Unst Community Council   Unst Community Council
Unst Community Council

Minutes of the meeting held on Monday 27th March 2017

at 7 pm in the Baltasound School, English Room



Gordon Thomson

John Peterson

Claire Priest

Janice Priest

Hazel Spence

Julie Thomson



Frances Browne, Community Learning and Development Officer

                   Dr Anna Souhami, Criminologist, Edinburgh University

                   Josie McMillan, Clerk      


01/03/17   Apologies:

Pat Burns

Minnie Mouatt

Raymond Priest

PC Simon Findlay


Gordon introduced Dr Souhami.  She explained that she is carrying out research into policing in island communities: there is no existing research done into this.   Dr Souhami explained that she has spent several weeks accompanying PC Simon Findlay as he goes about his work.  She asked what small communities look for with its policing.  There was a discussion about what it was like when there was a police presence and when there wasn’t.  Members said that it was reassuring to have a police person on the island.  There are often incidents which crop up with visitors to the island, several at the Youth Hostel, which Trustees have had to deal with, which should have been handled by the Police. It is important for bairns to have contact with them, although there have been visits to the school with the drug dogs.  There is no special constable on the island at present, no one was notified that he was retiring.  The last police person based in the island travelled to the mainland to work each day.  Many of the Police personnel and their families based here in the past have integrated well in the community.  Dr Souhami thanked everyone for their help.  

02/03/17   Minutes

The minutes of the meeting held on Monday 27th February 2017 were approved.  Proposed by Janice, seconded by Hazel. 

03/03/17   Matters Arising from last minutes

08/10/15.4  Sign at Belmont

Lesley Gray, North Isles and North Mainland Youth Development worker, has now got enough funding to order the replacement sign.  The price for the sign from Art Machine is £3500.  The sign needs to be mounted on marine ply.  Lesley hopes it will be in place before the summer.

08/07/16.1 Lund Kirkyard

The Clerk will email Steve Williams, McJerrow and Stevenson, Joy Sandison’s solicitors, and ask him for a contact name at the National Trust for Scotland who own the land so that the Community Council can contact them directly.  The road is deteriorating and is in need of repair.

08/11/16.2  HMS E-49 Memorial

The memorial event on Sunday 12th March 2017 went really well, with a large crowd attending the ceremony and then the social event in the hall.  It was agreed to write to Harry Edwards and thank him for all his hard work organising the event.

09/02/17.4  Northern Isles Digital Forum- Shetland (22nd April 2017)

Gordon is unable to attend this meeting.  It is open to anyone who wants to attend.  There will be representatives there from BT and Ofcom.

09/02/17.7  Roads

Neil Hutcheson, SIC Roads, explained that they could not put up a barrier on the road at Hagdale because it does not meet the national criterion for provision of a safety barrier.   This is because there has to be a minimum “drop” of 3 metres between the top and bottom of an embankment at the road edge. Mr Hutcheson explained that the reasoning behind these criteria is that it is better or safer for a vehicle to run down embankments of up to 3 or 6 metres than colliding with a barrier and coming to a more abrupt halt. The shore road in Uyeasound has been resurfaced.  Everone seems happy with the work.  It was agreed to write and tell Mr Hutcheson this and also ask if there could be holes drilled in the Wester brig to let the water that gathers there drain away.   There has been no reply about the road at Upper Sotland in Burrafirth.  There is a pothole on the road down past Heatherbrae. The turning place at the end of the Westing road, the south beach, is being eroded, there is not much room to turn vehicles.  The Clerk will email about these road matters.

09/02/17.8  Shetland Amenity Trust

Sita Goudie, Shetland Amenity Trust, replied to our email asking for clarification about what cars they uplift.  She said that members of the public can still request uplift of their vehicles through Autogreen’s website (Rewarding Recycling) - http://www.rewardingrecycling.co.uk/ - if they don’t have internet access there is also a telephone number: 0800 542 2002.  60 North is currently a collection agent for Autogreen.

04/03/17   Unst Partnership (UP) Update

Gordon said that UP will hear in May if they have been successful in the application to HIE/LEADER for funding for a North Isles Tourism Development officer. Gordon said that UP is hoping to provide a skip service for another year, depending on whether they can secure funding and get the same level of community support as it had last year.  This would be a single skip every second month.   UP is still taking donations of clothes for the Syrian refugee appeal up until the end of March.

