Unst Community Council   Unst Community Council
Unst Community Council

Minutes of the meeting held on Monday 5th June 2017 at 7 pm in the Baltasound School, English Room


Gordon Thomson

Minnie Mouatt

John Peterson

Claire Priest

Janice Priest

Raymond Priest

Hazel Spence


Frances Browne, Community Learning and Development Officer

Alec Priest, North Isles Councillor (ex-officio)

Ryan Thomson, North Isles Councillor (ex-officio)

Josie McMillan, Clerk          

01/06/17     Apologies:

Pat Burns

Julie Thomson

Duncan Simpson, North Isles Councillor (ex-officio)

02/06/17     Welcome new SIC Councillors

Gordon welcomed Alec and Ryan to the meeting.  He said that the Community Council was looking forward to working with them.  Ryan said that the three North Isles Councillors would work together and planned that at least one of them would attend each area’s meetings.  Gordon asked if they had had their Council induction.  Alec said that they had a two week induction, a lot of which was explaining to the new councillors what they can and can’t do.  There was a discussion about what issues face Unst at the moment.  These include the threat to the school, ferries and fixed links, poor broadband and mobile coverage.  The North Isles are well represented on the various council committees and boards.  Ryan was appointed Chair of the Environment and Transport Committee, and is a member of the Audit Committee, Education and Families Committees and Harbour Board.  Alec is a member of the Development Committee and Shetland College Board.  Duncan is the Vice Chair of the Harbour Board and a member of the Community Safety and Resilience Board.

03/06/17     Minutes

The minutes of the meeting held on Monday 1st May 2017 were approved.  Proposed by Raymond, seconded by Hazel.

04/06/17     Matters Arising from last minutes

08/10/15.4  Sign at Belmont

Lesley Gray, North Isles and North Mainland Youth Development worker, is hoping to have the replacement sign in place shortly.   It has been ordered.

08/07/16.1 Lund Kirkyard

Gordon explained to Alec and Ryan about the problems the Community Council was having trying to get the road to Lund repaired.  The road belongs to the National Trust for Scotland (NTS) as it was part of Joy Sandison’s estate.  The Council own the Kirkyard and the turning place at Lund, but not the road down to it.  The Clerk has emailed Steve Williams, McJerrow and Stevenson, Joy Sandison’s solicitors, about this: he said that he would pass our query on to NTS.  There has been no contact from them.  The Clerk will email him again. 

09/02/17.7  Roads

Neil Hutcheson, SIC Roads, said that there had been holes drilled in the Wester brig to let the water drain away, but this has been checked and no holes have been drilled yet.  The new road in Uyeasound is higher than the verge, members were concerned about this.  The roadmen are going to put in verges there soon.  Members asked if the roads department could put in hard standing from the front of the hall to Batavia.  Vehicles park on these verges when there are events on in the hall.  The Clerk will contact Neil Hutcheson about these matters.

09/03/17.6  Belmont Terminal

Gordon has contacted 60 North about the abandoned cars several times, he was told each time that they would be uplifted shortly. Members are concerned that if scrap cars aren’t collected it will become a big problem for Unst.   Ryan said that he would follow this up for the Community Council. 

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

The bus shelter at the end of the Westing Road has now been removed.  The one at the Uyeasound Hall has not been repaired yet. 

10/05/17.3  Baliasta Kirk Yard

Gordon has contacted the Church of Scotland to find out who owns the old kirk in the Baliasta yard.  It turns out that the kirk belongs to the Council.  He emailed William Spence, Executive Manager, SIC Environmental Services to tell him this.

10/05/17.6  Skeotaing Stiles

Kevin Serginson, SIC, is keen to upgrade the stiles on the walk from Skeotaing to Easting Beach.  He has contacted the landowners with varying degrees of success.  One landowner is concerned that they might be liable if someone has an accident crossing their land.  Members thought that putting in stiles would be better than people climbing over dykes and fences.

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

Davy Cooper, Shetland Amenity Trust, has been in contact with Gordon about the above signs which are both in a very poor state of repair.  The Amenity Trust has very little money, so to get the signs replaced the Community Council has to apply for funding to the Charitable Trust. The application form has been completed and submitted. It would be good to get these replaced before the Viking Festival later this year.

