Unst Community Council   Unst Community Council
Unst Community Council

Minutes of the meeting held on Thursday 27th November 2014 at 6.15 pm at the Baltasound School, Music Huts


Gordon Thomson, Chairperson, Pat Burns, Minnie Mouatt, John Peterson, Claire Priest, Janice Priest, Hazel Spence, Julie Thomson

Gary Cleaver, North Isles Councillor (ex-officio)


Michael Craigie, Executive Manager Transport Planning and Lead Officer ZetTrans

Michael Stout, Chair, SIC Environment and Transport Committee

Tom Matthew, Reference Economic Consultants (REC)

Leonard Spence, Ferry Users Group

Josie McMillan, Clerk

01/11/14    Apologies:

Raymond Priest, Steven Coutts, North Isles Councillor (ex-officio), Robert Henderson, North Isles Councillor (ex-officio)

02/11/14    Welcome Councillors

The Clerk welcomed everybody to the first meeting of the new Community Council. 

03/11/14    Elect Chairperson

The Clerk asked for nominations for the role of chairperson.  Pat nominated Gordon, Janice seconded the nomination.  After a discussion Gordon agreed to be Chairperson.           

04/11/14    Elect Vice Chairperson

There was a discussion about the role of vice chairperson.  As there were no nominations accepted it was agreed to appoint this role at the next meeting when, hopefully, all councillors would be present.

05/11/14    Minutes

The minutes of the meeting held on 3rd November 2014 were approved. 

06/11/14    Matters Arising from last minutes

09/05/9.7  Baltasound Pier pontoon

After a lot of discussion it was decided to ask the Unst Boating Club to organise a meeting with all the interested parties to discuss options for getting another pontoon.  The Uyeasound Waterfront Group applied for funding and has now put in a new pontoon in Uyeasound.  Various funding sources were applied to, Lottery, Crown Estate and Cooke Aquaculture Shetland.  It was agreed to wait until the Boating Club has discussed this.

10/09/13.1  Roads

Brian Wood, SIC Roads, has emailed to say that the work on the road at Haroldswick will be done shortly.

09/11/14.2  Local landscape Areas

There was a discussion about Local Landscape Areas.  Austin Taylor, SIC Team Leader for Development Plans & Heritage, emailed to advise the Community Council about the Council’s current consultation on Supplementary Guidance to the Local Landscape Areas which runs from Friday 21st November 2014 until 5 pm on Friday 30th January 2015. He explains that in order to identify potential local landscape areas, the Council undertook a review of previous local designations, the details of which can be found at:

http://www.shetland.gov.uk/planning/documents/ShetlandLLDRFinalReport.pdf.  This can also be viewed at the Council’s website at www.shetland.gov.uk/ldp.  The Community Council is going to put in an objection on the grounds that it might hinder or prevent future development in these areas. 

09/11/14.3  Rotary Club Shetland

The Rotary Club has given the Community Council £100 to put towards the costs of a senior Citizen Christmas party which is going to be held in the Baltasound Hall.  This money has now been paid to the Baltasound Hall.

09/11.14.4  Scottish and Southern Electricity - Shetland Consultation

This consultation aims to explore the options that already exist in Shetland and allow customers to shape the process before it begins. There is a short consultation document which can be filled in online at www.ssepd.co.uk/ShetlandEnergy

09/11/14.6  Lund Road

The Clerk wrote to William Spence, SIC, about the poor state of the road down to the Lund Kirkyard.  He replied that the holes were filled in this year. He believes that the problem is that the road is used frequently by farm machinery moving bales so he believes that it is not their responsibility to repair the road. 

09/11.14.7  Daisy Park Streetlights

The streetlights in Daisy Park have now been repaired.  Gary explained that the biggest cost of street lighting is not the electricity but the maintenance and repair.  Members have in the past suggested that the street lights be switched off between mid-May and July, when they are not needed. 

10/08/14.6  Ambulance Provision in Unst

The ambulance is still based at the garage but the ambulance service is negotiating with the Fire Service to have it based in the Fire station.

08/11/14    Unst Partnership (UP) Update

Verona, Local Development Officer, is now on maternity leave until the end of June 2015.  The post to cover Verona’s maternity leave has been advertised.   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.  UP has also applied to Scottish Seafarms “Heart of the Community” fund for a continuation of the skip project.  If this funding is awarded it will provide two skips every second month.  UP is putting out a circular asking the community if they would be willing to pay a one-off cost towards the costs of providing skips.  Members discussed the need for a recycling centre.  Unst Partnership’s board of directors has a vacancy for a director from the Community Councillor.  Hazel has agreed to be a director of UP.

07/11/14    Ferry Fares Review – Michael Craigie

Michael Craigie, Michael Stout and Tom Matthew arrived at the meeting.

Michael Craigie explained that they were attending the meeting to explain the progress made on the ferry fares review.  He explained that the budget figure for ferry fares is £1.9 million and what has been collected is £1.793 million.  This amounts to a £107,000 shortfall which has to be recovered.  Mr Craigie said that they are looking how to fill this gap without raising fares.  Mr Craigie said that at early fares review meetings a suggestion was to increase the cost for tourists. Increasing these costs would also affect the rest of the Shetland visitors who come to Unst for various reasons. Fare increases in the past have not increased the income proportionally, it has meant that more people are leaving vehicles at the terminals and walking on the ferry or not travelling at all.

