Unst Community Council   Unst Community Council
Unst Community Council

Minutes of the meeting held on Monday 6th May 2019

at 6.30 pm in the Baltasound School, Music Huts



Patrick Fordyce, Chair

Claire Priest, Vice Chair

David Cooper

Caroline Hunter

John Peterson

Hazel Spence

Gordon Thomson


Frances Browne, Community Learning and Development Officer

Josie McMillan, Clerk                 

01/05/19   Apologies:

Janice Priest

Julie Thomson

PC Simon Findlay

Alec Priest, North Isles Councillor (ex-officio)

Duncan Simpson, North Isles Councillor (ex-officio)

Ryan Thomson, North Isles Councillor (ex-officio)

Michael Duncan, Community Council Liaison Officer

02/05/19   North Isles Fibre, Tommy Coutts and Marvin Smith, SIC Economic Development Service

This has been postponed until the next meeting, 17th June, because of the ferry breakdown on Yell Sound. 

03/05/19   Minutes from the Last Meeting

The minutes from the meeting held on Monday 25th March 2019 were proposed by Caroline and seconded by Hazel.

04/05/19   Declaration of Interest

There were no declarations of interest.

05/05/19   Matters Arising from last minutes        

13/01/19.6 White Wife Statue

Gordon explained that the application for the statue has been submitted.  It will be on the Watlee side of the road, near the turn off down to the loch.  It will sit well back from the road; it will be between 5 and 6 foot tall and will face to the east.  There should be plenty space for parking if tourists want to stop to look at it.

11/03/19.4  SIC Roads update

Neil Hutcheson, SIC Roads, emailed a list of proposed work to be done and also a copy of the SIC roads on Unst.  The road at Upper Sotland is to have a cross drain cleared or replaced, ditching and the patching of defects.  In the medium term this road will be surface dressed when the squad is next in Unst.  The bend at Littlehamar where the surface is cracked and failed will need an inlaid patch, perhaps with machine laid asphalt.  Alma/Westbreck to be resurfaced but the Westing road has priority at the moment.  The Westing roads to be resurfaced in the summers of 2020 and 2022. Probably the Westing road itself and Westing junction to Underhoull first, followed by Underhoull to the A968.   Gardie, Uyeasound is to be patched.  The Westside Road, Uyeasound is badly out of shape so is to be excavated and reconstructed, again probably with machine laid asphalt.

06/05/19   Unst Partnership (UP) Update. 

Gordon explained that the shop is still doing really well.  The development worker is employed until September.  UP directors are looking at different options for the future, but Gordon says that the shop will carry on operating although it involves a lot of work and voluntary hours. The Unst Tourism Map for 2019 has been printed and distributed.  Gordon explained that Chas Hollis is no longer going to work with the Walkers are Welcome website or the Unst Cycle Hire business.  There was a discussion about what could be done with the bikes, several possibilities were discussed but there needs to be someone available to hire the bikes out as well as make repairs to them.  Mr Hollis has suggested putting the bikes, 5 gents and 5 ladies, to the Shetland Community Bike Project in Lerwick if there is no one willing to take on the business on Unst.  Gordon is going to work with the Walkers are Welcome website.  Gordon also explained that the five Development Groups in the North Isles (Unst Partnership, North Yell Development Council, Mid Yell Development Company, Burravoe and District Development Group and Fetlar Development Trust) are to seek an Enablement Grant from the Scottish Government's Community and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES) to investigate whether they should get involved in buying Community Shares in the Energy Isles North Yell Wind project.  They have asked the three North Isles Community Councils for a letter of support to go with their application. This was discussed, he explained that the letter does not commit the Community Council to approve the Wind Project, it is simply to get Legal and Financial advice on whether the 5 Community Development groups should proceed with such an investment. It was agreed to write a letter of support.

07/05/19   Community Involvement Update

Frances explained that as a follow up to meetings between tourism businesses and Linda Coutts, SIC Economic Development Department and Steve Mathieson, VisitScotland, in December last year they are planning another meeting after this tourist season is finished.  They discussed looking at encouraging more small cruise ship visits and tourist businesses organising bespoke tours, e.g. spinning and knitting. There was a discussion about the need for a pontoon at the pier in Baltasound for visiting yachts as well as cruise ships.  Frances is also working with the Uyeasound hall investigating an extension.  She said about a meeting that has been organised with the Heritage Centre, by Roxanne Permar, Centre for Rural Creativity at Shetland College, and Susan Timmins, an artist she is working in collaboration with.  They have been in discussions with Minnie Mouatt, Frances Browne and Melanie Mouat. And are looking at developing a project that looks at the Cold War period in Unst, and the impact of the RAF on the community.