10/05/17.8  Oil at Lund and Woodwick

Tavish Scott, MSP, replied to our concerns about the “oil balls” that were found on Lund and Woodwick beaches.  He had contacted the SIC’s Director of Infrastructure Services to ask if any analysis of the oil had been carried out which might help determine the source of where it came from.  The SIC’s Executive Manager of Ports & Harbours advised Tavish that “Samples of the oil collected were sent away by BP regional pollution response staff to their laboratories for analysis. There was a general belief that it was fuel oil (rather than crude) but Tavish understands that the results of the analysis were inconclusive as to pinning down a specific type or source, clearly with fuel oil there are many candidates.  If they get any more information they will let Tavish know”

05/06/17     Unst Partnership (UP) Update

Gordon said that UP had received copies of their tourist map from Shetland Litho.  There is an error on the map, with some information missing.  There was a discussion about how best to sort this.  Their AGM was held recently.  Gordon is carrying on as chair, with Sarah McBurnie vice-chair.  UP directors are considering setting up a secondhand/nearly new shop in Unit 1.  They are researching this by looking at similar shops and gauging community support for the idea. If they set up the shop it will be on a year’s trial basis.  UP is also considering buying unit 1 from HIE.  The first skip day went well, with people turning up and paying on the day.  The next skip day is the 9th September.

06/06/17     Community Involvement Update

Frances is conducting informal research over the summer to find out if there are people who feel isolated in the community.  She is visiting various older people’s clubs/groups to speak with them.  Frances recognises that the people who attend these are usually the more confident/able.  She has worked with UP on its proposed recycling scheme.  The Participatory budgeting meeting in Fetlar is to be held in July. She said that the Clerk’s training session which was held in Lerwick in March could be brought to the North Isles, as none of the Clerks were able to attend.

07/06/17     Application for Donations

There were no applications.

08/06/17     Unadopted Road Grants

08/06/17.1 Robert Thomson, The Creek, Haroldswick

It was agreed to give a grant of £220 towards the costs of repairs to the road at The Creek.

08/06/17.2 Duncan Gray, Valyie, Norwick

It was agreed to give a grant of £600 towards the costs of tarring the road to Valyie.

These grants are paid on production of receipted invoices.

09/06/17     Application for Community Ferry

09/06/17.1  Party at the Pier, Cullivoe, 1st July 2017

This request for a community ferry was discussed.  If approved this would use Unst’s last community ferry hire.  All hires from groups out with Unst are charged £275 towards the costs of the hire.  Gordon will check if they still want the ferry.

10/06/17     Community Council Finances

There has been no expenditure to date. The Core funding grant and the Community Development grants have both been paid to the Community Council.

11/06/17     A.O.C.B.

11/06/17.1  Shetland Transport Strategy Draft Main Issues Report

This was noted.

11/06/17.2  Ferry Services Procurement – Policy Review – Stakeholder Engagement Meeting

There was a meeting in Lerwick about this.  No-one was available to go to it.

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

Claire explained that NHS Shetland is going to take away the repeat prescription service from the Unst Health Centre.  This would bring them in line with both Yell and Whalsay who have had this taken away already.  The reason given by NHS Shetland’s head of pharmacy is for safety.  With no full-time Doctor at the practice, they are having to depend on locums covering the hours not covered by Dr Emma Ramsay and Dr Ruth Booth, who are now permanent doctors.  Many of these locums come from practices that do not dispense medicines.  Claire has been told that this will not affect the existing jobs.  The Health Centre’s concerns are that if there is no dispensary it would be unlikely to become an independent practice again.  It was agreed to contact the Whalsay and Yell Clerks to ask what their Community Councils thought about their dispensing service being removed.

Claire and Ryan left the meeting at 8.25pm.

11/06/17.4  Adoption of Updated Community Council Constitution 2017

There have been slight amendments to the Community Council Constitution.  There were changes made to by-election procedures and changes made to who can audit/verify accounts.  The new constitution was adopted and approved by all members at the meeting. 

11/06/17.5  Hangar at Unst Airstrip

The Community Council has been told that the Council workers who use the hangar at the airstrip have to move out of it by September. The hangar is full of material for Council house repairs and the roadmen’s material.  The Clerk will contact the SIC Council Estate’s Manager to ask why the hangar is being cleared.  Members are concerned about this in case they are moved to Yell.

11/06/17.6  Registrar

Sylvia Priest, the registrar, told Gordon that once she hands in her notice the Council will not replace this job in Unst.  The reasons given were the security of documentation held by the registrar.  The Clerk will contact the Yell Clerk and ask what their experiences have been since they lost their registrar.    

11/06/17.7  Fixed Links

There was a discussion about fixed links.  Concerns were raised about the condition of the Belmont ferry terminal.  Recently there were delays to ferries because of a problem with the ramp.  Alec explained how important it is to have good transport links to mainland Shetland.  With an ageing ferry fleets it is vital to be looking at fixed links as a more sustainable option.  The salmon industry is shipping millions of pounds of salmon via ferries at present.  If these links became undependable there were concerns that the company might bypass Shetland completely, removing millions of pounds from the local economy.  Alec said that a lot of people have moved from Yell because of the uncertainty of future transport links. 


The next meeting will be held on Wednesday 19th July 2017 at 7.00 pm in the Baltasound School

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