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Yell Community Council

 Minutes of Meeting of Yell Community Council


Monday 15th March 2021 via Zoom Online Conferencing


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


Apologies: Mr S Henderson, PC A Manson


In Attendance: K Lonsdale (Clerk), Cllr R Thomson (Elected Representative North Isles), Mr Brian Chittick (NHS Interim Director of Community Health and Social Care), Ms Edna Mary Watson (Chief Nurse, Community), Mr M Duncan (SIC), Cllr A Priest (Elected Representative North Isles),  Ms F Browne (North Isles Community Development Worker), Cllr D Anderson (Elected Representative North Isles)


L Odie welcomed everyone to the meeting.



R Jamieson, J Nicholson, Cllr R Thomson, L Odie, J Saunder and Cllr A Priest declared an interest in the item Energy Isles Wind Farm. 




GP Resignation- Members are disappointed by the resignation of the Yell and Fetlar GP and were briefed on the recruitment plan for filling the post.  Mr Brian Chittick, NHS Shetland, informed members that the recruitment process is underway and faces a number of challenges due to a shortage of GPs nationally and the unique circumstances of the post in the North Isles. Members felt the recruitment process, with an estimate of 3 months to recruit a candidate, was too long but were informed that this is standard for this type of vacancy.

In the interim the post will be filled by a combination of Locum Gpsand ‘Rediscover the Joy’ GPs.  ‘Joy’ doctors are employed by NHS Shetland on a flexible contract and come to Shetland on a rotational basis.  This scheme has been successful in other areas of Shetland and has led to the appointment of a permanent post holder.

Members asked Mr Chittick about the second post holder, the assiciate GP, previously held by Dr Gardner, has been vacant and the use of locums to cover the position results in a lack of continuity for patients. The intention will be to fill this post with ‘Joy’ doctors to allow for continuity.


GP resilience- Members have been concerned about the gaps in Yell’s GP coverage due to absence, Mr Chittick assured members that everything is done to fill in gaps as they occur, the uniqueness of Yell’s location provides a number of issues for post holders. 

The high turnover rate for doctors in the North Isles, three in five years, may be the result of 24/7 on call schedule and professional isolation.  In order to make the GP provision more resilient these factors will have to be considered and discussed with prospective candidates. 

YCC are keen to know what can be done once a new GP is recruited in order to ensure that the post holder feels comfortable in the role.  Changes may have to be made to the model which is currently in place where there could be for example, a rotational system or a cluster pool of staff and NHS 24 could be considered for out of hours support or a hybrid model of triaging patients through calls with first responders may be an option.  The continuation of digital appointments and using technology to work with other clinicians may also help.

It will be important to ensure that professional isolation is targeted and that the GP feels part of the community they serve.  


Staffing Health Centre- Members were informed by E M Watson that the Mid Yell health centre is fully staffed in terms of medical staff, with one temporary member of staff covering the Health Care Assistant’s maternity leave until that postholder returns shortly. 

There is one vacancy within the admin staff but this is currently covered by temporary arrangements. 


Health and Social Care Project- Members were keen to restart work on the Health and Social Care project which stalled last year due to the pandemic. Ms Watson and Mr Chittick, NHS Shetland, were both keen to reopen this dialogue and work with the community to discuss how things have changed due to the pandemic and which innovative solutions have been introduced


Dental Services- Members were informed that only emergency dental treatments are currently taking place but as part of the phased return to services Yell will move into Phase 4 soon, with the reinstatement of full dental services. This progress has been slowed nationally due to the redeployment of dentists to the vaccine roll out. 

Yell currently has 3 days dental service provision but as we move into phase 4 this will increase to 5 days with two days being covered by a dental therapist.   The priority on return will be children’s provision. 

Members were concerned that a high number of local patients are registered with dental practices in Lerwick due to lack of availability in Yell and would like to see it addressed so as they can be treated in Yell. Mr Chittick will look into registration numbers and highlight the need to maximise resources, Dental services have a high ‘fail to attend’ rate and if targeted could ensure more appointments. 


