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Yell Community Council

Minutes of Meeting of Yell Community Council

 

Monday 21st June2021 via Zoom Online Conferencing

 

Present:  Mr L Odie (Chair), Mrs A Jamieson, Mr R Jamieson, Mr A Ross, Mr S Henderson, Mr J Saunders,

 

Apologies: Mr J Nicholson, Mr M Duncan, Ms K Hannay,

 

In Attendance: K Lonsdale (Clerk), Cllr R Thomson (Elected Representative North Isles), Ms F Browne (North Isles Community Development Worker) Cllr D Anderson (Elected Representative North Isles), Ms Beatrice Wishart (MSP), Ms Sharon Powell (SSEN), Mr Steven McMillan (Project Manager SSEN), Ms Mairi Rigby (Environmental Manager SSEN), Mr Nick Moore (Marine Consents Manager SSEN)

 

L Odie welcomed everyone to the meeting.

 

6/21/7 PLANNING LISTS/ APPLICATIONS

7.1 SSEN PUBLIC CONSULTATION

Representatives from SSEN attended the meeting to inform members of the details of the ongoing public consultation regarding the new infrastructure needed to connect the windfarms to the Kergord Substation.  SSEN is committed to provide efficient, economical and coordinated connections for the wind farm developers. 

 

The public consultation outlines a number of possible routes for above ground, underground and subsea cabling to connect Yell wind farms with switching stations.  The preferred route between Yell and the mainland is a subsea cable connecting to Burravoe, then to the Yell Switching Station before connecting north to the Energy Isles Wind Farm. The route options were assessed on criteria based on feasibility, environmental concerns and technical constraints. 

 

The environmental impact of the plans have been carefully evaluated as M Rigby explained, Shetland has a very sensitive landscape and SSEN have taken the advice of a Landscape VIsual Impact Consultant.  The plans have taken into account: the historic environment, both existing monuments and buried archeology; ecology, bird surveys have been done to avoid habitats, nesting, colonies and impact risks; biodiversity including peats; and visual impact as it relates to tourism and residential properties.   Members were assured that mitigations would be put in place for these factors during the construction as well as for the life of the infrastructure. 

 

Members were concerned about the appearance of the overhead cabling as it compares to the existing overhead lines.  The proposed new lines are significantly taller than those currently used but of a low impact and similar design.  All the Shetland connections will be a mixture of underground and overhead lines, the assessment of this is currently underway and will be presented for public consultation in September. 

 

Members were assured that wherever possible the disturbing of peat would be avoided.

 

Ms B Wishart joined the meeting at 19:30

 

Mr Nick Moore explained the environmental and technical constraints taken into account when laying subsea cable in Yell Sound.  Shellfish, fin fish, demersal fishing, scallop dredging and static fishing all take place in the Yell Sound and have to be taken into account when planning for and laying the cable.  Route surveys are being undertaken and pre and post installation surveys will be done along with sampling and mapping to ensure the new route does not impact marine life.  Members were assured that during installation the impacts would be discrete footprints, very localised, short term and transient as the vessel will be moving and not located in one area for a long time.  Once laid the cable will ideally be buried by dredging or where that is not possible it will be covered over by rocks. 


Through the public consultation SSEN have been in contact with Shetland Fishing Association Marine Mammal and Seabird Observer, the Scallop Fishermen, and Aquaculture

 

Inorder to connect seacable with the on land connections they will either use horizontal directional drilling or trenching depending on the geology at the landing point. 

 

Mr Steven McMillan outlined the timeline for various aspects of the project with November 2024 scheduled for the earliest date that Shetland will be powered by renewables, third quarter 2025 is the expected start of construction on Energy Isles Wind Farm infrastructure and April 2027 the date for energising the Energy Isles Wind Farm.

 

Members were concerned that a failure in the cabling would not leave Yell without power; it would only mean that power could not be exported from Yell sites. 

 

F Browne joined the meeting 7:50

S Powell, S McMillan, N Moore and M Rigby left the meeting 19:50

 

6/21/1 DISCUSSION WITH BEATRICE WISHART MSP

Fixed Links- Members explained to Ms Wishart the importance of fixed links to Yell and the support that the proposal has from residents and asked that she do all that is possible to raise the issue in parliament. The lack of a fixed link to the mainland affects employment, population size, and business on the islands detrimentally.  Many of the younger generation move away from Yell for housing and employment opportunities on the Mainland that are not available in Yell this could be reversed by the construction of fixed links. 

