Unst Community Council   Unst Community Council
Unst Community Council

Minutes of the meeting held on Monday 29th June 2015

at 7 pm at the Baltasound School, Music Huts



Pat Burns, Chaired Meeting

Minnie Mouatt

Claire Priest

Janice Priest

Hazel Spence

Julie Thomson



PC Ian Brown

Megan Burns, Unst Partnership Local Development Officer

Michael Duncan, SIC External Funding Officer, Community Planning and Development

Josie McMillan, Clerk


01/06/15       Apologies:

Gordon Thomson,

John Peterson

Raymond Priest

Gary Cleaver, North Isles Councillor (ex-officio)

Steven Coutts, North Isles Councillor (ex-officio)

Robert Henderson, North Isles Councillor (ex-officio)


02/06/15       Minutes

The minutes of the meeting held on Monday 25th May 2015 were approved, proposed by Janice, seconded by Claire.


03/06/15       Matters Arising from last minutes

08/03/15.4  Burial Ground Budget

Bressay Community Council is to be used as a pilot scheme by the Council for this project.  They will collect information so that they can get an agreement drawn up which will be acceptable to both the Community Councils and the SIC.  The intention being the SIC would then have an agreement suitable for any Community Council. Once this agreement is complete then the Council will have a better idea of the way forward.


08/03/15.6 Toilets at Belmont Ferry Terminal

Gino Abrew, SIC Building Maintenance Officer, has emailed to say that the project to upgrade the Belmont toilets is in the process of being included into their department’s 5 year maintenance programme. Mr Abrew will let the Community Council know once he has any further information about when this maintenance will be done.  The Clerk will check if the light bulb has been replaced in the waiting room. 


08/03/15.7  Roads

The potholes on the Westing Road and at the layby at Belmont have now been repaired.   All the other road issues have been added to the SIC list.  Members agreed to write again to Mr Wood and stress that they believe repairing the road at Haroldswick is now a matter of urgency.  They feel that this is an accident waiting to happen.  The tourist sign in Uyeasound still has the café sign on it.  The Clerk will write to the Roads Department to ask for this to be removed as there were tourists this past week that followed the directions looking for the café.


10/04/15.5  SIC Participatory Budgeting Project Presentation  27-04-15

Michael Duncan, SIC, explained that Vaila Simpson, Executive Manager of Community Planning and Development, would hope to run up to four pilot participatory budgeting Community Council projects this year, and applications to be part of the pilot will be considered taking into account geographic location and size.  The Council’s aim would be to try and run four quite different pilots, so that they can learn what works and what doesn’t work from the experience. Members believe that the Community Council has a good understanding of Unst’s aims and needs and that their funds are fairly distributed.


07/05/15.2  Facebook Page

The Clerk and Julie will meet after UnstFest to set up this page.


07/05/15.3  Ferry Bookings

There was a discussion about what happens to bookings when there is only one ferry running on Bluemull or Yell Sound.  There are no clear instructions as to where vehicles are to queue, or whether bookings are suspended or not.  There have been occasions when bookings have been suspended and the ferrymen have still taken vehicles from the booked queue first, leaving vehicles in the unbooked queue which have been waiting much longer.  It was agreed to write and ask if clear instructions could be displayed at the ferry terminals.  And that these instructions are followed by users and ferry crews alike.  Members also asked if the sign could flash at the terminals when there were any changes to the normal timetable.  The Ferry Survey finished on the 21st June 2015 but the message to complete surveys was still flashing up on the message boards.


07/05/15.4  SIC Housing

Shirley Mills, SIC Housing, replied to our email saying that if housing staff are aware that a new tenant has little way of furnishings, there are a number of signposting measures that happens. SIC tenants receive a sign up pack with various leaflets, contact information and tenant’s handbook (either internet or paper copy).  Finance department deals with the Community Care Grants – eg: assistance with essential furniture, white goods.  COPE Ltd – Scrapstore have a good system where folk gives a list of what furniture they need and COPE phones them when things come in.  Housing Officer always contacts New tenants by phone and home visit for a settling-in visit within 2 – 4 weeks of signing up for new tenancy.  She included a link to the SIC Tenants Handbook, http://www.shetland.gov.uk/housing/tenants_handbook.asp

She also put in a link to their allocations of properties procedures, there are various application checks and eligibility criteria that has to be met by applicants.  Another link given by Ms Mills was to the Allocation Policy, which can be accessed below.



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

This meeting has been set for Wednesday 8th July at 10am in the Mid Yell Hall.


