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Unst Community Council

Minutes of the meeting held on Thursday 28th July 2016 at 7 pm in the Baltasound School, Music Huts



Pat Burns, Vice Chair, chaired the meeting

Minnie Mouatt

John Peterson

Janice Priest

Hazel Spence

Julie Thomson


Gary Cleaver, North Isles Councillor (ex-officio)

Josie McMillan, Clerk     

01/07/16    Apologies:

Gordon Thomson

Claire Priest

Raymond Priest

Steven Coutts, North Isles Councillor (ex-officio)

Robert Henderson, North Isles Councillor (ex-officio)


02/07/16    Minutes

The minutes of the meeting held on Monday 6th June 2016 were approved, proposed by Julie, seconded by Janice.

03/07/16    Matters Arising from last minutes

08/10/15.4  Musical Boat and Sign, Belmont

There has been no further progress on this.

07/04/16.5  Maintenance of Playparks and Picnic Benches

There has been no maintenance work done on the playparks to date.  One young lass playing in the Haroldswick Playpark cut her hand on rust.  The Clerk is to email Magnus Malcolmson, Team Leader Leisure Facilities, to ask when the repair work will be done.

07/04/16.9  Shetland Amenity Trust - Tourist Sign at Easting, Core Paths - Easting and Skeotaing

Alain Blain, Deputy Manager, Shetland Amenity Trust has replied to our query.  He said that John MacKenzie will assess the condition of the panels when he is next in Unst.  Mr Blain said that if the panels can not be repaired they would have to look at replacing them, which he says would be the costlier option.  He explained that the Amenity Trust can assist with getting costings prepared and maybe assist with some grant aid towards replacing the signs.  Mr Blain asked if the Community Council had any funds available to contribute to this project.  Kevin Serginson emailed to say that he had spoken to one of the landowners at Skeotaing who would be happy with the SIC replacing the styles and taking on the route where it crosses his land, but there are other landowners who own the rest of the route.  Mr Serginson will look into getting agreements from landowners with a view to the SIC ‘adopting’ the route and doing the necessary works, but he explained that this may take some time even if agreements are forth coming. There may not be a budget available to do the identified works until next financial year.

07/04/16.10  Skidbladner and Longhouse

The Clerk is to write again to Shetland Amenity Trust to ask if “No Parking” signs could be put up at the road close to the Skidladner.  It was also agreed to ask if a rubbish bin could be put at the site.

08/07/16.1  Roads

There were several new road matters discussed.  A bit of the road verge below Gardie, Haroldswick has fallen away, there is now a short crack in the road.  The state of the Setters road and the Baliasta road were also discussed.  Gary explained that the cost of replacing the road network in Shetland is around £1.6 billion. He said that a lot of roads are in need of repair.  The Clerk will write about the road matters discussed.

08/07/16.4  Belmont Terminal

The Clerk will contact Craig Robertson, Ferries, about the lack of clear number markings at the Belmont ferry terminal.  The numbers at the top/beginning of the lanes have faded and are unreadable.

08/07/16.5  Community Ferry Hire – Unst Show

The Clerk has contacted SIC Ferries, Colin Manson to book a community ferry for Saturday 27th August.  Richard Spence will contact them with the times for the ferries.  The Bigga will be away for its annual service at the time of the show and also the sheep sales.  It is important that there is enough ferry provision to cover the extra runs needed.  It was also agreed to write to Craig Robertson, Ferries, to ask if there could be extra ferry runs the week of UnstFest.  This year numbers were up by 38%.  There was a worry that numbers would not be able to increase anymore because of the constraints of the ferry timetable.  The Community have been assured in the past that extra ferry runs would be put on for big Unst events.

09/07/16    Myles Murray, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, Shetland

Myles Murray, Group Manager – Service Delivery, attended the meeting to give an update on the fire service role within the local community.  He explained that the Fire Station at Baltasound had had four callouts this year, all of which were false alarms.  Mr Murray said that the retained firemen in Unst have provided excellent daytime and nighttime cover to date this year.  There are eleven firemen at present, with a vacancy for one further fireman. He said that there was a minimum age of 18, but no upper age limit. This post and other vacant posts throughout Shetland will be advertised from 1st August.   Mr Murray was told that the Firemen should be commended for their excellent open night at the Fire Station which was held during UnstFest.  There was a discussion about basing the ambulance in the Fire Station.  Mr Murray said that the Fire Service has been in discussions with the Ambulance Service over the last two years.  A standard agreement has to be drawn up which can be used in similar situations.  The main person who maintains and cleans the ambulance is retiring at the end of August.  There were concerns that this might lead to the ambulance not being charged up and cleaned after use.  Mr Murray said that if the Community Council had any further questions they were to contact him directly.