Vaccine Roll Out- Progress with the COVID vaccine is going well with over 11000 people in Shetland having received their first vaccination and all care home residents and some staff having received their second. 564 people in Yell have had the first dose and, 62 have had a second dose. The next age group should be completed in the next week. 

Uptake for the vaccine has been very high, around 85-90% which is encouraging.


Ambulance Service

Members are concerned about the breaks in ambulance service cover in Yell.  Due to lack of volunteers the Yell ambulance isn’t available 24/7.  The representatives from the NHS offered to take these concerns to the Ambulance liaison group and with the director for Scottish Ambulance Services.  Members feel that if the ambulance service was more proactive regarding advertising they could attract more volunteers. 

Members noted in recent weeks an increase in the use of the helicopter to mediva patients.  They were informed that this decision is made on the clinical priority of need of the patient.


YCC support- Mr Chittick was clear that in coming out of the pandemic it would be vital to liaise with communities to ensure that patients' needs are at the heart of the services provided.


Sponsoring of young doctors- In theory Mr Chittick supports the sponsoring of trainee doctors but it would not offer a quick return but is under consideration. 


Cllr A Priest, Ms E Watson and Mr B Chittick left the meeting at 20:30

3/21/2 MINUTES

15th February 2021- The minutes for the February 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.



Members noted the police report submitted by PC A Manson prior to the meeting.



Ms F Browne continues to work with the Herra Hall and the Whalefirth Men’s Shed and informed members that community halls with holding an alchol licence have been directed to funding available to them.




Vehicles left behind- members noted a number of vehicles left behind due the large ferry being on refit and a small vessel being in service on Monday afternoons.  They feel the small vessel is inadequate for the needs of Yell Sound

Signage- The information signs at Tingwall were showing incorrect information for two days.  Cllr Thomson will look into the issue

Electronic Payments- Electronic payments are expected to come into effect within the next couple of weeks.

Cash payments may also be reintroduced in April.

5 day service- Cllr Thomson will be meeting with John Smith, Ferries, to discuss reinstating a 5 day full ferry service in line with the Scottish Government’s Routes and Services Methodology.

Old Gutcher Pier- No update

ACTION: Clerk to request update



Cullivoe to Gutcher road- The full business case was passed unanimously and will go to the full council on Wednesday16th where it is hoped to pass.  Compulsory purchase has begun and is reported to be going well.  Cllr Thomson is hopeful that the 6 year predicted timescale will be shortened.

Resurfacing programme- nothing to update. 

ACTION: Clerk to request update

West Sandwick Graveyard Road- Nothing to update

ACTION: Clerk to request update

Sign at the head of Mid Yell Voe- nothing to update

ACTION: Clerk to request update

Tar, Cullivoe- nothing to update

ACTION: Clerk to request update

Water on road at bus shelter, Ulsta- Problem has been addressed


Disabled spaces Hamnavoe Graveyard- The spaces have been requested but it is felt there might be an issue affixing a sign on the wall as the church wall is listed.  Members have requested that the designated spaces could be painted on the road's surface.


Blindness at Stonganess-  Members requested that the bridge replacement and road alignment be reassessed.  Cllr Thosmon to discuss with local members

ACTION:Cllr Thomson to take issue on 


Association of Shetland Community Councils (ASCC) Meeting-  ASCC members will invite roads department representatives to the next meeting and asked YCC members to submit any questions they have for the meeting. 


5.3 NHS ISSUES-see above



West Sandwick beach bin- A double bin is set to be delivered to the beach, members request that the bin be emptied by the ‘essy kert’ in future rather than volunteers. 

