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Yell Community Council

Minutes of Meeting of Yell Community Council

Monday 16th July 2018 at 7.00pm in the Westsandwick Hall


Present:                Mr L Odie (Chairman), Mrs A Jamieson (Vice-Chair), Mr R Jamieson, Mr S Henderson, Mr J Nicholson, Mr A Priest & Mr G Hughson.

In Attendance:    Mrs J Lyth (Clerk)


Visitors:                Mr John Smith (Director of Infrastructure – SIC), Mr Michael Craigie (Executive Manager, Transport Planning – SIC), Mr Ian Pearson (Marine Superintendent for Ferry Operations) & Mr Peter Fraser (Route Master for Yell Sound).

Mr Odie welcomed everyone to the meeting.

07/18/3 VISITORS – Mr John Smith – Director of Infrastructure, SIC

Mr Smith came to our meeting as he is relatively new to his position and wanted to understand all the issues that Yell folk as a community experience. There are also a number of issues on our minutes that keep coming up time and again and other issues that take a very long time to resolve.

FIXED LINKS: Cllr Ryan Thomson has sent a letter to the new transport minister asking for the latest news on where we are at in relation to fixed links. Work is being done on Island Connectivity within the Islands (Scotland) Bill and SIC are talking to Transport Scotland and helping to gather evidence.


If fixed links were to go ahead it would still take a very long time. Some studies are being carried out but many more would be needed. The boats on Yell Sound are the newest of the Shetland fleet yet these are already becoming problematic.  If the Scottish Government takes on the full responsibility of the inter-island ferries they should then see the term benefit of fixed links. They would need to look at the whole picture including the long term economic benefit to Shetland and to Scotland.

BAD WEATHER AND OTHER STOPPAGES: it was noted that there are most stoppages recently, these are due to bad weather, crewing issues and mechanical breakdowns. Members acknowledged that a skipper must feel confident to crew the ferry in bad weather and that safety is paramount but also queried if the newer skippers could travel with more experienced skippers during bad weather to build their confidence. This will be looked into. Some of the relief staff have other work so it is sometimes hard to find cover for sickness etc. This morning’s 7.45 ferry had such a staff shortage but fortunately Mr Fraser heard about the absence early enough so could arrange cover. It is hoped that this situation will now get better.

FERRY USAGE FIGURES: YCC have been asking for ferry usage and unable to transport figures for some time. These items are being monitored daily so there should be no problem in sending them to us on a regular basis.

2ND ELECTRONIC SIGN FOR TOFT: members asked Mr Smith if it would be possible to get a 2nd electronic sign for the Toft queued traffic as it is not possible to read the signs if you are up the queue. Mr Smith said he would look into this.

SINGLE FERRY PROCEDURES: members explained the problem of when there is a single ferry and there are folk on the bus from town, they get to Toft after 8.45 ferry has left and then there isn’t another ferry that will link up with service buses on the other side, if the ferry could wait for the bus from town to arrive it would solve all these problems. Mr Smith and Mr Craigie will look into this. Another problem experienced with single vessels when bookings are suspended is folk with planes to catch and hospital appointments. The procedure for this is for drivers to put on their hazard warning lights, although this is noted on the SIC website it is not well known. This can be advertised more to bring awareness.

REPAINTING LANE NUMBERS AT ULSTA: the lane numbers at Ulsta have worn away which makes it very confusing for visitors. Mr Smith will talk to Roads Dept.

SUNDAY MORNING FERRY SERVICE: members query if this can be made the same as the Saturday morning service.

BUS AND FERRY TIMETABLE CHANGES: the bus and ferry timetable will be changed in time for the new school term to accommodate the new school timetable. Transport Planning have taken on board the views from the bus companies and the views from the public. Some folk were in favour of the changes and some were not. These changes have been brought about so children from outer areas can go to the Anderson High School. This not only allows a greater choice of schools but also a wider choice of subjects. SIC will monitor the impact of these changes once they are in place.

MEETING FOR XMAS TT CHANGES: YCC request a joint NI meeting with ferries to discuss the proposed bus and ferry timetable for the xmas period. Mr Craigie will arrange this.

COMMUNITY HIRES: Mr Odie described the previous community hire procedure and how well this worked for everyone for a number of years. Although YCC are only allocated 4 community hire runs per year, by charging everyone a half hire charge YCC were able to stretch this to 8 runs per year. This procedure was challenged at the end of last year and YCC were told they were not allowed to do this anymore. Community Hires had to be free of charge and all other users had to deal direct with ferries and charter the ferry themselves at the full cost. Mr Smith said he would look into this.

ONLINE COMMERCIAL VEHICLE BOOKINGS: it is still not possible to book online for commercial vehicles as there is a query for carrying dangerous goods. This makes it very inconvenient for businesses.

FUNERAL MESSAGES: When the ferries are stopped so staff can go to a funeral it is thought that a more compassionate message could be displayed on the board. This will be looked into.


CARD PAYMENTS: the ability to pay by card on ferries should be possible later this year. The saltire cards have the capability to act as a payment card and can recognise if a discounted fare is applicable but this part needs to be unlocked by the Scottish Gov’t.

5 DAY WEEK FERRY SERVICE: YCC request that the ferry service is once again looked at for the possibility of going to a Monday to Friday service and moving the Maintenance to a Saturday.