Mr Craigie asked how many people were affected by “Travel Poverty” where they couldn’t afford to travel.  Members said that there were certainly people that fell into this category and others who would travel if the fares were cheaper.  Mr Craigie asked who would travel at these times. Members explained how the travel between the North Isles for leisure and some work purposes had nearly stopped when the fares were reintroduced on Bluemull Sound.  This was affecting businesses as well as social events.  People have no other option if they need to attend the dentist in Yell or Brae or the opticians in Lerwick they have to use the ferries.  Members believe that if the fares were cheaper, more people would travel so income would be more not less.  If the Council introduced cheaper times to travel, at off peak times, this would encourage people travel when the ferries are usually quieter. 

Mr Matthew, REC, gave a short presentation showing the results of the surveys which had been carried out on the ferries in May (Bluemull and Yell Sound) and July (just Yell Sound).  He presented three different scenarios showing how changes to costs and numbers had knock on effects to other users. He explained that the graphs showed limited ability for reducing fares for North Isles residents. There was a discussion about various options of how to identify North Isles residents if there were fare reductions introduced. If a cheaper fare for Bluemull Sound was introduced, the £4 plus which had been put forward, the cost of covering this would have to be added to other fares.  Members asked if it was possible to introduce a system similar to Northlink’s islander discount.  Mr Craigie explained that due to the Data protection Act Northlink would be unable to share information on their system worked.

The multi journey tickets are being withdrawn in April.  Audit Scotland believes that this system could be open to fraud/abuse.  Mr Stout said there was no evidence of that but for auditing purposes it had to be changed.  Members asked what had happened to the idea of using a Smart Card which had been discussed at earlier meetings.  Mr Stout said that there would be no Smart cards just yet.  There was a discussion about the cost of buying the multi journey tickets.  Many people can’t afford buying ten tickets at one time.  Mr Stout said that the new system would have prices equivalent to the cost of multi journey tickets and so you could buy a lesser number. 

Mr Craigie said that they would send up their notes on the main points from the meeting and a copy of the presentation.  Because the session at this meeting was shorter than originally planned they are also willing to come up again in December if required.

Messrs. Craigie, Stout and Matthew left the meeting at 8.30 pm.

09/11/14    Education Review Update

Gordon explained that although the consultations on school closures had been deferred, the ongoing consultation on Whalsay and Mid Yell School’s Secondary Departments would carry on.  There is an Education Forum planned for January 2015.  Gary explained that things are finely balanced in the Council at the moment. A lot of councillors believe in the current education system so are against closures.  Gary was asked what would happen to the staff who had been involved in the Blueprint for Education.  He explained that they had mostly been seconded so they would be returning to their normal employment.  Members felt that a lot of money had been wasted in all the consultations that had been done. 

10/11/14    Application for Donation

Christmas Tree party donations

It was agreed to give donations of £6 per bairn for the Christmas Parties.  A donation of £342 for Baltasound SWRI Christmas party was approved.

Shetland Moving Image Archive

It was agreed to give a donation of £100 to this group subject to acceptable completion of grant application form.  The Clerk is to write and ask if copies of the material from the Unst Partnership could be copied to the Heritage Centre.

11/11/14    Application for Planning          

Planning Ref: 2014/347/PPF

Proposal: Installation of a 6kW wind turbine on a 15m tower and excavation of associated trench for electricity cable

Address: Upper Millfield, Norwick, Unst

Applicant: Mr Charlie Clark

Date of Consultation: 24 November 2014

There were no objections.

12/11/14    Community Council Finances

An up to date budget was tabled and discussed.

13/11/14    A.O.C.B.

13/11/14.1  Police Report

The October Policing report from Chief Inspector E Graham, Shetland Area Commander was discussed.  PC Ian Brown will be covering the North Isles for the forthcoming period.  He will be the single point of contact.  His contact details are Ian.brown@scotland.pnn.police.uk

13/11/14.2  Shetland Local Development Plan – Onshore Wind Energy Consultation

The Council has identified areas where wind farms will not be acceptable.  In Unst these are Hermaness which is a National Scenic Area and the areas where there are Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

13/11/14.3  Shetland Local Development Plan – Local Nature Conservation Sites

The Council has identified areas which are Local Nature Conservation Sites.  These are described in the supplementary guidelines in the Shetland Local Development Plan.

13/11/14.4  Facebook

Members are going to look at other sites and decide if Unst Community Council should have a Facebook page.

13/11/14.5  Derek Mackay Scottish Government’s Islands Minister

It was agreed to invite Mr Mackay to a meeting with the Community Council.

13/11/14.6  Brucehall Extra Care Community Garden – Shetland Environmental Awards

The Community Council would like to congratulate everyone at Brucehall Extra Care in Uyeasound for winning an award for their community garden in the annual Shetland Environmental Awards. 

13/11/14.7  Unst Heritage Trust – End of Season Report

This was noted

The next meeting will be held on Monday 19th January 2015 at 7.00 pm in the Baltasound School

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