Unst Community Council   Unst Community Council
Unst Community Council

Minutes of the meeting held on Thursday 23rd  July 2015

at 7 pm at the Baltasound School, Music Huts



Gordon Thomson,

Pat Burns

Minnie Mouatt

John Peterson

Claire Priest

Robert Henderson, North Isles Councillor (ex-officio)



Toby Sandison, Unst Partnership Local Development Officer

Frances Browne, Community Learning and Development Officer

Josie McMillan, Clerk


01/07/15    Apologies:

Janice Priest

Raymond Priest

Hazel Spence

Julie Thomson

Gary Cleaver, North Isles Councillor (ex-officio)

Steven Coutts, North Isles Councillor (ex-officio)


02/07/15    Minutes

The minutes of the meeting held on Monday 29th June 2015 were approved.


03/07/15    Matters Arising from last minutes

08/03/15.6 Toilets at Belmont Ferry Terminal

After a discussion it was agreed to write again to Gino Abrew, SIC Building Maintenance Officer, about the toilets at Belmont, enclosing photos.  This letter will be copied to Robert and Maggie Sandison, Infrastructure Services.


08/03/15.7  Roads

The tourist sign in Uyeasound has been taken down as some of the information on the sign was incorrect.


07/05/15.2  Facebook Page

The Clerk and Julie will meet about this before the next Community Council meeting.


07/05/15.4  SIC Housing                 

There is a job being advertised for a part-time housing support officer for Unst.  Members queried whether this post was to replace the Sheltered Housing warden’s jobs which are finishing at the end of July.  Robert agreed to find out more about this post.  The Clerk will email the Housing Department to ask them to remove the information about the Barrack stores from their packs.  The welcome packs which Frances Browne and Megan Burns are compiling are now nearly ready.  Frances is going to organise a meeting next week so that other members of the community can see the pack before it is distributed.  It will be available online as well as in printed form.  Links to the welcome pack will be put on the Unst website as well as the Unst Health Centre site.


07/05/15.6 Meeting for North Isles Community Councils – Emergency timetable Bluemull Sound

This meeting had been set for Wednesday 8th July at 10am in the Mid Yell Hall, but there was confusion as to whether the meeting would go ahead because of the change of time and venue.  Neither Unst nor Fetlar Community Council attended the meeting because they were waiting for confirmation of a definite venue and time. The Clerk is to ask the Yell Clerk if she took minutes of the meeting.


09/05/15.4  Ferry Costs for Dental Appointments

Gordon has been invited to a Locality Planning meeting on Wednesday 5th August at 3pm, at Unst Health Centre.  This meeting has been organised by Dr Sarah Taylor, Director of Public Health and Planning for NHS Shetland.  This will give the Community Council an opportunity to raise issues which concern the community, e.g. travel costs of dental appointments, lack of visiting physiotherapists and counsellors. directly to Dr Sarah Taylor.


09/05/15.6  Windsock

Robert is going to find out if the airport still belongs to the council and whether it is leased to a third party.  The windsock needs replacing so it is a case of finding out who is responsible for the airport and asking them to replace it.  The coastguard helicopter uses the airstrip fairly regularly for emergency medical evacuations.  


07/07/15.2  Shetland Motorsports Club

The Motor Sports Club has advertised a race day at the airstrip on Sunday 2nd August.  Michael Owen, chairman of the club, had phoned Gordon a while ago but hadn’t given any specific dates. There was a discussion regarding the event and that if it was the case that Frank Strang supported the event as he has a commercial interest in the airport then the Community Council had no objections as long as the strict rules and safety procedures were adhered too, and that there was a police presence at the event.  People attending this event must drive responsibly before and after the event.  After the last Motorsport event in Unst there were reports of cars racing along the Uyeasound road at excessive speeds. 


