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Unst Community Council

Minutes of the meeting held on Wednesday 19th July 2017 at 7 pm in the Baltasound School, English Room


Gordon Thomson

Claire Priest

Janice Priest

Raymond Priest


Frances Browne, Community Learning and Development Officer

Ryan Thomson, North Isles Councillor (ex-officio)

Josie McMillan, Clerk           

01/07/17      Apologies:

Pat Burns

Minnie Mouatt

John Peterson

Hazel Spence

Julie Thomson

Alec Priest, North Isles Councillor (ex-officio)

Duncan Simpson, North Isles Councillor (ex-officio)

02/07/17      Minutes

The minutes of the meeting held on Monday 5th June 2017 were approved.  Proposed by Janice, seconded by Claire.

03/07/17      Matters Arising from last minutes

08/10/15.4  Sign at Belmont

The replacement sign has now been put up at Belmont.  It was agreed to write to Lesley Gray, North Isles and North Mainland Youth Development worker, and thank her for all the time and effort she has put into to getting the replacement sign.  It looks really good.

08/07/16.1 Lund Kirkyard Road

There has been no contact from Joy Sandison’s solicitors, Steve Williams from McJerrow and Stevenson, about this.  It was agreed to contact Tavish Scott, MSP, again.  He asked that we kept him informed about this after we wrote to him in October last year.  The Clerk will contact the Lerwick office of the National Trust for Scotland to ask if they have been told about the poor condition of the road.

09/02/17.7  Roads

The holes have now been drilled in the Wester Brig.  Some of the verging has been done, but the verges on the loch side have yet to be finished.  Members asked if the SIC could use hard core on this side as well.  The road into Alma in Baltasound is in poor condition, with potholes and an uneven surface.  The Clerk will email Brian Wood, SIC Roads, about this.

09/03/17.6  Belmont Terminal – Abandoned Cars

The abandoned cars at Belmont have now been removed.  60 North sub contracted the collection work to RS Henderson, who collected them the following day.  They also collected a scrap car from Uyeasound as well. 

09/03/17.7  Bus Shelters at end of Westing Road and Uyeasound Hall

The Clerk is to email Neil Hutcheson, SIC, to ask when the repair work will be done to the bus shelter at the Uyeasound Hall. 

10/05/17.3  Baliasta Kirk Yard

William Spence, Executive Manager, SIC Environmental Services emailed to say that he had a structural engineer look at the old kirk and he thought that the best way to sort the problem of loose stones was to point up the skews and this would hold them in place.  This would make it safe and would mean that the structure would remain as it is slowing down further deterioration. The structural engineer also suggested putting a prop under the lintel in the west end gable doorway. Mr Spence is looking into having this done but as this is a listed building it might take a while.  In the meantime, he has decided to put signs up to make folk aware there is the possibility of falling masonry.  Mr Spence said that the signs have to be made up but he hopes to have them in place shortly.

10/05/17.6  Skeotaing Stiles

The Clerk is to contact Kevin Serginson, SIC, to ask if there has been any progress with the project to adopt this route.  There were concerns raised about the state of the stiles, especially one of them, which is in a very poor condition.

10/05/17.7  Greenwell’s Booth and Easting Signs

The Community Council has applied for funding to the Charitable Trust to replace the signs at Greenwell’s Booth and the Easting.  Before UnstFest the Easting sign was cleaned, which made it readable.  Shetland Amenity Trust will order the signs when the funding comes through.

11/06/17.3  Unst Health Centre removal of dispensing service

Claire explained that staff from the Unst Health Centre had visited the Brae Health Centre pharmacy and also the Yell Health Centre to see how the new dispensing system will work.  From the 1st September 2017 Unst Health Centre will no longer be dispensing repeat prescriptions, these will come from Brae, but ordered as usual through the Unst Health Centre.  The visit to the Yell Health Centre was to see how the system of getting repeat prescriptions from Brae worked as they have been working like this for a while now.  Staff there were satisfied with the service.  Repeat prescriptions will have to be ordered at least two weeks in advance.  If a G.P. was appointed on a permanent contract it would be up to the NHS Board whether the Health Centre became a dispensing practice again.

11/06/17.5  Hangar at Unst Airstrip

Kenn Allan, Asset and Properties Unit, SIC replied to our email saying that “there are still ongoing discussions regarding the future use of the airfield. Other than information already in the public domain, discussions remain confidential and involve several different private sector organisations who are exploring potential future uses for the site. Any redevelopment would require the airfield to be vacant and the hangar is now being cleared out as part of the Roads and Building Services review of resources. The tippings along the edge of the runway will also be graded out as part of the cleaning up exercise.”  Mr Allan goes on to say that “should any development proposal progress, then public consultation would form part of any master plan or proposed use. It is hoped that some of the existing facilities may be useful to developers and the removal of scrap and the hanger being emptied will help with this. There are no plans to rent out the hanger, which requires significant maintenance, until all the potential development options are exhausted.”  Ryan will follow this up for the Community Council.