05/03/17   Community Involvement Update

Frances Browne said that North Isles Learning Partnership had put in a bid to Shetland Communities Choices.  This was done to a very tight timescale.  The project application was for funding towards family learning.  The allocation of funding will be decided by the public through online/postal voting.  The project/projects with the most votes will get the funding.  The participatory budgeting event in Fetlar has been postponed until June after the hall suffered external damage. 

06/03/17   Application for Donations

There were no applications for donations.

07/03/17   Application for Planning

There were no applications for planning.

08/03/17   Community Council Finances

08/03/17.1  End of year accounts

The end of year accounts was discussed.  All monies have been spent.  The accounts will be audited by Voluntary Action Shetland.

08/03/17.2  Core Funding  2017 - 2018

The amount of core funding is the same as last year, £8423.  Each Community Council has to put in their planned budget under the four set headings.  Budget figures for 2017-2018 were taken from the 2016-2017 figures i.e. Administration £5000; Environmental Services £373; Grants to Local/District Groups £1500 and Roads £1550.  These figures will be submitted to Michael Duncan, External Funding Officer, SIC Community Planning and Development. Department.

09/03/17   A.O.C.B.

09/03/17.1  Voar Redd Up - 22nd and 23rd April 2017

Letters will be sent out to groups if the Community Development funding is awarded.

09/03/17.2  Community Council Clerks Information Session     18th March 2017

The Clerk was unable to attend this

09/03/17.3  ASCC Bi-annual meeting 25th March 2017

Gordon attended this meeting.  He said that one of the issues discussed was that the planned appointment of a Community Council Liaison Officer, which the SIC has to employ as directed by the Scottish Government.  Voluntary Action Shetland provide this service at present for £12,000 a year.  VAS has said that they could not do the work if this budget is cut. Gordon said that there was also a discussion about whether Community Councils should take on more responsibility for jobs, buildings etc.  Members discussed this but decided to wait and see what the SIC agree to.  There was also a discussion about fixed links.  Michael Craigie, ZetTrans, said that the Scottish Government would need to fund fixed links and there was criteria which needed to be met.  He said that the fixed link would need to show it reduced travel time and that there were enough vehicles using it.  Michael Stout said that they should look at the value of sustainability and encouraging young people to stay in the islands.  The minutes from this meeting have not been circulated yet.

09/03/17.4  Application for Community Ferries

There were two applications for Community Ferry hires.  One for Bonar Barclay’s wedding on the mainland, for the early morning of Sunday 27th August – Toft to Ulsta at 1am and Gutcher to Belmont at 2am.  There was also an application for Elizabeth Peterson’s wedding for the early hours of Sunday 30th July – Belmont to Gutcher at 2am.  Both were approved.  The Clerk will book these ferries.

09/03/17.5  Police Report

The Shetland Policing Report for February 2017 was discussed.  There has been a decrease in reported crimes from last year.  Police Shetland are warning the public about the spate of scam calls, with callers claiming to be from their bank. There were only four Police incidents reported in Unst, all of which were of a routine nature. 

09/03/17.6  Belmont Terminal

There was a discussion about the ferry terminal at Belmont.  It was decided to write to Criag Robertson, SIC Ferries, to ask when the terminal will be resurfaced and new lines and numbers painted on the lanes.  It is hoped that this will be done before the tourist season starts.  It was also agreed to ask if the point of rocks on the upper side of the road at the end of the lanes could be removed to improve/extend vehicle queuing.  It was agreed to write and ask what the timetable for terminal maintenance is.

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

It was agreed to write to the SIC and ask for the Bus Shelter at the end of the Westing road to removed.  It is no longer used and is situated at the road junction where it can block the view of cars using the junction.  The panels are now opaque and the lights reflect of them.  The Bus Shelter at the Uyeasound Hall is damaged.  This one is used for school bairns and also people catching the overland bus.

09/03/17.8  Local Fire Review and Development of New Local Plan

This is to be put on the agenda for the next meeting.

The next meeting will be held on Monday 1st May 2017 at 7.00 pm in the Baltasound School


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