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Council backs Yell wind farm

The planned Beaw Field wind farm as seen from Burravoe - Image: Peel EnergyTHE COMPANY behind plans to build a 17-turbine wind farm on the island of Yell has said it was pleased to have crossed another hurdle after Shetland Islands Council's planning board backed the development.

The council is a statutory consultee in the planning process under section 36 of the electricity act. A final decision will be made by the Scottish Government's energy consent unit (ECU), in Glasgow.

MS Society looking for service users

Caption: The Messy Slester Fun Run colour saw 200 participants being pelted with powdered paint. It is set to become an annual event – Photo: Dale SmithTHE SHETLAND branch of the MS Society is calling for more people to use its services after raising nearly £9,000 by holding Shetland's first colour run earlier this month.

Committee member Amy Uren said not enough people were coming forward looking for help from the local MS society, which pays for therapies and provides grants for aids like specialised computers and house alterations.

Police seek crucial witness

POLICE in Lerwick are keen to trace a young woman who is described as a "crucial witness' after a man was injured in an assault at a house at 10 West Baila, in the early hours of Sunday.

She is described as "a young adult woman with brown hair who was believed to be at the address at the time the incident started".

Detective Sergeant Bruce Peebles of Shetland CID said "a man has been detained in relation to the matter" but enquiries were still ongoing.

Reform group favours 12 elected trustees

SCT vice chair Jonathan Wills addressing the meeting with his proposals for reform - Photos: Hans J Marter/ShetNewsA CAMPAIGN pushing for a majority of directly elected trustees to serve on Shetland Charitable Trust appears to gain momentum.

Nine members of the public, including two serving council trustees and one former councillor, attended an hour-long meeting at Islesburgh Community Centre on Saturday that had been organised by Democracy for Shetland Charitable Trust campaigner Peter Hamilton.

SIC completes move to temporary offices

The SIC moved its staff out of the White House on Tuesday - Photo: Andrew Gibson/Millgaet MediaSHETLAND Islands Council have now successfully relocated all its services formerly based at the North Ness HQ (locally known as the White House) to temporary offices throughout Lerwick.

The move has become necessary after concerns about the building's structural integrity forced owners Shetland Leasing and Property (SLAP) to require the council to vacate the four year old building on Tuesday.

New broch site excites archaeologists

A first photo of the possible broch on the Holms of Hogaland - Photos: http://scottishcrannogs.wordpress.com THE REMAINS of what could be an Iron Age broch have been identified in a loch near Whiteness by a researcher from the University of Aberdeen.

Michael Stratigos found the site on one of the three Holms of Hogaland islets in the Loch of Strom.

Scott unimpressed by minister’s assurances

Shetland MSP Tavish Scott.Health secretary Shona Robison.SHETLAND MSP Tavish Scott has called on health secretary Shona Robison to stop "tinkering with the structures of health boards" and instead focus on the GP recruitment crisis.

During question time in the Scottish Parliament on Thursday Robison tried to assure Scott that changes to health boards would only be implemented if it would result in improved patient care.

Police ‘satisfied’ with Whalsay operation

POLICE in Shetland have confirmed that two men, aged 57 and 21, are to be reported to the procurator fiscal for drug offences following the recovery of cannabis during the search of a number of houses in Whalsay last Friday.

Many in the island community have reacted with unease and criticised the police operation after no traces of drugs were found in most of the places searched.

Sources said that five properties and the boating club were searched by a large contingent of police officers – leaving islanders upset and children scared.

Two found with drugs after police raid 'a number of addresses' in Whalsay

TWO people were found in possession of illegal drugs in Whalsay last weekend following a search of numerous properties on the island, according to the police.

It is understood that, acting on intelligence, police also searched one or more family homes where no traces of drugs were found – leaving the occupants bemused as to why they had been searched.

One mother was left to give her three young children their dinner on the bathroom floor while police extensively searched the rest of the property.

Tigger the airport cat lapping up attention

Katrina Williamson and her daughter Layla getting acquainted with Tigger while waiting for a flight.A CURIOUS cat which regularly visits Sumburgh Airport is becoming something of a local celebrity on social media.

Tigger has regularly been seen hanging out in the south mainland airport, lounging on its seats for naps and purring up close with passengers.

As a result, the ginger moggie has become something of a social media star – with travellers regularly uploading photos of the friendly cat online.

SIC planners in favour of Yell wind farm

How the Beaw Field wind farm turbines could look from Burravoe. Image courtesy of Peel Energy.SHETLAND Islands Council’s planning department is recommending that consent should be given for a 17-turbine wind farm in the south east of Yell.

Because of the Beaw Field project’s size – it will have a generating capacity exceeding 50MW – it is classed as a “major development”, meaning the decision will ultimately be taken by the Scottish Government’s energy consents unit.

Council moves workers out of North Ness

Desks being moved out of the North Ness offices on Tuesday lunchtime. Photo: Andrew Gibson/Millgaet Media

STAFF based at Shetland Islands Council’s North Ness headquarters were swiftly moved out of the office block on Tuesday amid concerns about the building’s structure – a little over four years after it first opened.

The instruction to vacate the building came from Shetland Charitable Trust’s property company SLAP, which owns the property and leases it to the council.

A chance to brush up on your marketing

Megan Burns.A SHETLAND born marketing professional has launched a Facebook competition for a local business to win two days of free marketing consultancy.

Megan Burns, who hails from Unst but now lives in Glasgow, said she wanted to give something back to the community she grew up in.

