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Unst Community Council

Minutes of the meeting held on Thursday 10th September 2015 at 7 pm at the Baltasound School, Music Huts



Gordon Thomson,

Janice Priest

Raymond Priest

Hazel Spence

Julie Thomson

Gary Cleaver, North Isles Councillor (ex-officio)


Josie McMillan, Clerk

01/09/15       Apologies:

Pat Burns

Minnie Mouatt

John Peterson

Claire Priest

Robert Henderson, North Isles Councillor (ex-officio)

Steven Coutts, North Isles Councillor (ex-officio)


Gordon began the meeting by marking the death of Laurence Robertson who passed away in August. Laurence had served on the Community Council from 2001, in later years as Chairman. The Community Council greatly appreciated the work he did on its behalf. He will be sadly missed. It was agreed to send a letter of condolence to Mary.


02/09/15       Minutes

The minutes of the meeting held on Thursday 23rd July 2015 were approved.

03/09/15       Matters Arising from last minutes

08/03/15.6 Toilets at Belmont Ferry Terminal

It was agreed to send the photos of the toilets to Karl Symonds as well as to Gino Abrew, SIC Building Maintenance Officer.

07/05/15.2 Facebook Page

Julie has agreed to set up the Facebook page and to put Gordon, Pat and Josie in as administrators.

07/05/15.4 SIC Housing

A housing support officer for Unst has been appointed. There is still confusion as to whether this post replaces the Sheltered Housing wardens’ jobs which finished at the end of July. Gary agreed to find out more about this new job. When the warden at Daisy Park was on holiday recently, the residents there were phoned from Lerwick. They could choose when to have this call and whether they were called every day or not. Members asked Gordon what stage the Unst welcome packs are at, he is going to check.

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

There has been no further word about this. The Clerk will check with the Ferries Department to see what is happening with this.                    

09/05/15.4 Ferry Costs for Dental Appointments

Gordon attended the Locality Planning meeting on Wednesday 5th August, at the Unst Health Centre. There were problems with the VC which made the meeting very poor. Gordon raised the issues about travel costs of dental appointments, lack of visiting physiotherapists and counsellors directly to Dr Sarah Taylor, Director of Public Health and Planning for NHS Shetland. They are planning further community meetings.

09/05/15.6 Windsock

The Clerk is to write to Kenn Allan, SIC Estates, to ask for a new windsock for the airstrip. The airstrip belongs to the SIC. The coastguard helicopter stll uses the airstrip fairly regularly for emergency medical evacuations. The SIC decided several years ago that the airstrip was not to be used for any non-aviation use, so voted to prevent the Shetland Motorsport Club or other groups, from using it.

09/05/15.7 Fixed Link

Gary explained that 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.

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

Pat met with Ross Jones from the Scottish Government’s Community and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES) about the Community Benefit Society (BenCom) which it is proposed to set up to work with Energy Isles. Mr Jones was not sure about whether there would be funding available to buy shares. This BenCom would cover Unst, Yell and Fetlar and have representatives from each of these areas. There was a discussion about who could represent Unst on this group as well as Pat and Gordon. Energy Isles has to benefit the whole community or it will not be attractive to the community of Unst, only the shareholders. The planned 10 turbines, which will be on the east side of Unst, will be bigger than the turbines at Burradale. Energy Isles shares are £10,000 per share. The Scottish Office suggests a payment of 5% into a Community Benefit Fund.

07/07/15.3 Stiles at Woodwick

The Clerk has emailed Kevin Serginson, SIC Walks and Footpaths officer, about the state of the stiles on the way to Woodwick. Gary had discussed this at the Council and they are keen to adopt the walk and repair the stiles. The SIC need to speak to the landowner and the tenant before anything can be done.

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

There has been no word from Historic Scotland. The Clerk will contact them again.

04/09/15       Unst Partnership Update

Gordon explained that Tom Morton had resigned from his post as Tourism Development Officer due to personal health problems. Minnie Mouatt has also resigned as a director. Megan Burns is still working two days a week from Glasgow, doing the online work. Toby and Gordon are doing the Unst based work. UP is trying to employ someone for 2 – 3 days a week. This time of year is a good time to speak to tourism providers. UP is still looking at the green waste processor. They have the option to buy a second hand one from COPE in Lerwick. These processors cannot take food waste but green waste including vegetables, paper, cardboard, sawdust etc. There was a discussion about whether there would be enough green waste from households in Unst to make this project viable. If UP does go ahead with this project they need somewhere to house the machine.

05/09/15       Community Council Finances

The updated accounts were discussed.

06/09/15       A.O.C.B.

06/09/15.1 ASCC Meeting 3rd October 2015

Gordon will go to this meeting.

06/09/15.2 Halligarth Project

AB Associates have prepared an Activity Plan and Interpretation Plan, together with an Action plan for the National Trust for Scotland (NTS). The NTS will be applying to the lottery for funding. Members felt that this would be another visitor attraction for tourists and the construction stage would provide work locally.   It was suggested that there should be somewhere to celebrate bird watching in Unst.

06/09/15.3 SIC Ferries Review Impact Assessment

A letter was received from Michael Craigie, SIC Ferries, asking if Unst Community Council wanted to add any further issues to those they had raised already i.e. reintroduction of fares on Bluemull Sound (as well as overall fare increases) which the community feels has created a barrier to employment opportunities between islands and is creating significant financial difficulties for many individuals and families. Gary said that with the collection of tickets on Bluemull Sound there are now more accurate figures of the activity on Bluemull Sound.

06/09/15.4 Clerk’s Meeting 19th September 2015

This was noted.

06/09/15.5 Refugee Crisis

The Unst Partnership Office is taking in clothes donations for the Refugee Appeal.   Gary said that Refugee crisis had been discussed at the Council and the most refugees that Shetland could be allocated is 30. But he was unsure as to whether this would happen.

06/09/15.6 Roads

The Clerk is to email Neil Hutcheson, Roads, to ask when the road in Uyeasound will be resurfaced. This work was postponed from July when UnstFest was on until September.

06/09/15.7 SIC Building Budgets

This meeting was well attended in Unst. The people who attended felt it was useful to be able to speak to the Council officials about the budgets. The survey can be completed online.

06/09/15.8 SIC Citizens Advice Annual Report 2015 – 2015

This was noted.


The next meeting will be held on Monday 5th October 2015 at 7.00 pm in the Baltasound School


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