choose from. YCC supports option 4.1.5 – The ASCC proposes another solution to ensure ongoing admin support.




  1. 2 applications for CDF funding were received. Old Haa request funding towards a new lawn mower. Cullivoe Up Helly Aa request funding to help with building improvements and to create a permanent exhibition in the Galley Shed to celebrate the 60th Mrs Jamieson declared an interest with the Old Haa and Mr Odie and Mr Henderson declared an interest with Cullivoe Up Helly Aa. The following grants were approved by Dr McDonnell and Mr Priest:

                                                Old Haa £600                                       Cullivoe UHA £2400

  1. 1 Road Grant application was received but the work had already been completed so this application was declined.
  2. CDF funding for the picnic benches has been approved by SIC. Whalefirth Men’s Shed to make 4 benches.




PC Simon Findlay read extracts from the Police Report.




  1. Press Enquiries – Members agreed that should there be any future press enquiries that they should only be handled by the chairman.







The Next Meeting of Yell Community Council will be held on


Monday 19th June 2017 in the Mid Yell School at 7pm

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