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Yell Community Council

Minutes of Meeting of Yell Community Council


Monday 20th July 2020 via Zoom Online Conferencing


Present:  Mr L Odie (Chair), Mrs A Jamieson, Mr R Jamieson, Mr A Ross

Apologies: Mr J Nicholson, Cllr D Anderson (Elected Representative North Isles, Mr J Saunders

In Attendance: K Lonsdale (Clerk), Cllr Ryan Thomson (Elected Representative North Isles), Cllr A Priest (Elected Representative North Isles), Ms F Browne (North Isles Community Development Worker), Mr M Duncan (Community Liaison Officer SIC)


Vice Chair A Jamieson welcomed everyone to the meeting



Mr R Jamieson and Cllr R Thomson declared an interest in the Energy Isles Windfarm item.


7/20/2 MINUTES

15th June 2020- The minutes for the June meeting were approved by Mr R Jamieson and Mr A Ross

ACTION: clerk to forward to CC Liaison, NI Dvp Worker, Police, SIC Elected Representatives and post on the website.


7/20/3 UPDATE ON Community Anchor Organisation

Mrs A Jamieson provided an update on work being carried out by the CAO during the current pandemic.  The CAO comprises Mrs A Jamieson and Mr L Odie as representatives of YCC as well as members of the public across the island. Meetings are also attended by F Browne.  A Jamieson reiterated that YCC has ultimate responsibility for financial decisions made by CAO members.  YCC received £20000 from HIE, £1500 from SSEN to be used to help those over 70, shielding or pregnant and £2000 from the CORRA foundation to be used for future resilience among other things. 


The CAO are progressing with their projects, assistance is being provided in the form of help to cover food costs and assistance with connectivity and fuel bills.


The CAO were successful in their application for 2 Ipads with Mifi devices provide by Connecting Scotland to ensure 2 isolated individuals had adequate connectivity.


Funds allocated for emergency equipment and hospital support have been reallocated, with agreement from the funder HIE, to support a project run by Youth Services to provide boxes to all children on Yell with activities over the summer holidays including a leaflet for mental health support.


The admin budget is being used not only for items related to a newsletter sent to all households but also for PPE.  Approximately 800 face coverings, a mix of those made by volunteers and premade purchased ones, have been distributed to members of the community through the local shops and buses well in advance of compulsory face covering regulations coming into place.


To date the spend is close to £10000 and the group has until the end of September to complete their projects.

The CAO is seeing that people’s priorities and demands are changing over time and the flexibility to reallocate funds  by the funder is welcome and appropriate.


The Shetland Partnership Plan has suggested that Yell suffers from high fuel poverty and increased food costs but these predictions haven’t been matched by requests received for assistance, although this may well be the case.


YCC members urged that the group work to spend the money before the closing date as it would be unfortunate for members of the community not to benefit from the funding.  Ideas such as distributing vouchers have been discussed by CAO and vouchers sent to targeted groups have been approved.  It is outwith the remit of the funding to distribute a blanket voucher to all residents.


YCC members and F Browne praised the work the CAO and other volunteers are doing to support the community both financially and by making phone calls, delivering shopping and prescriptions and creating face coverings.



YCC noted the police report received via email.



F Browne reported that all except one community group in Yell has received Business Support Funding from the SIC


The transfer of the Whalefirth Men’s Shed is proceeding.


The Herra Hall have been having difficulty resolving an issue of being charged water rates when their status exempts them from paying rates.  F Browne asked elected representatives for support with the matter.




Ferry restrictions

All ferry timetable and usage restrictions have now been lifted and the ferries are running to a summer timetable, compulsory booking has also been lifted.


Fare Collections

Account cards are still the preferred method of payment aboard vessels but ticket books will now be accepted.  Concerns were raised that account cards were not being charged at the discounted rate.  Cllr Thomson informed members that this might just be human error and would look into the issue.

With tourists and others now using the ferries in some instances cash will have to be collected.  Sellaness suggested passengers bring the exact fare and that crew members could not provide change, although they are seeing many visitors are registering for an account card before they travel.  Members raised that point that fares are not listed on the website or on information boards at the ferries so it is difficult for non frequent travellers to know what the exact fare would be. 


Members urged that electronic payment facilities need to be implemented as soon as possible.  It has been promised for a long time


Cllr Thomson has been petitioning for account cards for residents and frequent travellers to remain the norm even after all restrictions are lifted. Paying per journey benefits low income families who may not be able to afford the outright cost of 10 journeys and so miss out on the discounted rate.


At this time reduction in contact between passengers and crew is the top priority and account cards are the preferred method.


Members felt that the fare policy during the pandemic has been implemented without much consideration or communication with the public and that the far structure needs to be looked at in detail and reports placed before the council and community councils for consultation before implementation of changed policy.