08/05/19   Application for Donation

There were no applications.

09/05/19   Application for Unadopted Roads

There were four applications for unadopted road grants.  Linda Thomson for Prestegaard, Uyeasound which is on the SIC list as 75 metres.  She was awarded a grant of £150.  Robert Thomson applied for The Creek, Haroldswick. This road measures 435 metres and was awarded a grant of £220.  John Thomson applied for Buddigarth, Haroldswick, 203 metres, and Gardie, Baliasta, 117 metres.  These were awarded £203 and £117 respectively.  All grants are paid once a receipt for material has been received by the Clerk.

10/05/19   Application for planning

Planning Ref: 2019/090/PPF

Proposal: To construct an interpretation shelter and toilets at NNR entrance and expand car parking

Address: Hermaness, Unst, Shetland

Applicant: Mr Juan Brown

Date of Consultation: 15 April 2019

There was a lot of discussion about this planning application. The Community Council has written to SIC Roads over the years about the single track road into Burrafirth and down to the Shorestation and the lack of passing places.  There has been an objection put in by a resident at the shorestation who states that this road “already exceeds capacity in the summer months, causing problems to both residents and crofters.” They say that bumper to bumper confrontations between tourists is a regular occurrence and that the brig into Burrafirth is showing cracks and the road significant subsidence.   Community Councillors discussed how best to put these points again to Neil Hutcheson, SIC Roads and Juan Brown, Scottish Natural Heritage.  Mr Brown has been in Unst several times but has not contacted the Community Council to discuss their planning applications.  Mr Hutcheson said when he was in Unst that the last part of the road up to the carpark had not been adopted by the Council, although the grazing’s committee believed that it had been.  There were several suggestions discussed and it was decided that the first step would be for Patrick to contact Neil Hutcheson and outline all the concerns raised by members.

11/05/19   Application for Community Ferry Hires

11/05/19.1  Shetland Accordion & Fiddle Festival 12/10/19 - Belmont 0115 and Ulsta 0200

It was agreed to approve this request for a community ferry hire after their planned concert in Uyeasound.

11/05/19.2  UnstFest 14/07/19 - Belmont 0130

It was agreed to approve this request for a community hire after the Rhythmnreel event.

The Clerk will book these ferries with SIC Ferries Department.

12/05/19   Community Council Finances

12/05/19.1  Community Development Fund (CDF) Application  

The Community Council’s application for the CDF funding was approved by the Council.  The Clerk has sent out Da Voar Redd Up letters to groups that are registered with the Community Council.

13/05/19   A.O.C.B.

13/05/19.1  SIC Local Government Boundary Commission for Scotland – Review of Boundaries for Shetland Islands Areas

Members were in favour of having two councillors covering Unst, Yell and Fetlar.

13/05/19.2  SIC Review of Streetlighting Reduction Policy, Gutter Street and East Road, Uyeasound

Community Councillors have had several complaints about these streetlights being removed so are going to request that they are reinstated.  Ryan will follow this up on behalf of the Community Council.

13/05/19.3  Road Matter

The sign pointing to the ferry, at the Shirva junction has been damaged.  The “reduce speed now” sign between the garage and the bus shelter has been turned around so wording isn’t visible to motorists. One of the signs at Nordalea has been damaged.  The Clerk will write to Roads Department about this.

13/05/19.4  Viking Energy Community Energy Benefit meeting 22nd May 2019

There is a meeting of this group on Wednesday 22nd May at Market House, Lerwick at 6pm.  Gordon will attend on behalf of the Community Council. 

13/05/19.5  Litter Bin at the Bus Shelter

There has been a request to have a litter bin put at the Bus shelter.  The Clerk will contact the Council about this.

14/05/19   Date of next meeting

The next meeting date will be set on Monday 17th June 2019 at 6.30 pm in the Baltasound School.

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