Members would like to see signs from the Scottish Government that funding for fixed links is forthcoming. 

 

The issue of the travel costs on ferries was also raised contrasted with many toll free Scottish crossings being cited. Ms Wishart suggested that the ongoing consultation on free bus travel for under 22s be expanded to include ferry travel in Shetland.  This is what YCC fed back into the consultation early this month. 

The high cost of ferries not only affects those living on the island but those who commute to Yell or do business between the islands. 

 

NHS issues- Members explained the ongoing and persistent issues Yell faces in recruiting a permanent GP and asked Ms Wishart to investigate the ‘Discover the Joy’ programme which YCC have been advised by NHS Shetland is no longer available. 

 

Reasons for the lack of success in recruiting a GP may be due to professional isolation experienced on the island, as well as the 24/7 commitment.

 

Ambulance- Members outlined the concerns regarding the frequent call outs of the air ambulance and the costs associated with that as well as the delays in ambulance call outs from Lerwick when there are gaps in the volunteer provision in Yell. 

 

Community Council Elections- Members asked for advice on how to attract younger community councillors in the upcoming election as members can now be aged 16 and over.   Ms Wishart is in favour of engaging young people in community council business and suggested targeting them through school, youth groups and MSSYP.

 

Covid Support- Members expressed their gratitude for the funds made available via the Scottish GOvernment and HIE during lockdown which were very beneficial to the community. 

 

Childcare Provision- Childcare provision was highlighted as a big problem for young families on the island, some of whom choose to move away from Shetland as there isn’t adequate wrap around childcare available. 

 

Connectivity- Internet connectivity was highlighted during lockdown as an issue for many on Yell.  Ms Wishart informed members of a consultation regarding broadband provision in hard to reach areas. 

ACTION: Clerk to disseminate to members.

 

L Odie thanked Ms Wishart, MSP, for attending the meeting.

 

6/21/2 MINUTES

17th May 2021- The minutes for the May meeting were approved by Mr A Ross and Mr R Jamieson 

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

 

6/21/3 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

Mr R Jamieson, Mr L Odie, Mr S Henderson, Mr J Saunders and Cllr R Thomson declared an interest in the Energy Isles Wind Farm item. 

 

Mr L Odie declared an interest in the SSEN Consultation.

 

6/21/4 COMMUNITY WORK

F Browne informed the members about a positive Community Conversation forum that occurred about opening up after lockdown with helpful advice from Halls and Heritage Centres that have had positive experiences of reopening. 

 

F Browne also thanked Ms Wishart for her assistance in the transfer of the Herra Hall to the Men’s Shed which is still underway. 

 

6/21/5  OUTSTANDING BUSINESS

5.1 TRANSPORT- FERRIES

Electronic payments- Members are pleased that electronic payments have now been implemented on Yell Sound ferry but are disappointed that it cannot be used for discounted travel and information boards do not yet reflect this change. 

ACTION: Clerk to contact ferries

Members would like to see the imposition of ‘exact fare only’ on the ferries be removed and change be given.  

 

Cllr R Thomson would like to see a system introduced for ensuring that islanders receive discounted rates.

 

Online booking for lorries- Members were informed that a system upgrade to allow lorries to book online will be available soon. 

 

5 Day Service- Cllr R Thomson voiced his support for a 5 day service on the Yell Sound, the cost analysis being done should be presented to the full council soon. 

 

Community Hires- Members note the information sent regarding the use of community hires There seems to be mixed messaging on the use of community hires for weddings. Cllr  R Thomson will look into this issue but stated that Community Council should be provided with adequate runs to provide for all community events, weddings included, should the individual Community Council wish to utilise them. 

 

5.2 ROADS

Site Visit- A site visit is planned for 2nd July between Mr D Coupe (Roads), L Odie, R Jamieson and S Henderson to discuss, the obstruction of  trees at Stonganess and the alignment of the new Cullivoe to Gutcher road at the bridge at Stoganess.  Mr D COupe and L Odie will also discuss the BUrravoe footpath.
Members suggested ‘blind corner’ signs be placed at Stonganess in the meantime.  