09/05/15.7  Fixed Link

There has been no reply from Ian Johnstone, Aquatera, about their plans for the bridge across Bluemull Sound.  Robert explained that this project would be dependent on whether Shetland gets the interconnector.  If the interconnector goes ahead it could be in place by 2020.  Steven Coutts emailed and explained that “the most recent position reached by the Council is that the scale of fixed links in terms of capital cost, technical complexity and project risks is beyond what can be managed by Shetland Islands Council alone. Therefore they need to be developed in partnership with Scottish Government in a strategic approach to the responsibility for and the funding of inter-island transport links.
In June 2014 Scottish Government made a commitment through the “Our Islands Our Future” agenda to work with Councils to understand and address the costs and challenges of providing inter-island transport. This commitment has been further developed through the work of the Islands Areas Ministerial Working Group and at its recent meeting in Orkney on 3rd of June this year fixed links were specifically identified as being a specific area of work to be included in deciding the future of inter-island transport links.  The Council has been working with Transport Scotland for a number of months on inter-island ferry services and is now moving to the stage where the options for providing inter island transport links will be developed and explored in detail. This will include fixed links and it is anticipated that this work will be complete early in 2016. “

Mr Coutts also explained that while there may have been little mention of fixed links, there has certainly been significant action around securing sustainable transport links over the last year. The Council now need to ensure they continue to work constructively with Scottish Government to deliver.


04/07/15    Unst Partnership Update

Gordon introduced Toby Sandison who has replaced Megan Burns as the UP Local Development Officer until the end of November 2015.  Toby has a lot of experience working with community projects in the Scalloway area.  Gordon explained that COPE has a secondhand food composter for sale.  One problem which has been identified is that composters are not allowed to be used for food waste.  Gordon said that UP is looking at finding a site for the composter as well as more funding.  The site needs to have electricity and a water supply.  There are some options available which will be discussed further by UP directors next week.  The next skip service will be on the 15th August.  There has been no further progress with the Community Broadband project, ni4cb.  There was a meeting earlier today about the Halligarth Project with Alistair Hamilton from AB Associates who have been asked to prepare an Activity Plan and Interpretation Plan, together with an Action plan for the National Trust for Scotland (NTS).  The project will cost £1.2 million and include a field studies centre, visitor and wildlife centre.  This visitor centre might be able to act as the visitor centre for the Keen of Hamar.  The lack of a visitor centre meant that the Keen of Hamar was downgraded as a visitor attraction several years ago.  The NTS will be applying to the lottery for funding.  The NTS will build a shelter near the woods in Halligarth which could be used as a picnic area and to display promotional material, even if they do no attract the required funding for the big project.  There were concerns raised about the very limited parking at Halligarth.


05/07/15    Application for Community Ferry Hire

Darren Witt/Amy Saunders Wedding – early hours 30th August 2015

This was approved.  The community ferry has been applied for.


06/07/15    Community Council Finances

The updated accounts will be circulated before the next meeting.


07/07/15    A.O.C.B.

07/07/15.1  North Isles: Investing in Energy Isles – Representation on BenCom Group

There was a discussion about who would be the representative from the Community Council on this group.  It was decided that Pat and Gordon would be joint representatives.  Setting up a Community Benefit Society (BenCom) means that the community will have nothing to lose financially by supporting the project.  Even if Energy Isles doesn’t build in Unst, Unst can still benefit if there are turbines built in Yell.  This project has the potential of putting a lot of money back into the community.  The Scottish Office suggests a payment of 5% into a Community Benefit Fund.  This could be as much as £250,000 per year.  If the three North Isles buy shares they will get a bigger share of the money.  Viking Energy has set up a BenCom.  Payment from this project could be as much as £2 million a year.  Chris Bunyan, chair of the Community Benefit Fund for Viking Energy, told Gordon that this fund could be divided into £1 million for special projects, £500,000 for a rainy day fund and £500,000 which will be divided among the 18 Community Councils.  The more affected areas would get a higher proportion of the funds than the less affected areas like Unst would get. 

Robert left the meeting at 8.30pm.


07/07/15.3  Stiles at Woodwick

The stiles on the way to woodwick are in poor condition.  The Clerk is to find out who to report this to.


07/07/15.4 Historic Scotland – turning place at Muness

It was agreed to write and ask Historic Scotland to repair the turning place at Muness Castle.


07/07/15.5  UnstFest Committee

It was agreed to write and congratulate the UnstFest Committee for an excellent festival, which has been enjoyed by visitors and the community alike.  This is a really important festival for Unst, bringing back family members who have left; visitors from throughout Shetland and tourists from farther afield.  It is also a very important event for the economy of Unst.


Gordon also thanked Frances for all her hard work and wished her a happy maternity leave.


The next meeting will be held on Monday 7th September 2015 at 7.00 pm in the Baltasound School

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