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Unst Community Council


Minutes of the meeting held on Monday 9th September 2019

at 6.30  pm in the Baltasound School, Music Huts



Patrick Fordyce, Chair

David Cooper

John Peterson

Janice Priest

Gordon Thomson


Josie McMillan, Clerk                  

01/09/19     Apologies:

Claire Priest, Vice Chair

Caroline Hunter

Hazel Spence

Julie Thomson

Alec Priest, North Isles Councillor (ex-officio)

Duncan Simpson, North Isles Councillor (ex-officio)

Ryan Thomson, North Isles Councillor (ex-officio)

Frances Browne, Community Involvement and Development Officer

Michael Duncan, Community Council Liaison Officer

PC Angela Manson


02/09/19     Minutes from the Last Meeting

The minutes from the meeting held on Monday 29th July 2019 were proposed by David and seconded by Gordon.

03/09/19     Declaration of Interest

There were no declarations of interest.

04/09/19     Matters Arising from last minutes             

12/06/19.4  SIC – Strategic Transport Projects Review (STPR2)

Summary information from the STPR2 meeting held in June has now been circulated.  

13/01/19.6 White Wife Statue

There was a discussion about vehicles parking at the side of the road when looking at the White Wife Statue.  Gordon explained that there is a parking area down the Watlee road, to the right.  He said that there is an information board to go up explaining about the White Wife.  Another sign could be put up showing where to park.  Gordon will organise this.  Some vehicles travel along this road really fast. 

3/07/19.1  Review of Streetlighting Reduction Policy, Gutter Street and East Road

The Clerk will email and ask what progress has been made with reinstating the streetlights in Gutter Street, Baltasound and East Road, Uyeasound.  There are streetlights at Brakefield Crescent that are not working.  Residents have reported these, but nothing has been done so far. They are concerned about this with the darker nights.

13/07/19.5  Easting Kirkyard

Yvonne Scott, SIC Burial Services Officer replied to our email which asked if the Easting Kirkyard was going to be closed.  She said “Following guidance from the Scottish Government (Burial Ground Memorial Safety) grass cutting has been reduced to help the SIC concentrate on Memorial Safety in all burial grounds.  Health & Safety Regulations regarding vibrating equipment exposure limits, and factors mentioned in previous replies has resulted in grass cutting being prioritised within Shetland’s 69 burial grounds. As Easting has less than approximately 0.7 funerals in a year and the location makes it time-consuming and difficult to access, it has been included along with several other burial grounds throughout Shetland to receive no cuts.” Ms Scott explained that the SIC has tested remaining available ground recently in the Easting Kirkyard for possible coffin interments and it is not reasonably practical to achieve the required depth due to the rocky conditions.  Ashes interments could be accommodated.  Ms Scott said that “the Council is getting in touch with those they have contact details for who have voiced an interest in being interred within the Easting Burial Ground.”  She said that grass would be cut prior to a funeral and maintenance will still be carried out.  There was a discussion about the present state of the yard, which is overgrown.  And what would happen with burial plots which had already been paid for, if there were to be no further burials there.  The Council were contacted, and they said that if someone was to cut the grass this year, they would pay for it as a one-off.  The local grass cutting business was contacted and said that they would do it.  There are War Graves in the yard, and these have to be maintained with payment coming from the War Graves Commission.  It was agreed that Patrick would contact Mr McKenzie, SIC, to discuss the Community Councils concerns and to clarify the situation with the War Graves.

09/09/19.1  Energy Isles

Gordon had attended the last Energy Isles meeting.  He said that since that meeting there had been several objections to the planning application:- Yell Community Council, Scottish Natural Heritage and Ministry of Defence.  The five isles development groups applied to CARES Scotland for a grant to pay for advice as to whether they should take out shares in the business.  UP has heard nothing from CARES Scotland.  Gordon said that there is a Swedish company, Statkraft, interested in buying out Energy Isles.  They would take a large share of the profits, as they would ensure the turbines were built if the project goes ahead.  This should not affect the Community Benefit Fund.  Gordon said that it was very much up in the air.  There would be no further meetings until they know what is happening with planning permission.  There was a query about where the access road to this would be, Gordon said that it would be from Basta Voe.  There has been a planning application turned down at the Cullivoe Industrial Estate because of the state of the Cullivoe Road.

12/07/19.1  Shetland Community Benefit Fund (SCBF)

Gordon said that it had been agreed to go with the reduced offer from Viking Energy, although Community Councils will be paid once construction starts.  This should be in the region of £6,000 a year.   The full amount will first be paid into the SCBF once the turbines are up and running.   The 25 year period would be deferred and first start in 2024, instead of 2020.  Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) is taking over the whole project.  The next meeting is the end of September.

