Unst Community Council   Unst Community Council
Unst Community Council

Minutes of the meeting held on Monday 27th April 2015 at 7 pm at the Baltasound School, Music Huts



Gordon Thomson, Chairperson

Pat Burns, Vice Chair

Minnie Mouatt

Claire Priest

Raymond Priest

Hazel Spence

Julie Thomson

Gary Cleaver, North Isles Councillor (ex-officio)

Robert Henderson, North Isles Councillor (ex-officio)


Megan Burns, Local Development Officer, Unst Partnership

Josie McMillan, Clerk

01/04/15    Apologies:

John Peterson

Janice Priest

Steven Coutts, North Isles Councillor (ex-officio)

02/04/15    Minutes

The minutes of the meeting held on Monday 26th March 2015 were approved, proposed by Julie, seconded by Hazel.

03/04/15    Matters Arising from last minutes

10/08/14.6  Ambulance Provision in Unst

Members were told that Scottish Ambulance Service (SAS) has had its contract for the use of the Bond Jigsaw helicopter terminated.  The Jigsaw helicopter took patients from the outer isles to hospital.  This contract has been cancelled a year ahead of schedule, with only 36 hours’ notice.  Medical evacuations will be done by the coastguard helicopter Oscar Charlie, SAS’s own helicopter or another of the UK search and rescue aircraft – whichever is the closest. It was agreed to write to the Scottish Ambulance Service asking about this.

06/02/15  SIC Ferries

The Bigga will be away for maintenance the weekend of the Shetland Reel Music Festival 14th – 16th August.  Frank Strang has booked extra ferries to cover people travelling to Unst for the festival.  Neil Hutcheson, SIC Roads, has confirmed that the Council will be resurfacing roads in Unst the first week of UnstFest.  He had tried to reschedule the dates for this but had been unable to do so.  Mr Hutcheson has said that they will try and fit the resurfacing around UnstFest events.  Robert said that there has been no decision made on multi journey tickets yet, this will be discussed at the Ferry Fares Review meeting.

10/02/15.3  ASCC meeting 18th April 2015

Gordon and John attended this meeting.  Jim Gear was voted in as Chairman, with Jim Anderson as Vice Chairman.  Laurence Odie is the North Isles representative on the ASCC/SIC Joint Liaison Group.  This group discusses issues of common interest between Community Councils and the SIC, e.g. Community Council funding and functions.  The Shetland Community Benefit Fund has several vacancies for Directors from Community Councils on its Management Committee.  Unst needs to put forward a representative.  This will be discussed at the next Community Council meeting.  Another agenda item was Community Resilience and Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) Resilient Communities Fund.  SSE is offering grants of up to £20,000 to support these projects.  Members discussed several ideas for items which could be applied for.  This will be followed up before the next meeting.  Local Landscape Areas this will go to the Council in June.  Any road maintenance/road safety concerns have to be sent to Katie Massie to bring up at the Road Safety Advisory Panel.  Laurence Odie spoke at the meeting about how unsatisfactory the new system of Councillor Representation is.  He thought that 3 SIC Councillors covering the North Isles was not working effectively.  The islands are totally separate communities.  There was also an agenda item about Burial Ground Upkeep, the budget for this could be devolved to Community Councils as the SIC tries to reduce its budget.  The Clerk will follow up on this.  The next ASCC meeting is Saturday 3rd October.

08/03/15.1 70th Anniversary VE Day Beacons Friday 8th May 2015

Bruno Peek, Pageant Master to the Queen, has confirmed that the Community Council will get a VE Day Gas Beacon, which stands 2 metres high and is in the shape of a V.  There was another discussion about where to light the beacon.  The School and Leisure Centre have organised a Street Party from 5 – 7pm.  It was decided to ask Faye Cox if the beacon could be lit after the street party, as everyone will already be there.

08/03/15.3  Vodafone 3G Network

There has been no further word from Vodafone as to when they will fit the transmitter.  The Clerk is to contact Walls Community Council to find out how their 3G Vodafone is working.

08/03/15.6 Toilets at Belmont Ferry Terminal

The toilets at Belmont now come under SIC Estates.  The Clerk contacted them but has heard no word as to when and if the refurbishment will be done.  The Clerk will check up on this again.

08/03/15.7  Roads

The Westing Road, close to the Reid’s house, is full of potholes.  The road repairs in Haroldswick still haven’t been finished.  The cones which mark this have been blown onto the road when it is windy.  The Clerk will write to SIC Roads about all these matters.

