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Unst Community Council

Minutes of the meeting held on Thursday 18th February 2016 at 7 pm at the Baltasound School, Music Huts



Gordon Thomson,

Pat Burns

Minnie Mouatt

John Peterson

Claire Priest

Janice Priest

Raymond Priest

Hazel Spence



Josie McMillan, Clerk     


01/02/16    Apologies:

Julie Thomson

Gary Cleaver, North Isles Councillor (ex-officio)

Robert Henderson, North Isles Councillor (ex-officio)

Steven Coutts, North Isles Councillor (ex-officio)


02/02/16    Minutes

The minutes of the meeting held on Monday 11th January 2016 were proposed by Claire and seconded by Hazel.


03/02/16    Matters Arising from last minutes

07/07/15.4 Historic Environment Scotland (HES) – lack of parking places at Muness Castle

There has been no reply from Anne Marie O’Farrell, Assistant Factor at Historic Environment Scotland, about the lack of parking at Muness Castle.  The Clerk will email her again.

06/09/15.6  Roads

The Council is working on reinforcing the sea defences in Haroldswick for the next two weeks.  A big dumper trucker is transporting rock from the Setters Quarry to the North Ayre.  There is a lot of gutter on the road at the Setters Quarry and around the North Ayre.  It was agreed to contact Ingram Thomson, SIC Roads, to ask if there could be signs put up advising motorists about this before there is an accident.  Gordon will also put it on Facebook.  There were several new road matters discussed:- the condition of the Westing road from the junction in.  The turning place at the Westing beach needs to be made bigger, there has been a lot of erosion in this area.  It is difficult for big vehicles to turn, e.g. the Essy Kart.   The road from below the Gritquoy junction to the Ministers Road is also in need of repair. The Clerk will write to Roads Department about these matters.

08/10/15.4  Musical Boat and Sign, Belmont

The boat which was being looked at as a replacement for the musical boat at Belmont was destroyed in the last big gale.  It was agreed to ask around to see if there are any other suitable boats. Lesley Gray is making some progress with replacing the Youth Club’s sign at Belmont.  She has got a quote for a more permanent one.  There has been no progress about getting the bus removed from Belmont. 

08/01/16  8.1  Lund Kirkyard

William Spence, Executive Manager Environmental Services, was to meet with Community Councillors at Lund to discuss the kirkyard and road.  He had to cancel because of illness.  He is planning to come up shortly.  The Clerk will email to ask when this will be.  There are still sheep getting into the yard.      

08/01/16  8.2  Catriona Waddington - Equality Commission

The Community Council has put in a submission on the “Reality Check” report. 

08/01/16  8.3  Police

The Community Police van was up in Unst this week.  There was an advertised surgery at the Police Station.  There is another session coming up in April.

08/01/16 8.4  Ambulance

Karen Parkin and Jenni Howitt have taken over organising ambulance cover from Vaila Thomason.


04/02/16    Unst Partnership (UP) Update

Gordon explained that both Verona Shaw and Toby Sandison have resigned.  Verona’s contract finishes at the end of March.  Toby took over the Tourism Development Officer when Tom Morton resigned, this post finishes in December 2016.  Megan Burns is still working on this project.  UP is unable to apply for any more European funding as they have reached the maximum amount they can apply for in any three year period.  There is a Directors meeting coming up shortly where decisions about their future will be taken.  UP has suffered two major setbacks with it existing equipment.  The invector for the wind turbine was damaged by the power fluctuations at Hogmanay.  The container at the polytunnels blew over and damaged the gate and a part of the fence.  When it blew over it landed inches away from one of the polytunnels. UP has been told that damage caused in these incidents is not covered by their insurance but UP is querying this.  To replace the invector will cost in the region of £6000 and to repair the gate and fence will be about £1000.  There has been no further progress on the Community Broadband Project. Ross Gazey is still working on the Renewable Energy Study.  The last of the skips will be at the Northside on Saturday 27th February.  There has been no further progress on the Composting project.  Gordon explained that it is difficult to make any plans when their funding finishes in December and their future is very uncertain.

