Unst Community Council   Unst Community Council
Unst Community Council

Minutes of the meeting held on Monday 5th September 2016 at 7 pm in the Baltasound School, Music Huts



Gordon Thomson

Minnie Mouatt

John Peterson

Claire Priest

Janice Priest

Raymond Priest

Hazel Spence

Julie Thomson


Frances Browne, Community Learning and Development Officer

Gary Cleaver, North Isles Councillor (ex-officio)

Robert Henderson, North Isles Councillor (ex-officio)

Josie McMillan, Clerk    

01/09/16    Apologies:

Pat Burns

Steven Coutts, North Isles Councillor (ex-officio)

02/09/16    Minutes

The minutes of the meeting held on Thursday 28th July 2016 were approved, proposed by Janice, seconded by Julie.

03/09/16    Matters Arising from last minutes

08/10/15.4  Musical Boat, Sign and Bus at Belmont

There has been no progress on any of these.  Lesley Gray, Unst Youth Group, is still looking at various funding options for replacing the sign. The bus still has planning permission to be sited at Belmont.  The owner would like to move it to the Shetland mainland.  Members would like to see something done about it before the condition of it deteriorates any further.

07/04/16.9  Shetland Amenity Trust - Tourist Sign at Easting, Core Paths - Easting and Skeotaing

Mr Serginson will look into getting agreements from landowners at Skeotaing with a view to the SIC ‘adopting’ the route and doing the necessary works. He explained that this could take some time even if agreements are forth coming. Mr Serginson explained that there may not be a budget available to do the identified works until next financial year.  The tourist sign at the Easting has been put back up, but one “arm” is still loose.  

07/04/16.10  Skidbladner and Longhouse

Dr Val Turner, Shetland Archaeologist, replied to our email and said that the Amenity Trust hopes to be able to do some more work on the longhouse in the next 12 months.  She explained that they will endeavour to do something about the issues of the “no parking signs” and providing rubbish bins on the site. Dr Turner explains that decisions about signage along the road rests with the SIC, but the Amenity Trust will try and work with them on this.  John Mackenzie phoned Gordon to say that the Amenity Trust is planning to line the inside of the longhouse quite soon.

08/07/16.1  Roads

It was agreed to email Brian Wood, SIC Roads, about the road below Gardie in Haroldswick where a piece of the verge has fallen away and there is now a crack appearing in the road. The road into Baliasta is in need of repair and the state of the side of the road in the Setters Road in Haroldswick is deteriorating.

08/07/16.4  Belmont Terminal

The Clerk will contact Craig Robertson, Ferries, about the lack of clear number markings at the Belmont ferry terminal.

08/07/16.5  Community Ferry Hire – Unst Show

The Community ferry hire for the Unst Show was well used, although members of the Show Committee believe that the quantity of people visiting the Show is restricted by the capacity of the two small ferries on Bluemull Sound.  Some exhibitors and visitors had to come into Unst the night before as they couldn’t get ferry booking to get in on time.  The Yell Sound ferry, which is a single vessel on a Saturday, was also completely booked up that day.  There were queues of vehicles there most of the morning. Robert was asked if there was any reason why Yell Sound ferry users have an option of booking a ferry every night at 2255 from Toft, while Bluemull Sound users can only catch the 2250 from Gutcher for 4 nights in any one week (Mondays to Saturdays).  Whalsay and Bressay also have the options of booking late ferries seven nights a week.  Robert said that this was something which should be raised at the Shetland Inter Island Transport Public Engagement Meeting tomorrow night. The Bigga is back in service next week. The Fivla is needing new engines, which will cost in the region of a million pounds.  There was a discussion about fixed links and ferry costs.  The ferry service will still have to be maintained even if there was a decision to build fixed links now.  It would take years before fixed links were operational.

08/07/16.1 Lund Kirkyard

The fence has been put up and this is keeping the sheep out of the yard.  There has been a lot of caravans, caravanettes and vehicles using the road down to the kirkyard.  The road hasn’t been repaired yet.

08/07/16.6 Potential Social and Economic Impact Assessment – ferry charges and timetable  

Gordon will contact Robert Thomson, Fetlar Development Group to discuss this further.

