Unst Community Council   Unst Community Council
Unst Community Council

Minutes of the meeting held on Monday 17th June 2019

at 6.30  pm in the Baltasound School, Music Huts



Patrick Fordyce, Chair

Claire Priest, Vice Chair

David Cooper

John Peterson

Janice Priest

Hazel Spence

Gordon Thomson

Julie Thomson

Alec Priest, North Isles Councillor (ex-officio)


Frances Browne, Community Learning and Development Officer

Josie McMillan, Clerk               

01/06/19   Apologies:

Caroline Hunter

Duncan Simpson, North Isles Councillor (ex-officio)

Ryan Thomson, North Isles Councillor (ex-officio)

Michael Duncan, Community Council Liaison Officer


Tommy Coutts and Marvin Smith were coming on the 6.55pm ferry from Gutcher so would be at the meeting by 7.15pm, their agenda item would be discussed when they arrive. 

12/06/19   A.O.C.B

13/05/19.5  Litter Bin at the Bus Shelter and various other Public Litter Bins issues

The Clerk has emailed again about siting a litter bin at the bus shelter in Baltasound.  There was a discussion about public rubbish bins and the instance of fly typing at the bin in Burrafirth.  Patrick had tidied this up, it included general food rubbish, a piece of carpet, car mats and the contents of an earth toilet.  The wire basket in the bin was half full.  There was a discussion on how often public bins are emptied.  The one at the Haroldswick playpark has been full for several weeks.  Members said that there have been visitors emptying earth/chemical toilets down the public toilets at Uyeasound and Belmont.  There was a discussion about how to get the message across about not “chucking” or dumping their rubbish.  Or emptying earth toilets where there are no facilities but disposing of it responsibly.  There have also been reports of walkers leaving gates open and livestock getting out.  There was a suggestion that notices about this could be put on the Unst Partnership tourist maps and displayed in the shops/ferry terminal/Post Office.  There are only a minority of visitors doing this, but it as it gets even busier in summer, it could become a bigger problem.

12/06.19.3 Hermaness Project  

There was a discussion about the Hermaness Project, which will be on the agenda for the next meeting.  Half of the funding, £300,000, has been awarded if the project goes ahead, it needs to get the matching funding in place.  There have also been some issues with the project which need to be resolved before the project can go ahead.

12/06/19.4  SIC – Strategic Transport Projects Review (STPR2)

There is a meeting in Lerwick on Monday 24th June in Islesburgh Community Centre organised by the Scottish Government to discuss views on transport-related problems and opportunities that could be considered within the Strategic Transport Projects Review update, for the Shetland Islands Region.  The first stage of the STPR2 is to highlight problems and needs of the community i.e. travel time, limitations of social inclusion, economic difficulties, cost etc.  Alec said that it is important that someone from the Community Council attends the meeting as it is a great opportunity to engage with the Scottish Government on transport issues and forming a foundation for the next generation of inter-island transport. Alec explained that it is vital that the most is made of this opportunity.  Patrick is going to attend the meeting and speak to Michael Craigie before the meeting. 

03/06/19   Minutes from the Last Meeting

The minutes from the meeting held on Monday 6th May 2019 were proposed by Claire and seconded by Gordon.

04/06/19   Declaration of Interest

Janice declared an interest in agenda item 12,  A.O.C.B. - Energy Isles.

05/06/19   Matters Arising from last minutes        

13/01/19.6 White Wife Statue

The Council’s Planning Department has got back to Gordon with a list of things which have to be done before the application is approved.  He will speak to planning and Eric Burgess-Rae about this.