M Duncan arrived 20.32


Resilience and reliability

L Odie raised concerns that resilience and reliability of the life line service might be affected should there be a second wave.  Following guidelines the crews of each vessel work as a ‘bubble’ and should one crew member fall ill the entire crew would have to be isolated.  Cllr Thomson assured members that there were 5 crews who could step in to the Yell Sound service should any one crew have to isolate.  L Odie suggested it would improve resilience and safety while on shift the crew physically distance in smaller ‘bubbles’ eg keeping deck hands separate from engineers or skippers. Members were assured that ferry crews follow the guidelines suggested by the Scottish government and resilience of the service is of the utmost importance, however Cllr Thomson will raise YCCs suggestion with Sellaness.


Follow up meeting

Members and elected representatives were keen to have follow up meetings with Sellaness on a regular basis to discuss ferry matters.  These meetings would be a good opportunity for North Isles Community Councillors to bring their suggestions and concerns directly.


There is an upcoming transport review planned and elected representatives will continue to press for a service that serves the North Isles and the wider Shetland community, particularly if Shetland sees a predicted second wave of the virus in the autumn and winter.  Members would like to see fewer restrictions implemented on the service if this is the case as it badly affects businesses in Yell who are reliant on the ferries for the continuation of their businesses.



Cllr Thomson reported that the vessel that is away for maintenance is on, or ahead, of schedule and will be due back on or ahead of the expected date.



Cullivoe Road

At a previous meeting with the roads department members asked that a press release be sent out regarding easing of planning restrictions in Cullivoe.  A press release is expected next week after the Strategic Outline Business Case meeting.


Crash barrier at Sellafirth

There was no response regarding the request to push forward the time scale of the work


Tree obstructions

An area of the road in Cullivoe is badly obscured by trees and presents a significant safety risk. 

ACTION: Clerk to contact Roads

Hillend Water Scheme Rd

Residents report little progress due to the current pandemic


West Sandwick Graveyard road

Constituents have raised complaints to YCC members and elected representatives about the condition of the road to the beach and graveyard.  Cllr Thomson has already taken the complaints to the roads department.

ACTION: Clerk to contact Roads

Sign at the head of Mid Yell Voe

The sign was removed in order to replace the poles but this work still has not been completed.

ACTION: Clerk to contact Roads


Crash Barrier Hilldesay, Hillend, Mid Yell

An area of excavation at the back of Hilldasay, Mid Yell is still exposed and part of the crash barrier has been removed.

ACTION: Clerk to contact Roads



L Odie reported that on the evening of the meeting 20th July there would be no GP on call for Yell between 5pm and 9am on the 21st July, the shift would be covered by a band 5 nurse who would make home visits and call an ambulance should one be needed.


Members felt that this was an unacceptable disruption to the 24/7 service of GP cover in Yell and that the NHS should respond to why this had occurred and provide reassurances that the isle would not be left without GP cover in future.

ACTION: Clerk to contact NHS


Members requested an update on the status of the Yell Ambulance Service after reporting seeing the Lerwick ambulance in Yell.

ACTION: Clerk to contact ambulance services



Nothing new to report



Members were asked to choose between a flag or plaque to signify the award status.  Members chose a plaque.


A Jamieson reported that the information box at Breckon Beach in need of repair and notices need updating. R Jamieson offered to look into the box repairs.  Clerk will update the notice in both Breckon and West Sandwick information boards to replace faded notices and update details.




There has been no response from Colin Bragg, SIC, regarding the advertising of refuse collection jobs.  Cllr Thomson reported that otential applicants have come forward to him from Yell to Cllr Thomson and their details have been provided to Colin Bragg.


The rubbish bins at Burravoe pier and head of Mid Yell Voe appear  not to have been emptied recently and are overflowing. This further demonstrates how local knowledge will be vital to the running of the service in Yell.

ACTION: Clerk to contact refuse collection re emptying of bins



Cllr Thomson reported that efforts to have skips brought up to Yell following COVID travel restrictions have stalled. 


Although members have a project grant to provide skips, members are keen to save this service for later in the year and aim to provide 3 skips in October/November for community use.


The Colvister facility is seeing an increase in people leaving tyres and white goods outside the gates.

ACTION: Clerk to contact Amenity Trust re state of Colvister Quarry entrance area

Members are disappointed that nothing has happened regarding skip provision and that there has been no official clarification on the matter.


Members and elected representatives suggested polling the public regarding implementing a sustainable skip system similar to that run on Unst and Northmaven.  The membership system works very well in those areas.  YCC investigated this option previously and people were not keen on paying a membership and there were issues regarding the suggested locations of the skips.



