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Unst Community Council

Minutes of the meeting held on Monday 25th March 2019

at 7 pm in the Baltasound School, Music Huts



Patrick Fordyce

Claire Priest

David Cooper

Caroline Hunter

John Peterson

Janice Priest

Hazel Spence

Julie Thomson


Ryan Thomson, North Isles Councillor (ex-officio)

Frances Browne, Community Learning and Development Officer

Josie McMillan, Clerk                  

01/03/19   Apologies:

Gordon Thomson

PC Simon Findlay

Alec Priest, North Isles Councillor (ex-officio)

Duncan Simpson, North Isles Councillor (ex-officio)

Michael Duncan, Community Council Liaison Officer


Patrick welcomed Ryan and Hazel to the meeting.  Hazel was re-elected to the Community Council on Friday 22nd March.  Unst now has a full complement of community councillors.


02/03/19   Minutes from the Last Meeting

The minutes from the meeting held on Monday 18th February 2019 were proposed by David and seconded by Julie.

03/03/19   Declaration of Interest

Janice declared an interest in the Unst Shellfish Ltd application for planning (agenda item 9) 

04/03/19 Matters Arising from last minutes   

13/01/19.6 White Wife Statue

Gordon has contacted John Scott, Garth Estate, about whether Eric Burgess-Rae can site a statue of the White Wife near the Waitlee brig.  Frances said that she would send information to members about Public Art for Gordon to forward to Mr Burgess-Rae.  This will be discussed again at the next meeting.

11/02/19.8  Road to Rocklea, Uyeasound

The Clerk has emailed the information received from the Council to Angela Fraser.

11/02/19.11 Bluemull Sound Monday Timetable

There has been no word back from Andrew Inkster, Ferries, about this.  The Clerk will email again.

05/03/19   Unst Partnership (UP) Update. 

Gordon is away just now, so this item is carried forward to the next meeting.

06/03/19   Community Involvement Update

Frances explained that she has been working with the Fetlar hall on a LEADER application and working with people in Yell about childcare provision.  Julie said that the Haroldswick Hall Committee are hoping to apply for funding for new chairs.

07/03/19   Application for Donation

07/03/19.1 One Step Beyond

It was decided to give a grant of £300 towards the costs of the sail training trip on the Swan to Norway.  5 secondary pupils from Unst are going.

08/03/19   Unadopted Roads

It was agreed to advertise that there are grants available for Unadopted roads.

09/03/19   Application for planning


Planning Ref:


Proposed Development:

To change production at an existing 4 x 150m twin-headline longline mussel spat site to mature mussel production


Buness, Baltasound Harbour, Unst


Unst Shellfish Ltd

Planning Officer:

Mr Ryan Leask



Planning Ref:



Construct approximately 1820 metres of boardwalk from recycled plastic material


Hermaness National Nature Reserve, Unst, Shetland


Scottish Natural Heritage

Date of Consultation:

15 March 2019

There were no objections to the two planning applications above. 

10/03/19   Community Council Finances

The accounts have now been finalised and will be put to Voluntary Action Shetland for auditing.  All the budget was spent.

11/03/19   A.O.C.B.

11/03/19.1  SIC - Community Development Fund (CDF) Application

It was agreed to put in an application to the CDF for funding towards donations to groups who take part in Da Voar Redd Up.  Members feel this is a fair way to distribute funds to a wide variety of groups.  The Clerk will submit the application before the first deadline, 29th March.

11/03/19.2  SIC – Community Council Core Funding

The Clerk has applied for the core funding for the Community Council.  The amount awarded is the same as in previous years, £8423.  This is broken down as administration £5000, Environmental £373, Grants to local groups £1500 and Unadopted Roads £1550.

11/03/19.3  Shetland Space Centre Update

Frank Strang attended a meeting arranged by the Community Council on Wednesday 6th March.  He explained that he had been to visit the UK parliamentary space committee and was advised that the UK government policy was to treat all prospective space ports and vertical launch sites equally and not prefer one over the other.  Licenses would be given to more than one site so Unst was still very much in the running despite the Moines Peninsula near Tongue and Durness receiving 100% funding from HIE and the public sector.  Senior executives from French Aerospace and Space Giant have publicly stated support for the activities on Shetland as part of the Scottish space industry.  Mr Strang has had “letter of intent” from five companies and hopes to lodge a formal planning application by June or July this year.  Mr Strang said there are plans for ground stations in Unst to download information from satellites passing overhead.  Another possibility was “balloon launching” where satellite rockets were taken to 80km into the atmosphere before firing, this would negate the need for ground launches.  The Shetland Space Centre team are applying for public sector funding.  Six senior executives from NASA and Washington DC, who work for Aecom, have been to Unst to meet with Mr Strang. They were all very impressed with what Shetland and Unst have to offer. Mr Strang was asked about the exclusion zone, he said that there would be a three-hour period over two kilometres on launch days.  He explained that Saxa Vord resort would be open this year from May to September but it would depend on what happens if it will be open next year.  There was a discussion about the condition of the buildings at Saxa Vord.  Many of them are showing signs of dilapidation.   The Community Council has been invited to a presentation from Robin Brand, British Interplanetary Society, on Monday 15th April 2019.  He has been undertaking an independent assessment of Unst as a launch facility and he is going to present his findings to the Community Council.

11/03/19.4  SIC Roads update

Patrick and Gordon accompanied Neil Hutcheson, SIC Roads, on a tour of the roads in Unst.  They showed Mr Hutcheson all the road issues which the community had raised in the past.  Patrick said that Mr Hutcheson had made a lot of notes and would send up a map showing all the roads the Council are responsible for and all the ones that are unadopted.  And also a list of all the road issues he had seen on the day.

11/03/19.5  Consultation – Ferry and Bus Timetable Alterations

There was a discussion about this.  The ferries on a Saturday and Sunday morning do not all link up, either on the way down or way up to Unst.  Ryan said that there have been suggestions that the ferry maintenance on a Monday might be spread over two days, which would mean a slightly better timetable.  The Clerk has written to Andrew Inkster about the 1350pm from Toft and the 1430pm from Gutcher.  If the run from Gutcher was moved to 1440pm this would mean vehicles would be able to make the ferry.  Ryan said that the Council are also looking at Community Ferries and if they can increase the number available to each area.  There was a discussion about why there isn’t a late ferry available on a Sunday night.  The 2250pm from Gutcher and the 2305pm from Belmont are only available to book 4 nights a week, but not on a Sunday night.

11/03/19.6  SIC - North Isles Fibre

Tommy Coutts, Business Leader- Economic Development and Marvin Smith from the Council are going to attend the meeting in May to speak about this.

11/03/19.7  Northern Isles Digital Forum – 11th April 2019

There was a discussion about this.  The meeting is in the Town hall from 11am to 1pm.  Ryan said that he would be attending so would update the Community Council after the meeting.

11/03/19.8  Police Scotland Engagement – Shaping our Direction and Delivery 2019-22

This was circulated to everyone before the meeting as the online consultation finished on the 18th March 2019.

11/03/19.9  Community Council meeting times

It was agreed unanimously to change meeting times from 7.00pm to 6.30pm.  Ryan said that this time would suit him as well.

11/03/19.10 Scottish Ambulance Service

Caroline said that the Scottish Ambulance Service Board are looking for representatives from the isles to sit on the board.  As a non-executive member of the Board, you will have a role supporting the delivery of the organisation’s strategic direction.  Applications have to be in by the 12th April.  Training will be offered.

12/03/19   Date of next meeting

The next meeting date will be set on Monday 6th May 2019 at 6.30 pm in the Baltasound School.

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