SIC impressed by ‘world-class’ country

Faroese prime minister Aksel Johannessen and SIC convener Malcolm Bell.A SHETLAND Islands Council delegation has just arrived back from an eye-opening "state visit" to neighbouring Faroe.

Speaking on his return to Lerwick Town Hall, council convener Malcolm Bell said he was deeply impressed by the way the Faroese were running their own affairs.

Trust adopts new governance rules

SCT vice chairman Jonathan Wills: 'Democratic deficit'SHETLAND Charitable Trust (SCT) is in danger of looking "silly" if no councillors are put forward as trustees after next year's council election, it was claimed on Thursday when trustees voted in a new governance set-up for the £230 million trust.

Trustees voted by six to two in favour of reducing the number of elected councillor trustees from seven to four as of June next year.

However, Shetland Islands Council has already decided that it would no longer put forward any councillors as trustees to avoid any potential conflicts of interest.

Fin whale dies after stranding on Noss

Wildlife volunteers initially thought they were dealing with a minke whale - all photos: Craig NisbetATTEMPTS to save a massive fin whale stranded on a remote stretch of coastline in Shetland have failed.

Wildlife volunteers were called to the scene on the island of Noss on Wednesday afternoon to what initially appeared to be a large minke whale in distress.

Six times the drink driving limit

Lerwick Sheriff Court.A FISHERMAN who drove with his young son as a passenger while six times the drink-driving limit has been banned from the road for 32 months and fined £1,000.

Lerwick Sheriff Court heard on Wednesday that 44-year old Ewan Anderson, of North Road, Lerwick, drove a car on the A970 near the Nesting junction on 26 August with 135 micro grammes of alcohol in 100ml of breath.

Oil industry airport objects to wind farm

The proposed Beaw Filed wind farm seen from Burravoe - Image: peel EnergyTHE operator of the oil industry airport at Scatsta has objected to a proposed wind farm development in the nearby island of Yell on the grounds of aircraft safety and potential operational impacts.

Serco says the Beaw Field wind farm, which would have 17 145-metre high turbines, could be visible on Scatsta's radar since they are to be built beneath the airport's main inbound and outbound route.

Petition to reinstate baby massage class

Becky Robertson with her young baby Mason.A PETITION has been launched calling on NHS Shetland to reinstate a baby massage group that has been “invaluable to hundreds of parents from all over Shetland”.

The popular class came to an end last week and the local health board confirmed it had decided to stop running the classes.

Thirty four year old mother Becky Robertson, who lives in Tingwall, said the classes were “often the first time that mums get themselves and their babies up and dressed and out the house in the mornings”.

Loan scheme to boost crofters' cash flow

A LOAN scheme will be introduced by the Scottish Government this autumn to support farmers and crofters amid further criticism of its delayed Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) payments.

The scheme will allow 17,000 people to apply for loans worth up to 80 per cent of their entitlement in an effort to avoid cash flow problems experienced last year.

EU exit set to revive fishing communities

The Prolific - one of the vessels in the Shetland whitefish fleet. Photo: Hans J Marter/ShetNewsTHE SCOTTISH fishing industry believes Britain's impending EU exit could invigorate coastal and island communities with foreign vessels set to lose the right to catch in some of the world's richest fishing grounds.

An industry briefing paper issued ahead of Wednesday's Scottish Parliament debate on the UK's decision to leave the EU said the decision had the potential to deliver a thriving and sustainable seafood industry as the UK asserts control over its 200-mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

Man admits failing to keep proper lookout prior to shellfish boat tragedy

THE MASTER of a Shetland shellfish boat has admitted failing to preserve a crewman’s life by neglecting to keep a proper lookout before the vessel hit rocks and sank off West Burrafirth.

Christopher Smith, 39, of Glenburn Road, Hamnavoe, Burra, pleaded guilty to the charge, which related to an incident on board the Lerwick-registered wooden boat Diamond in the early hours of 25 March 2014.

It resulted in the tragic death of 40 year old Lerwick man Leonard Scollay off the west coast of the Shetland mainland.

'You're old enough to know better', sheriff tells 70-year-old first offender

A FIRST time offender who admitted drunkenly assaulting a man he had a long-running feud with the day after his seventieth birthday has been told he is old enough to know better.

Sheriff Philip Mann told Alistair Munro, of Stucca, Hillswick, that he should be ashamed of his behaviour on 24 July this year, and fined him £460 for his trouble.

Munro pleaded guilty to assaulting the man at the St Magnus Bay Hotel and at Stucca, both in Hillswick, by pinning him to the ground and punching him on the head to his injury.

Family raising funds for Joseph's bionic limb

Joseph Williamson had his right arm amputated above the elbow after a cancerous lump was found in his wrist. THE FAMILY of a Shetland man who suffered the effects of encephalitis throughout his youth and had his arm amputated to prevent a cancerous tumour from spreading has launched a fundraising appeal aimed at paying for a bionic limb.

Twenty five year old Joseph Williamson got encephalitis – a rare but serious conditions causing inflammation of the brain – when he was seven, followed by white matter brain damage which resulted in epileptic and behavioural issues until his 20s.

SIC leadership heading to Faroe for talks

SIC leader Gary Robinson and chief executive Mark Boden, along with convener Malcolm Bell, are off to Faroe this week.SHETLAND Islands Council’s leadership team is heading to the Faroe Islands this week for talks – the first formal delegation to make the trip in five years.

Council convener Malcolm Bell, leader Gary Robinson and chief executive Mark Boden are making the journey to discuss a number of topics including governance, transport, elderly care, broadband and the challenges of delivering services in remote and island communities.