05/02/16    Application for Donations

It was agreed to give the UnstFest Committee £1000 towards the cost of advertising this year’s UnstFest programme.

06/02/16    Community Council Finances

This year’s budget has now been spent.  Next year’s budget is the same again as the last few years, £8423.

07/02/16    A.O.C.B.

07/02/16.1  Community Ferry Hires – charging

It was agreed to charge £275 for Community Hires for outside groups, in line with Yell and Whalsay Community Councils.  There have been three groups enquiring about hires:- Fiddle Frenzy, Folk Festival and Accordion and Fiddle.  The Clerk will email them to explain about the new charge it has introduced. 

07/02/16.2  SIC Surface Dressing 2016

The SIC’s proposed re-surfacing programme for 2016-2017 includes the “A968 Hagdale towards Brookpoint” (marked on the map as just past P&T Coaches to the Setters Quarry).  This is for overlay.

07/02/16.3  Queens 90th Birthday Beacons

The Community Council has been asked by Bruno Peek, Pageant Master to the Queen, and also Malcolm Bell, SIC, to take part in a national project to light Beacons across the UK on 21st April 2016 in honour of Her Majesty the Queen’s 90th birthday.

07/02/16.4  NTS Halligarth Project

The National Trust for Scotland has not applied for funding for their project for major work at Halligarth.  They are still keen on creating a picnic and visitor’s area.  There was a discussion about the condition of the big dyke at the entrance, it is falling down.  The Clerk will email Sian Lofthus about this and to ask if they are planning to proceed with this project.

07/02/16.5  PhD Research in Scottish Island communities – Environmental Change Focus Groups – Fiona Cunningham

Gordon will contact Ms Cunningham about setting up a focus group.

07/02/16.6 Shetland Local Development Plan – Supplementary Guidance Consultation - Placemaking

Austin Taylor, SIC, has emailed to say that the Council has published its draft Shetland Local Development Plan Supplementary Guidance document – Placemaking for consultation.  The Guidance is available online at www.shetland.gov.uk/ldp along with the relevant forms for anyone who wants to make any comments.   The consultation runs from 9th February 2016 until Tuesday 22nd March 2016. 

07/02/16.7  SIC – digiCC workshop report

This was noted.

07/02/16.8  Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) – Hermaness National Nature Reserve Management Plan

SNH is in the process of writing a revised plan to cover the next ten years for Hermaness National Nature Reserve (NNR).  Their existing plan expired last year. They sent a leaflet with their draft proposals for comment.  There are more details about these proposals and the previous management plan on the NNR website – www.nnr-scotland.org.uk/hermaness/management/management-planning/  All comments have to be in by Friday 25th March 2015.  Gordon will put this information on the Community Council Facebook page.

07/02/16.9  Michael Craigie - Shetland Inter Island Transport Study

This document was circulated just before the meeting.  The report is a culmination of all the information which the Council has gathered on Unst’s transport issues from feedback at public meetings and discussions with the Community Council.  All comments have to be in by Friday 11th March 2016.  Mr Craigie says that there is a substantial amount of information available to support the study which takes the form of Baseline Reports and a Pre-Appraisal Report. These are available online at


 07/02/16.10 Fixed Link

Michael Craigie, SIC Executive Transport Manager, attended a Yell Community Council meeting where he told them that the SIC is pushing to get the Scottish Government to take on the inter-island transport links. The SIC will be sending their “Future of Transport” report to the Scottish Government in March/April. It was decided at the Yell meeting to ask people who had left Yell to write to the Community Council stating their main reason for leaving e.g. poor/restrictive transport links. This will give more support for case for a fixed link. It was decided to do the same for Unst people who have left. Gordon is going to put information about this on the Facebook.


The next meeting will be held on Thursday 24th March 2016 at 7.00 pm in the Baltasound School

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