Unst Community Council   Unst Community Council
Unst Community Council

Minutes of the meeting held on Monday 13th January 2020

at 6.30pm in the Baltasound School, Music Huts



Patrick Fordyce, Chair

Claire Priest, Vice Chair

David Cooper

Caroline Hunter

John Peterson

Gordon Thomson

Julie Thomson



Frances Browne, Community Involvement and Development Officer

Josie McMillan, Clerk


01/01/20   Apologies:

Janice Priest

Hazel Spence

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

PC Angela Manson


02/01/20   Minutes from the Last Meeting

The minutes from the meeting held on Monday 2nd December 2019 were proposed by Claire and seconded by John.

03/01/20   Declaration of Interest

There were no declarations of interest.   

04/01/20   Matters Arising from last minutes        

13/01/19.6 White Wife Statue

The white wife statue is going to be replaced after it was damaged over the festive period. Gordon said that the sign for parking has arrived.  

13/07/19.5  Easting Kirkyard

Yvonne Scott, SIC Burial Services Officer, emailed to say that the Council has been instructed to carry out regular safety checks of memorials within their burial grounds.  Over the coming months, staff from the Council will be carrying out safety assessments at cemeteries and churchyards across the isles.  Any memorial which fails will have a green safety notice placed next to it.  If it is judged to be dangerous, it will be re-fixed, staked and tied, or braced with wooden supports and cordoned off.  Responsibility for the maintenance of memorials lies with the lair holder or their representatives.  It is up to them to contact a stonemason who has been approved by the Council to complete repairs.  Ms Scott explained that “The Council is responsible for 70 burial grounds.  It is important that any repair work is carried out to a safe industry standard, so it must be completed by a stonemason who has been approved to do so.”  She also said that anyone who may find it difficult to fund any repairs will need to contact the Burial Service, who will do what they can to help.  Grass cutting at Kirkyards is on the agenda for the Association of Shetland Community Council’s meeting in March.  There was also a discussion the SIC telling people in the community that there are to be no further burials there.            

09/12/19.1  VE Day – 8th May 2020

After a discussion about venues it was agreed to hold the event at the Baltasound Hall in the early evening of the 8th May.  Frances is going to check if the hall is available and if they can get access to a flag pole.   The programme of events includes unveiling a flag; The Last Post and Reville; The Nation’s Toast to the Heroes of WW 11 and The Cry for Peace Around the World.  Patrick knows a piper who might be available to play if they are in Unst at the same time.  Gordon, Claire, Julie and Frances will organise this event.

09/12/19.2  Unst Water – Burrafirth/Haroldswick repairs

There has been no further word from Jim Anderson, Scottish Water.  The Clerk will email to find out if there has been any progress with this.

11/12/19.1 Baltasound Pier Pontoon

Frances emailed to say that she had contacted Andrew Inkster, SIC Port Operations to ask about the pontoon.   Mr Inkster has provisionally included the pontoon in his funds for the new financial year.   He will have to write up a Business Justification Case for it, which will need to be approved.  Depending on how long the Business Case takes to be considered, Mr Inkster says that they may be pushing into summer for completion.          

05/01/20   Unst Partnership (UP) Update. 

Gordon said directors have extended the development workers contract until March 2021. UP directors are looking at developing a big project for a Community Recycling Hub.  The Centre would take in items which are too big for the existing shop, or in need of repair or broken up.  The Hub would include a workshop area where people can come in to work on this or other projects.  There could also be a social area for people to meet.  Gordon explained that they are looking at various different options and have applied to the Shetland Charitable Trust for funds.  Gordon said that the next skip day is 1st February 2020.

06/01/20   Community Involvement Update

Frances said that she has been involved with the proposed UP Community Recycling Hub project.  She has also been following up the provision of a pontoon for the Baltasound Pier.  There could be as many as 11 cruise ships calling at Baltasound this year.  Frances said that there has been a meeting of the North Isles Learning group who are developing a new action plan.

07/01/20   Application for Donation

There were no applications for donations.

08/01/20   Application for planning

There were no applications for planning.             

09/01/20   Correspondence

09/01/20.1  Scottish Government Planning Performance and Fees Consultation - 18 December 2019 to 14 February 2020

This was noted as the online consultation was not relevant to the Community Council.

09/01/20.2  Consultation on the draft Sectoral Marine Plan for Offshore Wind Energy and Sustainability Appraisal (including Strategic Environmental Assessment, Habitats Regulations Appraisal and Socio Economic Impact Assessment)

This was noted.

09/01/20.3  SIC - Review of Parliamentary Polling Districts and Places – Consultation

There are no changes to the polling districts and places in Unst.

10/01/20   Community Council Finances

The budget for this financial year has nearly all been spent. 

11/01/20   A.O.C.B.

11/01/20.1   Energy Isles

After the last Energy Isles meeting Community Councils were asked to discuss whether the Community Benefit money should stay within the North Isles or be disbursed Shetland wide.  Viking Energy’s Shetland Community Benefit Fund will be distributed throughout Shetland, with Community Council’s nearest to the project getting a bigger share.  After a discussion it was agreed that it should disbursed Shetland wide with more being paid to areas most affected.  Gordon will attend the meeting on the 3rd February.

11/01/20.2  Proposed Agenda Item – Guidelines for Community Benefit Fund Distribution

David asked for this to be put on the agenda for the next meeting.  He is concerned that there are no guidelines, as yet, on how this money will be disbursed.  Frances said that representatives from Foundation Scotland had been in Shetland last year.  It is an independent charity who provide administration and management support services to community organisations.  They charge for this service.  Frances said that there is already expertise locally and that once key areas have been identified, then the Community Council can identify people to advise them. 

11/01/20.3  Roadside Statue etc

There was a discussion about the “touristy” objects along the road to Uyeasound and who looks after them.  The White Wife statue is being replaced after the original was damaged.  No-one knew what the black stripes of plastic attached to the snow poles was for.  Nor who had made the circle of white stones near the Watlee burn.

11/01/20.4  Healthy Shetland

Claire explained about a health promotion which is being undertaken by the NHS Shetland and Unst Leisure Centre.  Group based sessions are available free at the Leisure Centre if people are eligible.  For more information they need to contact Shona Johnson, Health Improvement Team.  Posters will be put up in the shops and Post Office.

11/01/20.5 Transport Issues

There is another follow up ferries meeting on 17th February.  Patrick intends to go and asked if anyone else would like to go as well. He was contacted for a quote for an article in the Shetland Times about a tunnel to Whalsay.  He said that the Community Council believe that fixed links were the only solution.  Patrick and Laurence Odie, Yell Community Council chair, were both quoted in the article.   Members said that they support the case for fixed links as long as existing services are maintained.  

11/01/20.6  ASCC Meeting and Community Council Complaints Handling procedure

The next ASCC meeting is on 10th March.  Michael Duncan emailed to ask if we had any items for the agenda.  He also sent a copy of the Community Council Complaints Handling procedure which was circulated to everyone before the meeting.  This is on the agenda for the ASCC meeting.

12/01/20   Date of next meeting

The next meeting date will be set on Monday 24th February 2020 at 6.30 pm in the Baltasound School.

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