11/06/17.6  Registrar

Jan Riise, SIC, has said that when rurally based registrars retire or resign they will not be replaced.  The service will then be provided in Lerwick.  There was a discussion about this.  It was agreed that this is going to cause a lot of inconvenience at what is a very stressful time.  Many elderly people could find it very difficult having to go to Lerwick to register a death.  Members queried if the registrar would travel to Unst if there were exceptional circumstances.  The Clerk will email Jan Riise, SIC, to ask about this.  Ryan will also follow this up.                     

04/07/17      Unst Partnership (UP) Update

Gordon said that the amended tourist map has been circulated.  UP has started the process with HIE for a Community Asset transfer, to buy Unit 1, Hagdale, Baltasound. UP directors are considering setting up a secondhand/nearly new shop there.  The next skip day is the 9th September.  UP managed the funding for the Collaster dig in the Westing, this was a joint school/community project carried out by volunteers.  Julia Lyth has agreed to do the Partnership’s accounts.

05/07/17      Community Involvement Update

Frances has been working with UP on polytunnels.  She has also been speaking to older people in the community, conducting informal research to find out if there are people who feel isolated in the community. Frances said that the Care Centre is proactive in checking on people in the community who have had concerns raised about them. She has visited various older people’s clubs/groups to speak with them.  The Participatory budgeting meeting in Fetlar is to be held at the end of July.

06/07/17      Application for Donations

There were no applications.

07/07/17      Application for Planning               

Planning Ref:


Proposed Development:  

To modify an existing fish farm by removing existing 70m-circumference cages and replacing with twenty 100m-circumference cages arranged in 2 no. 2x5 groups with a 300T Steinsvik feed barge moored centrally between the cage groups to be used for on-growing of Atlantic salmon


Mr Ben Johnson

Planning Officer:

Mr John Rosie

There were no objections.

08/07/17      Application for Unadopted Roads

There were no applications.

09/07/17      Community Council Finances

The Community Development grant funding of £3000 has nearly all been spent.

10/07/17      A.O.C.B.

10/07/17.1 Unst Interpretive Project 2017

This is the project to replace the signs at Greenwell’s Booth and Easting.  See agenda item Matters Arising 10/05/17.7.

10/07/17.2  Dentist

There was a discussion about dental services in the North Isles.  The dentist, who works part time in Yell, is off sick.  Only emergency appointments can be made, and people have to attend Brae or Montfield.  Several people have registered with the NHS dentist in Lerwick at Market Street.  If you register there you are taken off the list in Yell.  Claire explained that you can only be registered with one dentist at a time.  There were concerns raised that there was no service in the North Isles for general checkups. People would like to keep registered with the practice in Yell, but are unable to get appointments, so are registering with the new NHS practice in Lerwick.

10/07/17.3  Community Resilience Funding

This is a Scottish and Southern Energy fund for community resilience which can be used to fund projects which help people coping with power cuts, or other projects which benefit the community e.g. defibrillators or relevant training, e.g. 1st Aid.  This information was circulated to community groups.

10/07/17.4  Leawart Road used as turning place

The Clerk will check up on this.

10/07/17.5  North Isles Digital Forum Meeting – Wednesday 23rd August 2017

This meeting will be held in Brae in the evening.  It is open to anyone from the community.  There were no representatives from BT at the last meeting.  Gordon felt that these meetings weren’t achieving much at present. Most attendees have the same issues with slow broadband and poor mobile coverage.  EE are erecting 26 masts which are for emergency services mobile services only.

10/07/17.6  SAT - Halligarth Panels

A draft of the boards to be put up at Halligarth was circulated for comments.  There were minor errors on it.

10/07/17.7  Shetland Arts Trust - Community Promoters

Shetland Arts Trust emailed a poster advertising for part time rural community promoters.  The closing date for this is within the next few days.

10/07/17.8  Ferries

The Clerk will email Craig Robertson, SIC Ferries, to ask what their policy is on how Community Councils can suggest changes to existing ferry timetables.  There used to be a ferry users group which met with representatives of the Ferries Department and timetable alterations were discussed there.

10/07/17.9  Simmer Dim Trout Festival 2017

It was agreed to write to Davie McMillan and congratulate him and the committee for the remarkable amount of money that was raised over the simmer dim weekend. The amount was £13,380 which was divided equally among three groups, each one receiving £4460, Cancer Shetland, CLAN Shetland and Macmillan Nurses Shetland.

10/07/17.10 Unst Festival Committee

It was agreed to write to the Unst Festival Committee and congratulate them for the very successful programme of events over the UnstFest week.  Feedback from all the events has been very good.  UnstFest has brought a lot of people to Unst, which has to be a boost for tourism, local businesses  and community groups.


The next meeting will be held on Monday 28th August 2017 at 7.00 pm in the Baltasound School

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