Unst Community Council   Unst Community Council
Unst Community Council
Minutes of the meeting held on Monday 15th January 2018 at 7 pm in the Baltasound School, Music Huts


Gordon Thomson

Pat Burns

John Peterson

Claire Priest

Janice Priest

Raymond Priest

Hazel Spence

Julie Thomson


PC Simon Findlay

Chief Inspector Lindsay Tulloch     

Josie McMillan, Clerk 

01/01/18     Apologies:

Minnie Mouatt

Frances Browne, Community Learning and Development Officer

Alec Priest, North Isles Councillor (ex-officio)

Duncan Simpson, North Isles Councillor (ex-officio)

Ryan Thomson, North Isles Councillor (ex-officio) 


Gordon welcomed Chief Inspector Lindsay Tulloch and PC Simon Findlay to the meeting and asked them to go first.

04/01/18     Chief Inspector Lindsay Tulloch, Consultation on Disposal of Unused Police Premises

Chief Inspector Tulloch had circulated the consultation document at the end of last year.  The document covered unused premises belonging to the Police Estate in Scotland. The police house in Baltasound was included in this.  Ch Insp Tulloch explained that the Police Estate is managed by the Scottish Police Authority.  Since amalgamating into one force there are a lot of properties which are no longer used.  The Police houses in Unst, Whalsay and Sumburgh are also no longer needed.  Ch Insp Tulloch said that they were now in a position to do something about the surplus property.  The consultation ends on the 31st January 2018, the Scottish Police Authority will look at the responses, then decide what to do.  It will then be discussed again with the Community Council. He explained that if a community group wanted to purchase the property and they had a sustainable business case and would enhance the wellbeing of the community they would be given priority.  If not, it will be advertised on the open market.  Ch Insp Tulloch was asked what would happen if there was a need to base a Police person in Unst in the future.  He said that they would look at social housing or maybe shared accommodation with other emergency services.  He also said that there are two prospective candidates wanting to be Special Constables in Unst.  There is an open meeting at the Unst Leisure Centre on Saturday 20th January from 12 – 2pm for anyone interested in finding out more about becoming a Special Constable.  Special Constables are trained to a basic level.  They get travel expenses and if they do a certain number of hours over the course of a year they get a £1000 bounty.  Ch Insp Tulloch is hoping if there is enough interest in Shetland to bring the trainers up instead of trainees having to travel to Fife.  Ch Insp Tulloch asked if there were any other matters which the Community Council would like to bring up.  Gordon explained about the problems of getting scrap cars collected from Unst.  There are several cars abandoned in car parks on council estates.  PC Findlay said that it is up to SIC Environmental Services to put notices on these cars and then arrange for them to be collected.  Ch Insp Tulloch asked if there were any problems with drink driving on Unst.  He explained that there is going to be a campaign about this targetting the isles shortly.  This will involve visiting schools, contacting licensees and communities.  There were concerns raised about people, mainly teenagers, walking at night in dark clothing.  Ch Insp Tulloch said that when the Road Safety Officer goes into the school this will be talked about.

Gordon thanked Ch Inspector Tulloch and PC Findlay for attending the meeting, they left at 7.45pm.           

02/01/18     Minutes

The minutes of the meeting held on Monday 11th December 2017 were approved by Janice, seconded by Hazel. 

03/01/18     Matters Arising from last minutes

02/11/17  Shetland Space Centre

Frank Strang replied to our email saying that there has been an enormous amount of work going on over the holidays.  He said that the SIC are being very proactive.  He wants to meet with the Community Council at the end of January, then hold a public presentation in February.   The Community Council is meeting on the 29th January with the Council about Locality Planning.  It was agreed to ask Frank Strang if he would like to come along after this meeting finishes at 8.30pm.

08/07/16.1 Lund Kirkyard Road

The cost of installing grids was discussed.  Grid pricesfrom various suppliers was discussed.  Some of the potholes have been filled with scalpings.  The road would need either two grids or one grid and a long fence.

09/03/17.7  Bus Shelter at the Uyeasound Hall

The Clerk will follow this up with the North Isles foreman.

12/10/12.2  Festive Timetable

Gordon has spoken to Elaine Park, Zetrans, several times about the Festive Timetable.  Changing to the Saturday timetable on Wednesday 20th December created a lot of inconvenience with people travelling to work and appointments on the mainland. A suggestion was made to keep the normal timetable until nearer Christmas and run the limited timetable in the week after New Year so that the Fetlar Ferry Crews get their extra hours back.

10/11/17.3  Scrap Cars

Gordon has phoned the John Lawrie Group who have bought out 60º North recycling.  They officially take over on the 1st February 2018 but have said they have a lot of work to do to bring the scrapyard up to standard. 

10/11/17.5  Shetland Amenity Trust (SAT) Unst Jobs

A letter was sent to Ruth Mackenzie, Chair, of Shetland Amenity Trust about the threat of job losses in Unst and copied to all the Trustees. There has been no response as yet.   Gordon has contacted SAT about getting bags for collecting “Cans for cash”.  The school is also taking part in this scheme.  There was a discussion about collecting plastic for recycling.  UP is considering getting bags and becoming a collection point.  Full bags need to be taken to Rova Head in Lerwick.