13/05/19.3  Road Matter

John Duncan, SIC Roads, emailed to say that the damaged sign at Shirva and the School Sign have been ordered.  The sign at Nordalea will be repaired and the sign between P&T Coaches and the bus shelter will be turned around.  There has been a request for a sign at the crossroads at the manse in Baltasound to show directions to the ferry.  Many tourists miss the sign at the end of Hunter’s road and go as far as the manse crossroads or sometimes down the Alma road believing they are heading to the ferry.  There is a sign at the bottom of Gutter Street which is also damaged.  When Neil Hutcheson, SIC Roads, was up in Unst Patrick and Gordon asked him about a passing place to clarify whether the SIC owned it or whether it belongs to the property owner.  The Clerk will email and ask about these issues.

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

Gordon said that the next skip day is on Saturday 6th July.  The shop is still doing well, taking in approximately £1000 a month. UP directors are organising a participatory event to distribute some of the funds, possibly £3000.  Frances Browne will help with this.  There are also plans to set up a discretionary fund which individuals can apply to.  UP directors are still working out the details for this.  The charity shop will be open through UnstFest, probably from Monday to Friday.

07/06/19   Community Involvement Update

Frances gave everyone a copy of “Shetland’s Partnership Plan 2018-2028” for information.  Frances was asked if there had been any further news about encouraging more cruise ship visits.  She said she had been told that there might be up to 10 cruise visits next year.  There had been a cruise liner in on Sunday, which was the biggest one to visit so far.  Frances and Gordon both said that they had been asked to bring up about the need for a pontoon at the Baltasound Pier.  The old pontoon was damaged several year ago so had to be removed.  Frances is going to speak to Council’s Ports and Harbours about this.  Patrick said that most of the questions asked at the Heritage Centre by people of the cruise liner was about the Keen of Hamar.  Scottish Natural Heritage do no print these leaflet any more.  They can still be downloaded at their website.  https://www.nature.scot/keen-hamar-nature-reserve-miniature-mosaic.    Frances said the meeting at the Heritage Centre, with Roxanne Permar, Shetland College, and Susan Timmins, had gone well.   They are looking at developing a project in the long term that looks at the Cold War period in Unst, and the impact of the RAF on the community. 

02/06/19   North Isles Fibre, Tommy Coutts and Marvin Smith, SIC Economic Development Service and Susan Msalila, SIC Executive Manager ICT

Mr Coutts explained the background to the project which had been worked up to apply for funding to extend the SIC broadband network to their buildings in Unst and Yell, as well as NHS Shetland buildings.  He explained that it will not be available to individuals.  Mr Coutts said that the scale of this project was smaller than the projects funded before, which were mainly big towns.  Mr Smith said that the Scottish Government’s R100 is striving to deliver superfast broadband access to 100% of premises in Scotland by 2021.  He said that there should be money available to businesses to fund their own solution if they aren’t covered by R100.  Ms Msalila said that the fibre broadband project was good news for the Council.  Mobile connectivity should be improved, it was not a direct solution but it should help.  Members asked if the new system would have spare capacity, they were told yes.  Mobile operators use microwaves signals but could have the option of deploying fibre to their masts in the future.  Alec said that the 4G signal in Burravoe was very good, much faster than the BT broadband one.  Mr Smith said that there would be different options for getting fibre broadband available in the future, one of which was a voucher scheme.  It will depend on what is the best solution and what money is available for it.  Claire said that fibre broadband was going to be excellent for the Health Centre, especially with the options of more consultations being done remotely.  It will also be good for the school as well.   Mr Smith was asked how much it would cost if you wanted to pay to use the capacity.  He said that the price would be reasonable.  With state aid involved they could not give it away nor could they make a profit on costs.  Patrick asked if there were any further questions.  He thanked them for attending the meeting.

08/06/19   Application for Donation

There were no applications.

09/06/19   Application for planning

Planning Ref: 2019/176/PPF

Proposal: To install a 22 mm duct in the existing road verge which contains a fibre optic cable at Baltasound to Saxavord Camp.  Manhole chambers will be placed every 2km or at road crossings as applicable.