08/07/16.8 North Isles Dentist

The dentist employed by NHS Shetland for the Yell post is off sick.  There was another discussion about the cost and inconvenience of going to the dentist in Brae. People phoning for dental appointments are being offered Brae and when they have asked to go to Lerwick this has only been approved after speaking to the head dental nurse.  For any major dental treatment, attending can cost close to £100 in ferry fares, travel cost and days of work.  Members would like to see the Yell Dental Service covered at least for one day a week while the dentist is off.  This could be used for emergency treatment and for people who can’t get to Brae.   It was agreed to write to Brian Chittick, NHS Shetland Dental Director about this and copy Simon Bokor-Ingram, Director of Community Health and Social Care.  Frances said that it might be useful looking at a community transport scheme if the problems of getting to the dentist continues.

08/07/16.9 North Isles Digital Forum Meeting

There was a meeting of this group on Saturday 20th August in Skeld.  It was attended by Alastair Carmichael and Tavish Scott. No-one from Unst CC could attend but the campaign continues.

04/09/16    Unst Partnership (UP) Update

Gordon explained that there are still two workers employed by the Partnership until the end of December when their contracts run out.  An application to Coastal Communities Fund missed the deadline date so wasn’t considered.  Kellie and Selina have been busy organising FestiYell which is on over this weekend.   The Skip Service is still proving very popular with the next Skip day being the 24th September 2016.  Gordon explained that there is nothing happening at present with the North Isles Broadband Project.  After FestiYell the workers will concentrate on looking for different funding streams.

05/09/16    Application for Donations

Heyddir Johnson, on behalf of Nordalea Club, has applied for a grant towards the costs of publishing a booklet showing all the Adult Community Groups and Clubs on Unst.  The Community Council agreed to give a donation of £195.39.

06/09/16    Application for Unadopted Road

Peter Peterson applied for a grant towards limited repair of the 120 metre Baila road. It was agreed to give a grant of £120.  Grants are paid on receipt of paid invoices.

07/09/16    Community Council Finances

Up to date accounts were discussed.  The Community Council has spent three quarters of its budget, which is on target for this financial year.               

08/09/16    A.O.C.B.

08/09/16.1  Shetland Inter Island Transport Study – Public Engagement Meeting

This drop-in meeting is on Tuesday night at the Baltasound Hall from 4pm to 8pm.   The Community Council is encouraging people to go.  Members agreed that when the Council hold Public meetings about ferries these must be held in each island, not just in Yell, as the Council originally advertised for this round of meetings.

08/09/16.2  Ferries for Unst Sheep Sales

The Ferries Service will run the summer timetable for an extra week to cover the transport of sheep after the sales.

08/09/16.3  Scottish and Southern Electricity Cable

Gordon wrote to the head of Scottish and Southern Electricity to ask if they would consider incorporating Broadband telecommunications fibre into the subsea power cabling to Unst and Yell when they replace these cables.  Tavish Scott is also pushing for this as well. If SSE are keen on “Smart Metering” where householders can see exactly what electricity is being used and when, better Broadband would help to achieve this.

08/09/16.4  Community Council Insurance

The Community Council is insured, along with all the other Shetland Community Councils, with Zurich Insurance Services.  In order to get insurance this year each Community Council has to complete a Risk Assessment for each venue used.  The Clerk is working on this.

08/09.16.5 Scottish and Southern Electricity – Linesman Job

This job is being offered as a zero hours contract.  Members are worried that this will deter people from applying for the job.  It was agreed to contact SSE to ask if they could attend the next meeting to explain what will happen when the existing linesman retires and the new person starts on the changed contract.

08/09/16.6  ASCC Resilience Exercise

The Shetland Emergency Planning Forum has forwarded a list of Workshop dates for training in how to deal with major emergencies.  Two of these Workshop days cover evacuation from a Cruise Liner Incident, code named “North Explorer 1 and 2”.   These workshops are being held in Clickimin on the 28th and 29th September.  The Community Council can put people forward to attend these days, if anyone from the community wanted to attend.

08/09/16.7  Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015

There was a discussion about the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015.  Frances explained that this is a very significant piece of legislation.  She will forward more information to the Clerk for circulation.  Gary said that it is important that Community Councillors have a good understanding of what it involves.  Frances said that this is maybe something that the Community Council could ask for training in.  June Porter, Community Development, is going to circulate a questionnaire asking what Community Councillors and Clerks would need/like training in.


The next meeting will be held on Monday 3rd October 2016 at 7.00 pm in the Baltasound School

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