12/07/19.2  Hermaness Project/Road

Gordon said that Scottish National Heritage have got full planning permission for the project at Hermaness. The walkway part of the project has to go ahead outwith the bird breeding season.  The toilet block can be built at any time, within the project funding deadline.  There is still a dispute between SNH and the landowner about the toilets/information boards.  The SIC has said that this dispute will have to be resolved between the two parties.  The Community Council has not been included in any of the updates from Scottish Natural Heritage.  The Clerk will email SNH and ask for an update on the project and ask to be kept updated on developments.

13/05/19.3  Road Matter

The Council has put up the sign at the crossroads at the manse in Baltasound to show directions to the ferry.  They have put up a “passing place” sign on the road up to the Health Centre from Hunter’s Road junction and are working on the “stand-off” place.  Patrick has made a list of road matters that the Community Council has written about.  This will be sent to Neil Hutcheson, SIC, to check progress on any outstanding requests.  There has been no work done on the end of the Clivocast road and several of the road signs we wrote about have not been replaced.  There was also concern raised about the state of the Westing road.  This is on the SIC schedule to be resurfaced in 2020.  It was agreed to write to Neil Hutcheson and ask if there could be emergency repairs done before then.

05/09/19     Unst Partnership (UP) Update. 

Gordon said that the shop has been open for a year now and is still very successful.  UP directors decided to put some of the shop profits back into the community.  £3,000 will be distributed at a participatory budgeting event on Thursday 26th September in the Baltasound Hall.  Groups will have a table displaying their information and will pitch for up to £500.  Funding to groups will be decided by a voting system.  The UP AGM is on Wednesday 11th September 2019.  The next skip day is Saturday 14th September.

06/09/19     Community Involvement Update

Frances sent her apologies.  She emailed to say that the meeting with Greg Maitland, Harbour Master and Port Operations, to discuss the pontoon for Baltasound Pier has been organised for Thursday 12th September.  There will be a short preliminary meeting on Tuesday 10th September to discuss issues before meeting with the harbour master.  Frances said that there isn’t much more to report on the cruise ship project, at present.

07/09/19     Application for Donation

07/09/19.1  Unst Youth Centre

There was an application from the Unst Youth Centre for funding for a Community fireworks display.  It was agreed to give a donation of £300.  And ask the Youth Centre committee to notify animal owners in the vicinity about the fireworks display.

08/09/19     Application for Community Ferry

08/09/19.1  C Jamieson July 2020

The Community Council is allocated four community ferry hires for each financial year.  We find out in March if the allocation is the same.  These are then allocated to community events first.  This next year there are several big events in Unst so it is very unlikely that there will be any ferries available for other events.

09/09/19     Application for planning

Planning Ref: 2019/241/PPF

Proposal: To construct dwelling house with ASHP

Address: Plot 1, Uyeasound, Unst, Shetland

Applicant: Mr Jordan & Lisa Johnson

Date of Consultation: 23 August 2019

There were no objections.

Planning Ref:


Proposed Development:

To modify an existing salmon farm by changing the cage top net support system from central floating supports to circumference-mounted fibreglass poles [part-retrospective (Northern cage group) and part-proposed (Southern cage group)]


West Of Balta Isle, Balta Sound, Unst


Mr Ben Johnson, Cooke Aquaculture Scotland

Planning Officer:

Mr John Rosie

There were no objections.

10/09/19     Community Council Finances

A spreadsheet showing income and expenditure was discussed.  The Community Development funding has all been allocated. 

11/09/19     Scottish Community Development Centre – Strengthening Community Councils

This item was carried forward from last meeting to give Councillors a chance to read the papers.  It is on the agenda for the Association of Community Council (ASCC) meeting to be held next week in Lerwick.  There is an emphasis on increasing Community Council powers, with more resources.  Patrick and David are attending the ASCC meeting in Lerwick so will update the Community Council about this at the next meeting.

12/09/19     A.O.C.B.

12/09/19.1  ASCC Meeting - 17th September 2019

Patrick and David are going to attend this meeting.

12/09/19.2  Community Council Training

The Clerk is going to the Clerk’s meeting on Saturday 14th September 2019.  Patrick and Claire are going to the Planning Workshop on Saturday 28th September 2019.

12/09/19.3  Police Report

PC Angela Manson emailed her apologies.  She said that there had been only 1 crime committed in Unst for August which was the vandalism to the petrol pump, 4 calls to Millburn park which were all related and a couple of assist member of the public calls which were all dealt with over the phone.

12/09/19.4  Tingwall Agricultural Museum and Heritage Centre

There was a request from the Tingwall Agricultural Museum and Heritage Centre committee for a letter of support for their project to establish a dedicated Agricultural Museum.  They need to show that there is support for the project before they can secure funding.  It was agreed to support their project.

12/09/19.5  Shetland Space Centre

It was agreed to email Frank Strang and ask for an update on the Space Centre.

13/09/19     Date of next meeting

The next meeting date will be set on Monday 21st October 2019 at 6.30 pm in the Baltasound School.

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