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Unst Community Council

Minutes of the meeting held on Monday 7th January 2019 at 7 pm in the Baltasound School, Music Hut


Patrick Fordyce, Chair

Claire Priest

David Cooper

John Peterson

Janice Priest

Gordon Thomson

Julie Thomson


Frances Browne, Community Learning and Development Officer

Josie McMillan, Clerk

02/01/19   Apologies:

Caroline Hunter

PC Simon Findlay

Alec Priest, North Isles Councillor (ex-officio)

Duncan Simpson, North Isles Councillor (ex-officio)

Ryan Thomson, North Isles Councillor (ex-officio)

Michael Duncan, Community Council Liaison Officer

01/01/19   Elect Chair

There was a discussion about the roles and responsibilities and the meeting commitments of the Chair.  After this discussion Gordon proposed Patrick.  Patrick agreed to take on the role of chair.  This was seconded by Claire.  Patrick chaired the meeting.

03/01/19   Minutes from the Last Meeting

The minutes from the meeting held on Monday 3rd December 2018 were proposed by Claire and seconded by Julie.

04/01/19   Declaration of Interest

There were no declarations of interest.

05/01/19   Matters Arising from last minutes        

09/06/18.10  Haroldswick Playpark

Magnus Malcolmson will inspect the playpark when he is next in Unst and get back to the Community Council.

07/09/18.6  Roads

John Duncan, SIC Roads Department, replied to the queries from the last meeting.  He said that the hole in the road at the bottom of the Sandfield road does need work and they will do a temporary fix of the large pot hole.  They will have to do some drainage improvements and then hot tar it.  This will be done when the weather is better.  The stones at Belmont is a Ferries issue as that area belongs to them, so the Clerk will contact them.   Mr Duncan says that they have no plan to put signs at the bottom junction to Ministers Road as it would be too confusing for road users.  He goes on to say that “the ideal scenario would be to construct a new standard junction. Unfortunately, they do not have the authority to build new and only to maintain what assets they have at the moment or until a change in council policy.”  There is also a problem at the end of the Clivocast road where the road is now in danger of collapsing into the ditch after a big boulder was removed from the drain between Brakefield and Clivocast.  This was close to where a drain runs under the road, which has yet to be cleared.  David said that the Council will be doing something about this shortly.  The end of the road into the Clivocast sheds is used as a passing place, so would need to be surfaced.  There were also concerns raised about the Setters road, with the speed of cars using the road especially when meeting oncoming traffic.  There would need to be better signage showing which vehicles have priority.  The main part of the road is not wide enough to put white lines on.  The road into the houses at the south side of Uyeasound is also in a poor state.  The corner of the Hamar road in Baltasound is also subsiding.  Temporary repairs to potholes do not last long. The congestion on the road down to the Shore Station is a major problem.  The road is busy all year round but especially through the summer, with camper vans, mini buses etc. all using the road.  There is a fairly major project planned for Hermaness by Scottish Natural Heritage:  this will exacerbate the problem further.  There is a need for more passing places on this stretch of road.  The sign to Upper Sotland could be changed to the three house names, with another sign saying “No through road or Private.”  The road is in a very poor state, repairs to the potholes do not last long and the deteriorating condition of the road is accelerating.  There could be a sign at the turn of the road showing “Hermaness, Beach or Shore Station”.  Maybe a sign advising about the single track road and the care needed would help.  It was decided to invite Neil Hutcheson, SIC Roads, to come up and members will take him around to show him all the current issues.

07/10/18.2  Service Bus – Yell Sound Single Ferry Service

Gordon contacted the Yell Community Council about this, he will follow this up.

13/12/18.2  Uber Eats

There has been no further word from Uber Eats.

13/12/18.5  VE Day 75th Anniversary – 8th May 2020

Bruno Peak, Pageantmaster to the Queen, sent up a bugle and bell for the event in May 2020.  The bugle will be kept and used at the school.

06/01/19   Unst Partnership (UP) Update. 

Gordon said that the second hand shop has now been up and running for three months.  It has been very successful with 1168 visits since it opened.  Items which have been in for a while will be moved on to other charity shops.  UP now own the building so maintenance costs and building insurance are now their responsibility along with their existing insurance for contents, polytunnels, wind turbine and trailer.  Gordon explained that the cost of skips was about £5000 a year.  Most of this is covered by subscriptions.  This service is well supported.  Members wanted it noted that the shop looks very impressive, a credit to the directors.