Address: Between Belmont and Uyeasound

Applicant: Mr Marvin Smith

Date of Consultation: 13 June 2019


Planning Ref: 2019/177/PPF

Proposal: To install a 22 mm duct in the existing road verge which contains a fibre optic cable at Baltasound to Saxavord Camp.  Manhole chambers will be placed every 2km or at road crossings as applicable.

Address: Baltasound

Applicant: Mr Marvin Smith

Date of Consultation: 13 June 2019


Planning Ref: 2019/178/PPF

Proposal: To install a 22 mm duct in the existing road verge which contains a fibre optic cable at Baltasound to Saxavord Camp.  Manhole chambers will be placed every 2km or at road crossings as applicable.

Address: Baltasound - Saxavord Camp

Applicant: Mr Marvin Smith

Date of Consultation: 13 June 2019


Planning Ref: 2019/179/PPF

Proposal: To install a 22 mm duct in the existing road verge which contains a fibre optic cable at Baltasound to Saxavord Camp.  Manhole chambers will be placed every 2km or at road crossings as applicable.

Address: Saxavord Camp  – Saxavord Base

Applicant: Mr Marvin Smith

Date of Consultation: 13 June 2019

These applications have been submitted separately so that they can go through planning without having to be put out for consultation.  There were no objections.

10/06/19   Community Council Finances

12/06/19.1 UCC accounts audited by Voluntary Action Shetland and approved

The accounts have been audited and approved.  The Clerk will send a copy of the audited accounts to Michael Duncan, Community Council Liaison Officer.

11/06/19   Association of Community Councils meeting – 25th June 2019

This meeting is on Tuesday night at 6pm in the Town Hall.  No-one from the Community Council is available to attend.  The Clerk will email Michael Duncan and send apologies.

12/06/19   A.O.C.B.

12/06/19.1  Shetland Community Benefit Fund Ltd (SCBF)

There have been two meetings about SCBF Ltd, one in May which Patrick attended and one in June which Gordon attended.  Chris Bunyan, Chair, circulated a letter explaining that “The community benefit project in Shetland will receive about £2.2 million a year for 25 years if the Viking wind farm is built.”  He explains that “in case it does go ahead some important decisions have to be taken fairly quickly and they are looking to community councils and their members for ideas.  Ten per cent of the money will be earmarked for projects directly proposed by community councils.  Also, administrative costs for the benefit fund will be limited to a maximum of 10%.  That will leave around £1,760,000 a year for the benefit fund to use to support Shetland's economy, communities and people.  SCBF Ltd has to decide how to spend the money.   SCBF Ltd do not want to spend money on projects that save money for local or central governments where they should be paying.  They want to try and find new and imaginative ways of using the money, although it could be used to enhance existing schemes or help with matching funding for example.  SCBF Ltd can give grants or make loans or investments in organisations, charities and businesses.  The community benefit fund has set itself these strategic aims:  maintaining, improving and regenerating Shetland physical, economic, social and cultural infrastructure and to sustain and develop Shetland's local communities.  Gordon said that Community Councils would be allocated shares, the four nearest would get 5 shares each and all the rest would be given 1 share which would be approximately £6,000 a year.  One suggestion was that some of the money should be used for insulation or renewable energy grants. There are high instances of fuel poverty in Shetland.  At the SCBF meetings they have discussed whether the community benefit money from Energy Isles, Peel and the other windfarm projects should be put into one big fund and distributed throughout Shetland.  Energy Isles at present are just planning to distribute these funds to Unst, Yell and Fetlar.  Members thought one big fund would maybe mean that Unst could be overlooked when bidding for funding. 

12/06/19.2  Energy Isles

There is a meeting of Energy Isles Ltd on Wednesday night in the Uyeasound Hall at 6.30pm.  Gordon is away.  Hazel can attend the meeting. 

13/06/19   Date of next meeting

The next meeting date will be set on Monday 29th July 2019 at 6.30 pm in the Baltasound School.



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