04/04/15    Unst Partnership (UP) Update

Megan explained that the Partnership had been awarded its grant from SIC Community Development Fund towards the skip project.  UP is collecting annual memberships towards this service.  This will enable UP to provide skips six times in a year. Saxa Vord has offered two sites to house the composting machine.  Megan is meeting with Eriskay Associates to discuss this project.  There were over 20 people who attended the National Trust for Scotland (NTS) meeting about Halligarth.  The NTS has applied to the Heritage Lottery fund for £1.2 million for this project.  Megan explained that the NTS needs more feedback from the community about this project to show community support.  The Tourist Map is nearly ready to print.  This is changed and improved on from last year.  It is now a 2D traditional map.  UP is getting 2000 printed for distribution this.  Ross Jones from the Scottish Government’s Community and Renewables Energy Scheme (CARES) has met with Gordon and Megan about the Community Renewables project.  UP has got £25,000 towards the Hydrogen Project Study which will be carried out by Pure Energy Centre.  Mr Jones has explained that any windfarm development should maximize the benefit to the community.  CARES can give loans to community organisations to help develop renewable energy projects.  The UP AGM is on Wednesday 29th April 2015, at 7pm in the Baltasound Hall.

Megan left the meeting at 7.30pm.

05/04/15    Application for Planning

There were no applications.

06/04/15    Application for Grants

There were no applications for grants.

07/04/15    Unadopted Roads

There was one application for unadopted road grant from Robert Hughson for Mailand, Uyeasound.  This road is 208 metres.  It was agreed to give a grant of £208, refunded on receipt of a paid invoice. 

08/04/15    Da Voar Redd Up

The Community Development Grant to the SIC has been approved.  This will allow the Community Council to pay £100 per stretch to the groups registered with them to do Da Voar Redd Up.  The letters to groups have been sent out.

09/04/15    Community Council Finances

Community Development Fund (CDF)

This grant application for £3000 has been approved by the SIC.

Core Funding Update

The SIC is trying to streamline the system for paying Community Council running grants.  At present each Community Council has to apply for funding by completing the standard SIC grant form.  This will mean that core funding will first be paid in May at the earliest.

End of Year Finances

The end of year accounts will go to Voluntary Action Shetland for auditing next month.

10/04/15    A.O.C.B.

10/04/15.1  SIC - Surface Dressing and Re-Surfacing Programme 2015

Mr Hutcheson, SIC Roads, has sent details of the surface dressing and re-surfacing programme for this year.  The roads to be done in Unst are Hunters Road and from Batavia to the Uyeasound Hall.  Members had believed that the road in Uyeasound would be resurfaced right to the old Westside Shop.  The Clerk is to contact Mr Hutcheson about this.  This work will be done during the first week of UnstFest.

10/04/15.2  SIC - Prioritised Future Road Improvement Schemes

Mr Hutcheson, SIC Roads, has sent details of the SIC Prioritised Future Road Improvement schemes.  At present Unst has two improvement schemes on the list.  The Setters Road, widening and realigning, is listed at 65 and the turning head at the Westing is no 72 on the list.  Mr Hutcheson explains that there are 119 road improvement schemes on the list and some of the reasons that they have not been progressed include lack of funding, lack of perceived benefit and other schemes taking precedence.   The Setters Road plans have been discussed for at least 25 years.  The sides of the road are damaged which makes it difficult when meeting another vehicle.  There is a lot of traffic on the Setters because of the visitor attractions and café in Haroldswick.  There are also a lot of visitors who come up and stay at Saxa Vord, and with UnstFest and the new Shetland Reel Music Festival, the amount of visitors will continue to rise.   The Clerk is to write about this.

10/04/15.3  Police Report

The monthly Police report was circulated before the meeting.  It states in the report that Police Scotland intend to advertise the vacancy in the North Isles in the near future.

10/04/15.4  Hermaness Public Toilets

Jonathan Swale, SNH, replied to a query about the Hermaness Public toilets to say that the toilets at the Shore Station are still owned by SNH.  He explained that they were operated as public toilets by the SIC, but the Council withdrew from this arrangement in 2013 at the time that it closed several other public toilets throughout the isles.  Since then SNH have managed the toilets principally for the benefit of visitors to Hermaness NNR and to the visitor centre (although Mr Swale says that others are welcome to use them when they are open), however this means that they are only opened when the reserve warden is in post and the visitor centre is running.  The reserve warden arrived on 20th April and the visitor centre and toilets will be open the following day until late September.

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

Frances Browne is attending this meeting and will give us an update at the next meeting.

The Community Council would like to congratulate Bryden Priest who won the Shetland’s Young Fiddler of the Year 2015 and George Spence who won the Intermediate Young Fiddler of the Year and the Traditional Intermediate Fiddler of the Year.  Well done to both.


The next meeting will be held on Monday 25th May 2015 at 7.00 pm in the Baltasound School

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