Members noted the email informing of a future online meeting taking place.



No update



Item added to the agenda

ACTION: Clerk to contact Claire Christie, SIC, for update



No update



No response.

ACTION: Clerk to contact John Smith and Helen Budge, SIC




A Jamieson and F Browne attended the Renewal and Recovery presentation delivered by Maggie Sandison about the impact of Covid on the council.  The presentation covered the role of the Council, Community Councils and Community Anchor Organisations in the future following the pandemic.  The presentation also discussed revisiting the Shetland Partnership Plan.



The CAO suggested community broadband as a priority moving forward as connectivity issues have been highlighted in the community during lockdown.

Although work is being done to lay cables for fibre, this will only benefit council buildings and health facilities, and not residential properties. Higher cost alternatives to BT broadband are available but these leads to lower income households being disadvantaged.

Cllr Priest informed members that the council is the early stages of discussions with the Department of Digital Cultural Media and Sport regarding a UK government scheme to provide ‘Fibre to the door’ but this is in the very early stages.

It was suggested that Marvin Smith may be invited to a meeting to suggest possible actions for Yell.

ACTION: Clerk to submit to ASCC agenda

ACTION: Clerk to contact Marvin Smith



Members noted the report which provided input for most Shetland CCs from Visitscotland with views on potential return of tourists to Shetland.  Members acknowledge that all tourist providers and businesses have the right to make their own decisions in this matter.



Members are aware of the online meeting taking place

ACTION: Clerk to post link of YCC facebook page



The Local Electricity Bill was reintroduced to parliament.  The bill would be of benefit to Yell and YCC supports it.

ACTION: Clerk to register YCC support


YCC note Mr Laurence’s letter, it is not appropriate for YCC to make comment on the concerns raised.

ACTION: Clerk to draft letter of response



2019/303/PPF Proposal to install 15m lattice mast, ancillary equipment, construction of access and laydown area. Breckon Grazing, B9082, Gloup, Yell Shetland Islands. YCC supports this application




Members reviewed the independent examination of the 2019/20 accounts. Approval proposed by R Jamieson and Seconded by A Ross.



A Skinner- Grant was withdrawn due to applicants being unable to complete the work in the time scale due to the pandemic.  A Skinner is encouraged to apply again next year.


The following applications are being considered outside the closing date.

K Goodlad- Major resurfacing, Lochanlea, West Sandwick

W Brown- Major resurfacing, Cornhill, East yell

Accurate information on the length of the roads requested is needed. The decision will be held over until next month's meeting.



Mud Kitchen- applied for £200 to cover the cost of paint. The application has not come from a constituted community group and is therefore not eligible for Distribution funds.  Members proposed providing £180 from the core funding. Proposed by R Jamieson, seconded by A Ross


Seafield Seafront trust- Applied for £2460 for legal fees associated with drawing up Title Deed for the Seafield Seafront area.. Members proposed providing £1200. Proposed by A Ross and seconded by A Jamieson.


East Yell Hall- Applied for £11500 for the installation of double glazing. Members proposed £1800, moved by A Ross and seconded by A Jamieson.  F Browne and M Duncan will offer assistance to the group to apply for funding to cover the remaining cost.

ACTION: Clerk to contact applicants



Mind Your Head is a Shetland wide group providing mental health support. They requested a contribution from CAO and members referred the request to the community council. M Duncan advised the other CCs have received this request and have offered the support through the Supporting Communities Fund.

CAO will discuss the issue again at the next meeting and the possible reallocation of funds for this purpose.



YCC note the email


L Odie reported that the proposed new bank account incurs no additional fees and allows the possibility for online banking. Members approved the change to a Business Account. The form requiring two signatures will be submitted shortly.   YCC will draft a protocol for authorising online bank payments which will be reviewed by M Duncan. This will require the approval of YCC members before a decision is made to switch to online banking.




YCC will submit Community Broadband as an agenda item for the next meeting of the ASCC. M Duncan confirmed that the agenda item regarding Improving inter island transport links remains on the agenda from the last meeting.

ACTION: Clerk to submit agenda item



Members asked for an indication of when Community Council meetings could return to ‘physical’ meetings.  The guidance is that remote meetings for Community Councils will continue for the time being following advice from Anne Cogle, Legal services, SIC..

Members of the public could be invited to attend the meetings remotely although strict guidelines would have to be given about the recording and distributing of information in those meetings.

Concerns were raised that remote meetings, not only for CCs but other groups, exclude those who have poor connection or aren’t computer literate.  Members recognise that health and safety has to be the priority.





The next meeting of the Yell Community Council will be held on


Monday 17th August 2020 via Zoom Online Conferencing.


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