ACTION: Clerk to contact Brydon Gray, SIC


Nothing to update



The clerk has attend a training session on the AGS and took members through the details of how the scheme would work for projects benefiting Yell. Members were satisfied that the queries on the Memorandum of Understanding and Data Sharing Documents had been addressed.  R Jamieson and A Ross moved to accept these

ACTION: Chair to sign documents and Clerk to submit to SCBF



Members felt the skip day was a success with 20 households using the skips which were all estimated to be over 75% filled.  It was convenient that Shetland Amentiy Trust were able to collect white goods in conjunction with the skip.  Fees didn’t conver the cost of the hire of the three skips but nonetheless it was through that the scheme could be tried again. 

Feedback from residents was that if they had more time to plan for the day then there would have been more uptake.  Views on the cost were mixed with some unwilling to pay at any price and some very happy with the reasonable cost. 

Members propose another skip day in September. 

ACTION: Clerk to report on the day on YCC Facebook page and to the  North Isle Column, Shetland Times


Nothing to update, Cllr Thomson will follow up



There has been no response from the Shetland Amenity Trust on the issues.  Members have noted comments about the state of the White Wife on social media from members of the public. 

ACTION: Clerk to contact SAT for response.


Following a meeting about the beaches the clerk is working on the applications to be submitted in April. The information notices for the information boards have been updated and will be replaced in the coming weeks.  The clerk was advised to download information from the SIC website and contact Kevin Serginson, SIC, for more leaflets regarding walking.

The information board and box at Breckon is in need of painting and repair, R Jamieson and J Nicholson will look into the work needed. 


5.11 ASCC 

ASCC meeting feedback- Meeting notes have been circulated to members.  It is felt by all that in the future a hybrid of in person and online meetings could be beneficial to all and the ASCC will look into a way to do this with minimal technical disruptions. 

New grant form- Members reviewed the proposed new Community Council grant application form.  L Odie felt it was comprehensive and contained useful information.  The new form will make it a lot easier to comply with GDPR regulations.  A Jamieson requested YCC discuss Data Protection at their next meeting and retention of documents. 

ACTION: Clerk to add to April Agenda

Members wondered if it would be possible to have a similar standardised form for road grants as well as project grants. L Odie will review forms and suggest feedback to M Duncan, SIC. 

ACTION: L Odie to feedback to M Duncan, SIC




YCC have availability to co-opt two new members and Ms K Hannay is willing to be co-opted.  Ms K Hannay was proposed as a member by Mr R Jamieson and Mr J Nicholson. 

ACTION: Clerk to send K Hannay the relevant information


YCC are concerned with the number of vacant council houses in Mid Yell and Cullivoe.  Yell is considered an area of low demand for housing and yet YCC are aware of people who have applied for council houses.  Only 2 chalets are listed on the council website but it is believed that 5 houses are empty in Mid Yell and 2 in Cullivoe. 

YCC would like to understand why these houses are empty, how long they have been empty for andif they can be allocated for general needs. 

ACTION: Clerk to contact housing with queries. 


A Jamieson provided feedback on an online session regarding the future of planning and circulated the presentation slides to members. The meeting was felt to be very interesting and concerned the protection of resources through planning applications and the commitment to Scotland becoming zero waste by 2045. 



Planning Ref: 2021/028/PPF To erect Weather Station Basta Voe , Yell, - YCC supports this application. 



Additional Authorised signatory to YCC Bank Account

Members discussed including the clerk an authorised signatory on the account, including authorisation for making online payments.  They were advised by M Dunca, SIC, that this action is in line with some other Shetland community councils. 

The decision was moved by A Ross and R Jamieson. 




M Duncan, SIC, informed members that the SIC budget setting meeting would be taking place soon and information for applying for Community Council core funding and CDF funding would be sent to clerks in due time. A Jamieson and A Ross moved that the clerk apply for CDF funding when applications open. 

ACTION: Clerk to complete applications for core funding and CDF funding



YCC will write a letter to the SIC in support of their proposal to  explore options for fixed links between islands instead of ferry connections. 

ACTION: Clerk to write letter. 




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


Monday 19th April 2021 via Zoom Online Conferencing.

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