08/12/17.1  Health and Social Care Meeting - Uyeasound Hall, 1st December 2017

There has been a very poor rate of responses to this questionnaire.  Community Councillors are going to encourage everyone to put in their replies by the end of January 2018, when the consultation ends. 

05/01/18     Unst Partnership (UP) Update

Gordon said that UP is still working towards buying Unit 1 through the Community Asset Transfer scheme.  HIE has accepted their offer as competent, but it might take up to 6 months before the offer is accepted.  UP will then apply to the Scottish Land Fund for funding to buy the unit and employ a part time worker for two years.  UP has contacted the SIC about getting a certificate of lawfulness which they need in order to operate a second-hand shop. Getting this certificate will depend on whether UP is classed as an advice-giving service or as an office.  The latter would mean they have to apply for full planning permission, which will take more time and involve more paperwork.  The next skip day id Saturday 27th January 2018, 11am – 1pm.

06/01/18     Community Involvement Update

Locality Planning

It was agreed to meet with the SIC Development Department on Monday 29th January.  Frances Browne emailed to explain what Locality Planning involves.  She said that “Shetland Islands Council are working closely with NHS Shetland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, the Police and Fire Services along with a range of other partners in Shetland, to improve the way we work together and with communities. As partners, we are keen to undertake a Locality Planning exercise with the communities in Yell, Unst and Fetlar.  This will be an opportunity for us to look jointly at the challenges and opportunities for the islands and to link up a number of initiatives and pieces of work that are currently underway.   The ambition would be to help the community create their own plan to improve outcomes in the future for the area – e.g. for the economy, services, inequalities, etc. - which partners are signed up to delivering.  The plan would set out the outcome priorities for the islands of Yell, Unst and Fetlar.  This has come about because of changes to the way the Council work with partners and communities under the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015.  This is the first time they have used this approach and are keen that the Community Council play a key role in informing the approach and delivery.  They would like to discuss with the Community Council their potential involvement and how we might take this work forward together.”

07/01/18     Community Council Finances

An up to date Income and Expenditure sheet was discussed.  Most of the funds have now been allocated.

08/01/18     A.O.C.B.

08/01/18.1  Northern Isles Digital Forum Meeting – Islesburgh Community Centre - 23rd February 2018

This was noted.

08/01/18.2  Halligarth, the home of a Naturalist Project meeting – Shetland Amenity Trust – 22nd January 2018

This was noted.

08/01/18.3  Ferry Matters

Slight Alteration to Monday Timetable

Gordon spoke to Elaine Park, ZetTrans, about the Community Council’s suggestions for a slight alteration to the Monday Timetable, which at the moment is Toft 13.50 and Gutcher 14.30.  Altering one of these times by 5 minutes would make another linking time.  She agreed that the ferry will wait at Gutcher for an extra 5 minutes, whenever this was possible.  Ferries go to Cullivoe on a Monday for maintenance.

Bluemull Sound Ferries

The Geira has broken down and will be off the route for approximately two weeks so Bluemull Sound is being serviced by one ferry, the Bigga, running to the Emergency Timetable.  The Fivla is still away for maintenance. The wheelhouse windows are being lowered and the accommodation is being upgraded.  This is being done so that it is better suited for the Bressay crossing.  There was concerned expressed about the Bigga being used solely on Bluemull Sound. And what will be done to cover the runs if she breaks down.  The Bigga running constantly for two weeks will not be doing her engine any good.  It was agreed to write expressing our concern to Maggie Sandison, and copy the letter to Ian Pearson and Craig Robertson, SIC Ferries.  And also copy to the North Isles Councillors.  Alec Priest has asked that if anyone has any ferry concerns that they contact him and the other North Isles Councillors so that they can get a better idea what the community concerns are.  And it also adds weight to their efforts when trying to achieve effective solutions to ferry problems.

08/01/18.4  Rubbish Bins

The rubbish bin at Belmont ferry terminal is blowing about in the wind. The bins at Watlee and Uyeasound have no nets to cover them so rubbish is blowing around.  The Clerk will email SIC Environmental Services.

08/01/18.5  Roads

The surface of the road from Crossroads in Baltasound up to the school is rutted and the surface is covered in loose chips.  Also, the road from Nordalea down past the junction to H Henderson’s shop floods when there is any quantity of rain.  Members believe there is a blocked culvert.  The road into the Westing is in poor condition, in places it is cracked and there are a lot of potholes.  It was agreed to write to Brian Wood, SIC Roads

08/01/18.6  Radio 1

Gordon has been contacted by a news reporter for BBC Radio 1, who is coming to Shetland with a colleague to do a piece called ‘why we live on the most northern island in the UK’ amongst other things.  They will be in Unst on Saturday 27th January. They are looking for some young people with a variety of experiences to tell them why they live on the island and what they love about it.  They are looking to interview people between the ages of 16 – 30 but preferably at the younger end of that.  There were several suggestions put forward which Gordon will pass to them.

The next meeting date will be set on Monday 26th February 2018 at 7.00 pm in the Baltasound School

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