ACTION: Clerk to contact roads

 

Sign at the head of Mid Yell Voe- No update

ACTION: Clerk to contact roads and elected Reps

 

Hamnavoe Graveyard, disabled parking- No update

ACTION: Clerk to contact roads and elected Reps

 

Chipping in Yell- Members questioned why some chipping work was undertaken but did nor appear to be listed on the weekly roads report.

ACTION: Clerk to contact roads

Resurfacing Unst- Scheduled resurfacing in Unst in July will lead to increased demand on the Bluemull Sound ferry due to tar lorries which could inconvenience travellers.  Members ask if mitigations can be put in place. 

ACTION: Clerk to contact roads

 

5.3 KSB BEACH AWARDS

Both Breckon and West Sandwick beaches have been awarded this year and the plaques have arrived.  Improvements to the information and storage boxes at Breckon need to be made as a matter of urgency. 

ACTION: R Jamieson to action repairs

 

5.3 ASCC MEETING

Meeting feedback- Members were encouraged to watch the recording of the ASCC meeting as it contained useful information about the metrics used to prioritise roads projects.  There was also discussion at the ASSC about fixed links and how the cost/benefit of them versus ferries could be analysed in the future. 

 

CC Training- Members are asked to fill in the questionnaire regarding training offered to CCs and Clerks and submit to Michael Duncan. 

 

6/21/6 NEW BUSINESS

6.1 REMOVAL WIRE FENCING

The SIC are able to remove coiled wire fencing as part of the bulky uplift service once a month for a small fee of £36.  Residents are encouraged to use this service or take their removed fencing wire to Gremista Waste Unit and not to illegally fly tip wire fencing in Yell. 

 

6.2 SPACE PROJECT WORKING GROUP

Members are asked to consider anyone who might be interested in joining the space project working group. 

 

6.3 CONSULTATION ON UNDER 22 BUS TRAVEL

L Odie and A Jamieson fed back into this consultation on behalf of YCC early this month. Free Ferry travel for under 22s was suggested as an equivalent to free bus travel.

 

6.4 CONSULTATION ON LOCAL PLACE PLAN

L Odie and A Jamieson fed back into this consultation on behalf of YCC. 

 

6/21/7 PLANNING LISTS/ APPLICATIONS

7.2 MARINE CABLES R100

Members note the pre-information received regarding the marine cables for the R100 scheme.

 

7.3 REMOVAL OF SELLAFIRTH PHONE BOX

Members held off on a decision on the application to remove the phone boxes until they have more information on the location of working phone boxes in the area. 

 

6/21/8 FINANCE/ GRANTS

Members will make decisions at the next meeting regarding CDF grants, grants to local groups, road grants for private roads and a date for the next community skip day. 

 

6/21/9 ANY OTHER BUSINESS

9.1 DOG WASTE DISPOSAL BINS

The SIC provides dog waste disposal bins at various locations on the mainland, YCC would like to request similar facilities for Yell. 

ACTION: Clerk to contact Waste Management

 

9.2 ELECTRIC CHARGE POINT- MID YELL LEISURE CENTRE

Members would like consideration to be made for the placing of an electric car charging point at the Mid Yell Leisure Centre car park. 

ACTION: Clerk to contact John Simpson, SIC

 

9.3 SCBF ADVANCED GRANT SCHEME

Members were encouraged to consider ideas for applications that could be made to the AGS, these included late ferry runs, paint and labour for refreshing the existing picnic benches and community poly tunnels. 

 

9.4  CAO PICNIC BENCHES

5 of the benches commissioned by the CAO with money from the Covid relief funds are ready to be placed at suitable sites.  One bench will be placed in the drawoff on the main road overlooking Yell Sound below the North Ness Hall, one at the Burravoe School and two at the Mid Yell School. Decisions on the remainders will be made next month.

 

9.5 POST BOX- ULSTA

Ms Wishart reported that A Carmichael, MP had had a request for a post box to be situated at Ulsta car park following the temporary closure of the Ulsta Post Office.

 

THE MEETING ENDED AT  21.50 HRS

 

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

 

Monday 19th July 2021 via Zoom Online Conferencing.

 

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