04/06/15       Police Report

PC Ian Brown explained he is the dedicated police person with responsibility for Unst, Yell, Fetlar, Whalsay and Skerries.  He has lived in Shetland for 10 years.  They are advertising for a six month secondment to cover the North Isles, with the possibility of them staying in Yell.  This officer will work along with PC Brown.  In the last four months there have been 39 incidents reported in Unst, 4 of the main incidents were:- sheep worrying, domestic incident, theft of oil and a road accident.  PC Brown said he hoped to attend every third of fourth Community Council meetings.  He was keen to find out what events the Community Council wanted a police presence at.  Members said that when there was a police officer based in Unst it acted as a deterrent.  There are a lot of extra people in the community over the summer so there is always the potential for incidents to happen.   There are also people moving into the vacant social housing who are unknown, this can provide concerns for both the health service and the local community.


05/06/15       Unst Partnership (UP) Update

Megan explained that the first batch of the Community Skips were a great success.  The skips were full.  The next scheduled skips are booked for the 15th August 2015.   Megan had attended a meeting about the Community Broadband project, ni4cb.  It has been decided to install fibre broadband in Fetlar as a pilot project, using community resources to help keep the costs down.  The public meeting to discuss the Halligarth project was well attended and positive.  The National Trust for Scotland (NTS) is interested in the views of the community.  NTS will know if they have got the funding by the end of the year.  The Hydrogen Project is moving ahead.  The Move to Unst welcome packs are nearly ready.  They will be available to download online.  The Coast Magazine ran a “move to Arran” article; Megan is hoping they will run a “move to Unst” article.  North Isles Investment in Energy Isles – Megan explained that the North Isles can set up a BENCOM to invest in Energy Isles without any personal risk.  She outlined the steps to how this would work.  See below.

Megan is keen on getting this Community Benefit Societies (BenCom) group set up so that the project can be carried forward.  There needs to be a representative from the Community Council on the group.  Megan explained that this is going to be a massive development with the potential for a lot of money coming back into the community.  Setting up a BenCom means that the community will have nothing to lose financially by supporting the project.  Even if Energy Isles doesn’t build in Unst, we can still benefit if there are turbines built in Yell.

Pat thanked Michael Duncan and PC Brown for attending the meeting.  They both left at 8.30pm.


06/06/15       Application for Planning

Cooke Aquaculture Scotland.  To remove existing fish farming equipment and replace with a new farm comprising fourteen 100m-circumference cages and a 10m-diameter c-cap feed barge to be used for on-growing of salmon North Of Uyea Isle, Uyeasound, Unst.  There were no objections.

Cooke Aquaculture Scotland.  To remove existing fish farming equipment and replace with fourteen 100m-circumference cages and a 10m-diameter c-cap feed barge to be used for on-growing of salmon, Southeast Of Point Of Burkwell, Uyeasound, Unst.  There were no objections.

Mr David Edmondston.  Installation of a 6kW wind turbine on a 15m tower and excavation of associated trench for electricity cable, Buness, Baltasound, Unst.  There were no objections.


07/06/15       Unadopted Roads

There was one application for unadopted road grant from Tony Mouat, Clingera, Baltasound.  This road is 90 metres long.  It was agreed to give a tarring grant of £540, refunded on receipt of a paid invoice.


08/06/15       Community Council Finances

There has been no expenditure.


09/06/15       A.O.C.B.

09/05/15.1  SAT Unst Leaflet

The only changes to the leaflet is the Leisure Centre phone number which is now a Lerwick number, 01595 807701.


09/05/15.2  Beacon

This was noted.


09/05/15.3  SIC Participatory Budgeting

See agenda item 10/04/15.5 earlier in the minutes.


09/05/15.4  Ferry Costs for Dental Appointments

There was a discussion about the cost that individuals have to pay when visiting the dentist in Yell.  Sometimes appointments only last 5 minutes but ferry costs alone for that visit are £13.  If you have to have a course of treatment, travel costs alone can add up to £100 or more.  It was agreed to write to the NHS to ask if the appointments could be organised so they are best suited to the patient not the dentist, so that patients can get as much treatment as possible in each sessions.  Also to ask NHS Shetland if there is any way that travel costs can be reclaimed, especially for people who have to hire taxis to enable them to attend.  The Clerk will check with Fetlar Community Council as well as they are writing about the same concerns.


09/05/15.5  NHS Participation Standards 2014 – 2015

It was agreed to ask for more information about this draft NHS Shetland Feedback and Complaints Report before any comments can be made about it.


09/05/15.6  Windsock

The windsock at the airstrip needs replacing.  It was agreed to try and source a new one.


09/05/15.7  Fixed Link

There was a discussion about fixed links and whether they are still a SIC priority and if they are any nearer happening.  It was agreed to write to Michael Craigie to ask about progress.  It was also agreed to write to Ian Johnstone, Aquatera to ask if his project, the bridge creating renewable energy across Bluemull Sound, was still being progressed.


The next meeting will be held on Thursday 23rd July 2015 at 7.00 pm in the Baltasound School

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