HORSA BUILDING: Mr Smith agreed that this building is unsightly and will get it demolished as soon as possible.

OUTSTANDING ROAD SIGNS, MID YELL: the 30mph sign at Hillend and the Slow Down sign at Sunnyside have been promised for a very long time and are waiting for contractors. Mr Smith will chase the contractors.

ROAD CLOSURE SIGNS: members described the confusion that happened with road closure signs in Mid Yell last year. Mr Smith will ensure signs are more clear.

30MPH SIGN AT GUTCHER: the 30mph sign at Gutcher has been installed but it is too close to the bend, it is not visible until you are nearly at the sign.

BAD DIP IN ROAD: the road at the back of Gardie Ness has a very bad dip in it. This is being looked at this week.

BOTTLE BANKS: with the new recycling bins coming there should be room to have more glass recycling banks at the same locations. The single banks are being filled too quickly for the 6 weekly collections.

PIER FENDERING AND SKIPS: there is currently no fendering on the Mid Yell Pier, divers are in next week to look at what the best option for this pier will be. The skip at the pier which should be for marine waste only is being filled with other items. It could be possible to get a lock on it but the pier may be getting cctv. The recent repair to the pier has already been damaged, this can be looked at to see if there is any further damage underneath.

Mr Odie thanked the visitors for coming. Mr J Smith, Mr M Craigie, Mr Ian Pearson and Mr Peter Fraser left the meeting at 9.15pm


07/18/4 MINUTES

18 June 2018 – the minutes from the June meeting were approved by Mr R Jamieson & Mrs A Jamieson.

Action: clerk forward to CC Liaison, Police and post on website



Proposed Wind Farm, North Yell: Mr S Henderson & Mr R Jamieson are shareholders and Mr James Nicholson is a land owner.

Yell Show: Mr James Nicholson & Mr L Odie are on the Yell Show committee.




FERRIES – Outstanding matters

  1. Yell Show Day – clerk to check if the ferry timetable for Yell Show day has been changed to fit in more runs.
  2. Late Hire Grant - the grant form for this still needs to be done.
  3. Bookings for Community Hires– it was understood that the booking office would take bookings as normal for community hires, this was not the case recently. Clerk to query this.


6.1 FERRIES – Matters arising

  1. Community Hire – The Yell Show Committee have submitted a request for a community hire ferry for 1st Mr R Jamieson proposed a double run in the morning and another double run in the afternoon, seconded by Mr S Henderson. Clerk to check with committee what times would suit.


6.2 ROADS – Outstanding matters

All road matters were dealt with above.



  1. Dental services – YCC query what progress is being made on the current waiting list in Yell and when patients who left the practice to seek treatment elsewhere will be likely to go back to the Yell practice.
  2. Health & Care Project Yell – Lisa Watt attended the Unst CC meeting. YCC request any update available please.
  3. Care Centre – still no adverts have been seen for Ilseshavn. YCC request an update on this please.




  1. Cares meeting - The meeting with the Cares Development Officer was postponed due to the weather and re-scheduled for the end of July. Ms L Cunningham, Mrs A Jamieson and Mr G Hughson will attend.
  2. Questionnaire - Clerk to contact Energy Isles for a copy of the questionnaire that was available at the public meetings and query when the results/outcomes of these will be available.
  3. Letter received – a letter from a member of the public was received with a concern over a conflict of interest. Mr Odie replied to the letter.
  4. Community Benefit – if the wind farm was to come then the subject of Community Benefit will then become a separate issue to the Wind Farm itself.


6.5 MID YELL POST OFFICE – Nothing further to report. Clerk to write to Alistair Carmichael for any update.

6.6 HORSA BUILDING, MID YELL – this was dealt with above.


6.7 MID YELL PIER– all pier issues were dealt with above.


6.8 WAR MEMORIALS – nothing further to report, currently waiting for the contractor to visit.

6.9 MAKE A DIFFERENCE TRAINING – there has been good feedback for this course from Unst, clerk to further query any local training opportunities.



2018/014/WL – to install 2 replacement 33kV submarine cables Yell to Unst.

2018/013/WL – to install a replacement 33kV submarine cable Mossbank to Yell.

YCC members welcomed these applications.

2018/171/VCON – to vary a previous planning application for the Old Mid Yell School to omit 5 one-bedroom flats to add a café/bistro and 4 bedrooms with en-suite facilities. Noted

2018/153/VCON – to vary conditions to the previous planning application for Beaw Field Wind Farm. Noted



Mr J Johnson’s road has now been checked and the grant money can be sent.

Mr G Henry sent in his receipts for the improvements to his road. The road has already been checked. A cheque was written for £240 and approved by Mr S Henderson and Mr J Nicholson.



  1. Digital Forum – the next North Isles Digital Forum will be held at Isleburgh on Friday 17th August 11am – 1pm
  2. Dental care Focus Group – the next group session will be held at the Brae Health Centre on 29th August 2-5pm. Mrs A Jamieson will attend.
  3. Da Voar Redd Up Film – a film has been launched to celebrate Da Voar Redd Up. The film can be viewed online at:




The latest Police Report was received and is available on the website:







The Next Meeting of Yell Community Council will be held on


Monday 20th August 2018 in the Mid Yell School at 7pm


Visitors –

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