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Unst Community Council

Minutes of the meeting held on Monday 3rd November 2014 at 7.00 pm at the Baltasound School, Music Huts


Laurence Robertson, Gordon Thomson, Minnie Mouatt, John Peterson,Janice Priest, Raymond Priest, Joan Ritch, Andy Spence

Gary Cleaver, North Isles Councillor (ex-officio)


Claire Priest, Hazel Spence and Julie Thomson

Frances Browne, Community Development Officer,  Josie McMillan, Clerk

01/11/14       Apologies:

Pat Burns, Steven Coutts, North Isles Councillor (ex-officio), Robert Henderson, North Isles Councillor (ex-officio)

Laurence welcomed everybody to the meeting.  This is the last meeting for the three Community Councillors who didn’t stand for re-election, Joan Ritch, Andy Spence and Laurence Robertson.  Joan has served as a Community Councillors for over 30 years.  Laurence welcome the three new Councillors who will start their term on 20th November, Claire Priest, Hazel Spence and Julie Thomson.

02/11/14       Minutes

The minutes of the meeting held on 22nd September 2014 were approved. 

03/11/14       Matters Arising from last minutes

09/05/9.7  Baltasound Pier pontoon

There has been no further progress on this.

10/09/13.1  Roads

Brian Wood, SIC Roads, has been in Unst and met with two of the Uyeasound councillors to look at what can be done about the flooding in that area.  They discussed several options, including widening the burn down past the hatchery.    The tractor flail cutter has been in Unst and has cut all the road verges that were causing concern.  The Westing brig is out to tender.  The Clerk will check with Brian Wood, SIC Roads, to see what progress has been made on this and when the work on the road in Haroldswick will be repaired.

09/09/14.3  Halligarth Report

There was a meeting about Halligarth with the National Trust for Scotland (NTS) on Thursday 25th September, Minnie attended this.  She said that the NTS are looking to involve the community in the project.  They met with the Amenity Trust and the Council about funding options.  The project will cost more than a million pounds.

09/09/14.5  Scottish Water

Scottish Water has now repaired the pipes in Uyeasound.

04/11/14       Unst Partnership (UP) Update

Gordon explained that the last skips, provided with project funding from the Community Development Fund, were in on Saturday and had been well used.  UP are looking at different options for providing other skip/skips in the future.  Skips cost approximately £500 to hire.  The six skips that UP have had through this project, are less than 10% of the provision that was funded through the Community Council in the past.  UP has applied for funding from Coastal Communities for a Tourism Officer.  If this application is successful UP will employ someone for this post for two years.  The broadband project is still being worked on. Robert Thomson, Fetlar Development Officer and Verona Shaw, UP, are meeting with Alistair Carmichael and Tavish Scott next week to discuss this.

05/11/14       Education Review Update

Gordon explained that the consultation has started on Whalsay and Mid Yell School’s Secondary Departments.  These consultations have been extended.  The consultation document is online.  Anyone can put in a submission as a resident of Shetland.  There was a public meeting about the Yell school in early October which was attended by over 20 people from Unst.  The vote on the Urafirth and North Roe primary schools is later this week.  Members discussed the action taken by Moray Council which has imposed a moratorium on school closures for the next five years.  There is concern that when teachers leave Baltasound School the jobs are advertised with reduced hours, and usually involve travelling between Unst and Yell. 

06/11/14       SIC Ferries Update

06/11/14.1  Festive Timetable Consultation

This has been circulated for comments.

The Ferries Department is organising a meeting in Unst to discuss the fare structure report.  This has provisionally been set for the 20th November.  The Bigga is having new engines put in, the gearboxes have been shipped to Norway to be reconditioned, so the Bigga will probably not be back in service until next year.  The Council has put the Thora up for sale.  They are proposing to use the Geira or the Bigga as the stand-in vessel if any of the other ferries break down.  This will leave Bluemull Sound with only one ferry and running to the Saturday timetable.  The Council spent £250,000 on Thora recently; some of this was to remove the asbestos lining.    

10/08/14.6  Ambulance Provision in Unst

There are now six volunteers on the ambulance rota.    The ambulance is still based at the garage but it is believed to be moving to the Care Centre shortly.  It is planned that eventually it will be based in the Fire Station at Hagdale, but this is still to be confirmed.  Some other volunteers are still waiting for training or paperwork to be finalised.

07/11/14       Application for Donation

There were no applications for donation.

08/11/14       Community Council Finances

There has been no expenditure this month.

09/11/14       A.O.C.B.

09/11/14.1  Vodafone rural mobile signal improvement scheme

Gordon has applied for this for five areas around Baltasound. The booster only covers a short distance of 500m.  Other areas in Unst do not have a good enough broadband speed to benefit from this scheme. Only 100 bids from the UK will be funded so a successful result is unlikely.

09/11/14.2  Local landscape Areas

There was a discussion about Local Landscape Areas.  Angus Ward, from Energy Isles, had contacted Gordon as they had become aware that Colvadale and Muness were going to be classed as local landscape areas.  It is in one of these areas that the proposed wind farm will be built.  Local landscape areas are classed as sites of natural beauty.  The key characteristics which make the Colvadale and Muness area special are

  • Deserted settlement and relict patterns of croft boundaries and empty buildings;
  • Backed by the bare, gravelly moors derived from the underlying serpentinite geology;
  • An empty landscape, no longer settled but with extensive time depth.

More information can be found at

http://www.shetland.gov.uk/planning/LocalDevelopmentPlan.asp.  It was agreed that the clerk would email the Development Department and lodge the Community Council’s objections to this if it is going to hinder development in the area.  Gary will also object to these plans at the Council’s Development Department meeting.

09/11/14.3  Rotary Club Shetland

The Rotary Club is offering each Community Council £100 to put towards the costs of senior citizens Christmas parties.  The Clerk will write requesting these monies.

09/11.14.4  Scottish and Southern Electricity - Shetland Consultation

There is a drop in meeting about this in the Mid Yell Leisure Centre on Wednesday 19th November 2014, from 3 – 7.30 pm.  The consultation aims to explore the options that already exist in Shetland and allow customers to shape the process before it begins.

09/11/14.5 Hjaltland Housing Report 2013 – 2014

This was noted.

09/11/14.6  Lund Road

The Clerk is to write to the Council about the poor state of the road down to the Lund Kirkyard. 

09/11.14.7  Daisy Park Streetlights

There are several of the streetlights out in Daisy Park near the sheltered houses.  Gary will chase this up with the Council.


The next meeting will be held on Thursday 27th November 2014 at 6.15pm in the Baltasound School

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