Unst Community Council   Unst Community Council
Unst Community Council

Minutes of the meeting held on Monday 28th August 2017 at 7 pm in the Baltasound School, English Room


Pat Burns, Chaired the meeting

Minnie Mouatt

Janice Priest

Raymond Priest

Hazel Spence

Julie Thomson


Alec Priest, North Isles Councillor (ex-officio)

PC Simon Findlay

Josie McMillan, Clerk           

01/08/17      Apologies:

Gordon Thomson

John Peterson

Claire Priest

Frances Browne, Community Learning and Development Officer

Duncan Simpson, North Isles Councillor (ex-officio)

Ryan Thomson, North Isles Councillor (ex-officio)

02/08/17      Minutes

The minutes of the meeting held on Wednesday 19th July 2017 were approved. Proposed by Janice, seconded by Raymond.

03/08/17      Matters Arising from last minutes

08/07/16.1 Lund Kirkyard Road

The Clerk contacted Steve Williams from McJerrow and Stevenson, Joy Sandison’s solicitors, to ask who to contact at the National Trust for Scotland about the Lund Road. He emailed to say that Christopher Cassels was the person who is now dealing with this. Mr Williams forwarded an email from Mr Cassels which he had sent to him in January, after Mr Cassels had visited Lund. In the email, he states that “there are some potholes which require some attention but it did not appear as bad as he imagined”. Mr Cassels also says that he has “some outstanding queries regarding the ongoing maintenance of the track and who else uses it.” The Clerk will contact Mr Cassels and ask what progress has been made. One of the gates, on the way down to the kirkyard, had fallen on someone’s foot, causing them a lot of pain, resulting in a visit to the Doctor. It was agreed to contact the tenant to ask who is responsible for the gates.

09/02/17.7 Roads

Brian Wood, SIC Roads, replied to say that there will be some hot and cold tar patching on the Alma road this financial year and that the road is on their resurfacing programme. Neil Hutcheson, SIC Roads, explained that The Baliasta road is on the list to be resurfaced but there are a number of other roads in Unst that are a higher priority. He says that “the Baliasta road is not badly cracked, it is not fretted and there are no indications of potholes forming. The main defect on this road is slight rutting and the ponding of water in the wheel tracks as a result. Nothing that can’t wait a few years before being resurfaced.” Mr Hutcheson explained that “the programme for Unst resurfacing is generally two weeks every two years as it is more practical for the resurfacing squad to stay in Unst rather than travel in every morning. This usually allows the resurfacing of two lengths of road but if they were to resurface the Westing road, for example, this would take at least the full 2 weeks. They are next due in Unst in 2018/19 when it is likely that they will be doing the Norwick road, from the beach to Fogradaal, and the inner end of the Westing road. It may be that the remainder of the Westing road will take up the entire 2020/21 visit leaving the Baliasta and Alma/Westbreck roads to be resurfaced in 2022/23. This, of course, is provisional, and dependent on how other roads in Unst and the rest of Shetland deteriorate in the interim.” 

09/03/17.7 Bus Shelters at end of Westing Road and Uyeasound Hall

The Clerk is to email Neil Hutcheson, SIC, to ask when the repair work will be done to the bus shelter at the Uyeasound Hall.

10/05/17.6 Skeotaing Stiles

Kevin Serginson, SIC, is still waiting for agreement from one of the landowners and the National Trust for Scotland before he can do any more on adopting the Skeotaing route.

10/05/17.7 Greenwell’s Booth and Easting Signs

There has been no further word about this.

11/06/17.3 Unst Health Centre removal of dispensing service

The Practice Managers at the surgery have asked for patience and understanding from the community as the Health Centre changes over to the new system of getting its repeat prescriptions from Brae.

11/06/17.5 Hangar at Unst Airstrip

There has been no further word on the changes at the hangar. The fence at the airstrip, which belongs to the SIC, is not stock proof. The Clerk will email Kenn Allan about this.

11/06/17.6 Registrar

There is no longer a Registrar in Unst. All Births, Deaths and Marriages will have to be registered in Lerwick.                 

10/07/17.2 Dentist

There is now a dentist working in Yell again.

10/07/17.4 Leawart Road used as turning place

The Roads Department is going to put up better signs at the end of the roads.

10/07/17.8 Ferries

Craig Robertson, SIC Ferries, replied to our query about requesting changes to ferry timetables stating that he had worked with Michael Craigie on finalising a Ferry Service Specification to help to clarify the roles and responsibilities between the two services. Mr Craigie sets the Service Specification (frequency, timetable, service needs), Mr Robertson is responsible for delivering the operation to that specification. Mr Robertson said that when they met with Mr Craigie to develop the specification, they agreed that Communities, staff and visitors to the islands need consistency and security and they should move to a fixed timetable where ever possible. It also helps the booking office to be able to open bookings well in advance of the timetable implementation date.