07/01/19   Community Involvement Update

Frances explained she is working with two groups at the moment.  One Step Beyond who are planning a trip on the Swann to Norway.  The other group is the Unst Show who are already planning for their centenary in 2020.

08/01/19   Application for Donation

There were no applications for donation.

09/01/19   Application for planning

There were no applications for planning.  Michael Duncan, SIC Community Council Liaison Officer, replied to our queries about planning applications.  He said the Community Council should only deal with the information it is presented with on the planning application.  All the relevant information required will be sent from SIC Planning and responses should be based on this. 

10/01/19   Community Council Finances

The income and expenditure to date was discussed. The figures are in line with the budget.

13/01/19   A.O.C.B.

13/01/19.1  Community Councillors and Clerks Training and Support Needs 2019

Michael Duncan, SIC Community Council Liaison Officer, sent out training and support needs forms to be completed by Community Councillors and the Clerk to gauge what their training needs are.  The Clerk will post back everybody’s forms.

13/01/19.2  Shetland Space Centre Update

There has been no further update about the Space Centre 

13/01/19.3  Set meeting dates for 2019

It was agreed to set dates for the three meetings to see how it works.  The meeting dates planned are 18th February 2019, 25th March 2019 and the 6th May 2019.

13/01/19.4  Unst Community Council appointment of trustee for Unst Heritage Trust

Patrick agreed to be the Community Council representative on the Heritage Trust.

13/01/19.5  SIC Housing – removal of chalet from Nikkavord, Baltasound

Gordon had been contacted by the Council to say that the emergency housing chalet at Nikkavord lea is going to be removed.  It is in a very poor condition so the Council does not want to sell it. There was a suggestion from residents that the area could be used for a compound for wheelie bins and black bags.   The car sitting outside the chalet should be removed by the end of the week. 

13/01/19.6  White Wife Statue

Gordon was contacted by Eric Burgess-Rae about putting a statue up for the White Wife near the Waitlee brig.  Members asked for more details about what size the proposed statue would be and also the need for planning permission to site it there.  Gordon will contact him to ask.

13/01/19.7  Shetland Folk Festival – inquiry about community ferry for 2019

There has been an initial inquiry about a community ferry hire for the beginning of May for the Folk Festival.  It was agreed to grant this ferry.  The Clerk will check with the Ferries Department about the allocation of Community Ferry hires for 2019/2020.

13/01/19.8  Stationery needs for Community Council

It was agreed to get Box files for members.

13/01/19.9  Scottish National Heritage (SNH) Project

Juan Brown (SNH) has asked for a letter of support for a project at Hermaness, which is estimated to cost £670,000.  SNH would like “to install a recycled plastic broadwalk on the historic path to the Muckle Flugga signaling station to reduce the negative impacts of an increasing number of visitors to Britain’s most northerly point.”  SNH would like to provide improved parking, outside interpretation and toilets.

13/01/19.10 Voices for Equity Project

Gordon was contacted by Nina Elisabeth Høgmo, SIC, Community Planning and Development Department.  She is working on a project named Voices for Equity. It is part of the Scottish Government action for a Fairer Scotland (Fairer Scotland Action Plan) and aims to reduce inequalities in Shetland through participation. Ms Høgmo explains that “by bringing forward public voices and uncovering the different aspects of inequalities in Shetland, the project is designed to improve the ways in which people in Shetland can be more involved in community planning.”  The project is based on a two-way learning process (mutual mentoring) where people with real life experience of inequality (community participants) will be matched with people with influence and power over decisions in Shetland (civic participants; politicians; senior managers).  It was decided to put this on the agenda for the next meeting so that it can be discussed further.

13/01/19.11 Scottish Water

There was no water in Burrafirth on New Year’s Day, residents there were without a water supply for 24 hours.  This is the second time their water has been off in the last few months.  The problem was a leak in the old pipes and they needed to bring in a big digger. There was a discussion about why Scottish Water could not use a local contractor’s digger.  The Clerk is going to contact Jim Anderson, Scottish Water, and ask when these pipes will be replaced and also ask about using local contractors and machinery.

14/01/19   Date of next meeting

The next meeting date will be set on Monday 18th February 2019 at 7.00 pm in the Baltasound School.

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