Pat thanked Myles Murray for attending the meeting.  He left at 7.45pm

04/07/16    Unst Partnership (UP) Update

This agenda item is carried forward to the next meeting.

05/07/16    Application for Donations

Unst Partnership Ltd applied for a donation towards the costs of their skip project.  This project provides 6 skip days throughout the year.  Members of the community can pay for annual or single use.  It was agreed to give a donation of £300 towards the total project costs of £4810. 

06/07/16    Application for Unadopted Road

Hamerskaw Common Grazings applied for a grant towards limited repair of the 1300 metre road. It was agreed to give a grant of £220.

Leslie Henderson, Millbrae, Baltasound applied for a tarring grant for their 60 metre road.  It was agreed to give a grant of £300.

Bertie and Charlie Priest, Peat House road, applied for a grant towards limited repair to the 2176 metre road.  It was agreed to give a grant of £220.

All grants are paid on receipt of paid invoices.

07/07/16    Community Council Finances

The audited accounts have been examined by the Council and have been found to be in order and all funds fully accounted for.

08/07/16    A.O.C.B.

08/07/16.1 Lund Kirkyard – Formal complaint made to SIC

The Community Council received a copy of a letter of complaint sent to the Mark Boden, SIC Chief Executive, about the state of the kirkyard at Lund.  The letter explained how distressing it was for people visiting the kirkyard that there were sheep and also sheep droppings in the yard.  The letter included copies of photos of the sheep and mess.   The Clerk will write to the person who lodged the complaint explaining that we have been writing about this and trying to get it sorted for months.  Gary will speak to Mark Boden, SIC Chief Executive, about this.  The grass at the Baliasta kirkyard has just been cut for the first time this year.  Members felt it should be cut more regularly.  The Clerk will write to William Spence about this.

08/07/16.2 Shetland Local Development Plan – Draft Development Brief, Anderson High School Campus

The Draft Development Brief are available online from


The consultation will run from Friday 15 July 2016 to Friday 26 August 2016.

08/07/16.3 Shetland Local Development Plan Consultation – Aquaculture Supplementary Guidance and Works Licensing

These supplementary guidance documents can be viewed on the Council’s website at www.shetland.gov.uk/ldp The consultation runs from 8th July 2016 to 19th August 2016.

08/07/16.4 Shetland Local Flood Risk Management Plan online

This plan can be viewed online at


08/07/16.5 Shetland Inter Island Transport Study – Public Engagement Meetings

Michael Craigie, Executive Manager Transport Planning and Lead Officer ZetTrans emailed to say that they expect to have the data on fixed links completed by the end of July, which means they plan to carry out public engagements in the second or third week of August.  Mr Craigie also says that the Place Standard Consultation has had a very encouraging number of responses which they will find helpful in this work.  They want to encourage as many people as possible to go online and complete the survey. This can be done at   http://www.shetland.gov.uk/placestandard.asp

08/07/16.6 Potential Social and Economic Impact Assessment – ferry charges and timetable  

A letter from Robert Thomson, Fetlar Development Group was discussed.  It was agreed to wait and discuss this again after the meeting with Humza Yousaf, Scottish Government Minister for Transport and Islands.  Mr Yousaf will be in Yell for a short visit on Wednesday 3rd August.

08/07/16.7 Voar Redd Up

The Easting Beach has been cleared on behalf of the Uyeasound Church for the Voar Redd Up.

08/07/16.8 North Isles Dentist

NHS Shetland is hoping to having a dentist in place in Yell by August.  There was a discussion about the cost and inconvenience of going to the dentist in Brae.  People can’t use Public transport to get there.  For any major dental treatment, attending can cost hundreds of pounds in ferry fares, travel cost and days of work.

08/07/16.9 North Isles Digital Forum Meeting

There is a meeting of this group on Saturday 20th August in Skeld.

08/07/16.10 Broadband Provision in Unst

Broadband services in Unst over UnstFest was very poor and sometimes nonexistent.  It was agreed to write to Tavish Scott to ask what progress is being made on improving broadband speed in rural areas.

It was also agreed to write letters to the Simmer Dim Charity Trout Fishing Competition organisers who raised over £10,000 at the all night fishing competition.  And also to the Unst Festival Committee for organising another very successful UnstFest event, with numbers increasing by 38%.

The next meeting will be held on Monday 5th September 2016 at 7.00 pm in the Baltasound School

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