On that basis the specification states:

  1. The Approved Ferry Service moving forward will be the timetables for the summer and winter season as published in 2016.
  2. Changes to timetables- Timetables will be not be subject to change unless a substantial change to community needs is evidenced. Any changes proposed by Transport Planning must either comply with the Medium Term Financial Plan requirement of zero growth or demonstrate equivalent savings elsewhere.
  3. Ferry Operations will deal with and approve timetable changes of 10 minutes or less where there is no operational or cost impact ensuring that connections with linking bus services are taken into account.

Requests for timetable changes will be assessed by Transport Planning and must be discussed with Ferry Operations. Transport Planning will advise Ferry Operations by email of any changes to be made no later than 1 month before the advertising dates detailed below.

Ferry Operations will advertise the following season's timetable and open bookings for those dates by 1 March for the following summer timetable and 1 August for the following winter timetable.

04/08/17      Unst Partnership (UP) Update

Gordon was away so this agenda item is carried forward to the next meeting.

05/08/17      Community Involvement Update

This item is carried forward to the next meeting.

06/08/17      Application for Donations

There were no applications. 

07/08/17      Application for Planning                  

Planning Ref: 2017/266/PPF

Proposal: Alterations and extension to house

Address: Wullvers Hool, Baltasound, Unst, Shetland, ZE2 9DS

Applicant: Mr Bryan Gray

Date of Consultation:  16 August 2017

There were no objections.

08/08/17      Application for Unadopted Roads

There were no applications.

09/08/17      Community Council Finances

The Clerk will circulate the latest expenditure spreadsheet by email.

10/08/17      A.O.C.B.

10/08/17.1 Shetland Local Development Plan – Onshore Wind Energy Supplementary Guidance

This was noted.

10/08/17.2 Street Lighting, East Road, Uyeasound

The Community Council has contacted the Council asking if they can replace the faulty street lights at East Road in Uyeasound.

10/08/17.3 South Unst Coastal Path, damaged stile

A damaged stile on the South Unst Coastal path has now been replaced.

10/08/17.4 Janice Hawick, Energy Advice Service, Shetland Citizens Advice Bureau

It was agreed to invite Janice Hawick to a meeting later in the year to give a presentation about what the Energy Advice Service can do for clients.

10/08/17.5 Festive Ferry Timetable

The Clerk is to email Craig Robertson and ask if the Community Council could look at the Festive timetable before it is published. Last year there were ferries across Bluemull Sound which did not link with Yell Sound ferries.

10/08/17.6 Unst Show

Unst Show Committee has asked the Community Council to complain to the Ferries Department on its behalf. The Community Ferry hire effectively only ran for one and half hours. The allowed time for a hire is three hours, but this has to include the time it takes the ferry to come from Fetlar and return there. Many people who wanted to attend the show could not get booked on the ferries so didn’t come. Last year the Bigga was kept in service until after the show but this year it went for its yearly maintenance before the show. The Community Council will ask if the maintenance could be scheduled to be done slightly later. The community of Unst is working hard on promoting big events like the Show and UnstFest but are often limited by the ferry service. Phil Crossland, who was the director of Infrastructure Service several years ago, said that when it came to big events or shipping of livestock the ferry service would put on extra runs to cover this. He said that the ferry service would not have a negative effect on the economy. There was no criticism of the ferry crews as they always try their best.

10/08/17.7 Broadband Coverage

Broadband coverage in Unst is very poor and appears to be getting worse. There is ongoing work on masts to provide better EE coverage, this service will be prioritised for emergency services.

10/08/17.8 Police

PC Simon Findlay said that most of his work had been routine matters, except one case of careless driving.

Alec Priest had accompanied Humza Yousaf, Minister for Islands and Transport, when he went to Whalsay. Alec was happy with the reduction in costs for the NorthLink service, but he said that Mr Yousaf believes that inter island ferries were the responsibility of the Council. This appears to be a turnaround of views from earlier discussions with the Scottish Government. Alec was asked if there had been any progress with Fixed Links. He said that before anything could be done there had to be an official poll to check that the affected community was in favour of Fixed Links. There are a lot of concerns about the state of the Bluemull Sound terminals and ageing ferries. There is no money set aside for replacing ferries in the next five years’ budget. Alec explained that there are new regulations coming in to force in 2021 about ferry diesel emissions, which has to be cut by 80%. There was a discussion about what would happen if the Scottish Government took over the running of the inter-island ferries and funded it 100%. Alec explained that the 100% funding was 100% of what the Scottish Government believed the islands needed. It wouldn’t be 100% of the ferry service as it is at present.


The next meeting will be held on Monday 2nd October 2017 at 7.00 pm in the Baltasound School

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