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Random testing could send out stronger message on drugs, says south end councillor

South mainland councillor Allison Duncan thinks more can be done to tackle drug use in Shetland.THE VICE-chairman of Shetland's health and social care partnership has suggested that the council and health board could randomly test staff for drugs to send out a stronger message on substance misuse.

Councillor Allison Duncan raised the idea at Wednesday's meeting of Shetland's integration joint board (IJB) as he expressed concern over the prevalence of drugs in the isles.

He said if workplaces like Sullom Voe Terminal can undertake random drug testing with a "zero tolerance" approach then perhaps Shetland Islands Council and NHS Shetland should follow suit.

SIC reiterates funding call after HIAL meeting

The Sumburgh Airport car park. Photo: Hans J Marter/Shetland NewsSHETLAND Islands Council officials have reiterated their call for Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd (HIAL) to be "properly funded" by the Scottish Government after holding fresh talks on controversial plans to introduce a car parking charge at Sumburgh Airport.

Council representatives met members of HIAL in Lerwick on Wednesday afternoon to discuss its plans to charge people £3 a day to park at its Sumburgh, Kirkwall and Stornoway airports.

Local industry welcomes scallop ruling

THE SHETLAND Shellfish Management Organisation (SSMO) has welcomed a decision from independent adjudicators to renew the sustainable status of the isles' scallop fishery.

Inshore coordinator Carole Laignel said that consumers can "continue to purchase Shetland scallops secure in the knowledge they are harvested in a responsible and sustainable manner".

Unst Partnership to grow after asset transfer

Baltasound in Unst. Photo: John Coutts/HIEUNST Partnership is to become the first community enterprise to benefit from acquiring a publicly owned asset from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).

It will purchase and refurbish the building it currently leases from HIE in Hagdale, Baltasound, in order to create a recycling facility and second-hand shop as well as a new part-time post to help run it.

Slimline boat festival to be held in August

The Shetland Amenity Trust offices in Lerwick.SHETLAND Amenity Trust is to hold a slimmed down version of the Shetland Boat Week festival this August.

The organisers are also considering holding similar events on alternate years with boat week proper. This year's, as yet un-named, festival will continue to publicise and preserve the isles' maritime heritage.

SIC asked to consider hotel development

HOTEL chain Travelodge says it has written to Shetland Islands Council about a possible joint partnership to fund the construction of a new hotel in Lerwick on surplus land.

The company has written to a number of local authorities in Scotland as it looks to expand in the country.

Cancer charity expands with outreach service

Next up for the CLAN outreach service is a visit to Whalsay, as pictured above, on Tuesday (19 June).CANCER charity CLAN is set to hit the road this summer to give support to people across the length and breadth of Shetland who have been affected by cancer.

People will be able to access wellbeing support, information and signposting nearer to home instead of travelling to the charity's local Lerwick base.

Midsummer carnival livens up Lerwick

The Year of Young People float. Photo: Chris Cope/Shetland NewsHUNDREDS of people lined the streets of Lerwick on Saturday evening to watch the annual Midsummer Carnival.

All money raised at the event goes to the Callum Younger Reach Fund.

HIAL to reconfigure car park barrier layout

The scene at the Sumburgh Airport car park area on Thursday. Photo: Hans J Marter/Shetland NewsWORK on erecting vehicle barriers at Sumburgh Airport has been temporarily halted after Shetland Islands Council raised concerns over the road into the car park area.

Airport operator Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd (HIAL) said it is reconfiguring the layout of its plans and still hopes to introduce the £3 a day car park charge from the scheduled 1 July - but if no agreement is reached then there could be a delay.

Budge sisters win national farming award

Aimee and Kirsty Budge (centre) flanked by Countryfile's Adam Henson and Charlotte Smith and family. Photo: BBC's The Food Programme Twitter. TWO sisters who run an established farm in Shetland's south mainland have won a prize at this year's BBC Food and Farming Awards.

Aimee and Kirsty Budge, of Bigton Farm, enjoyed success in the 2018 Farming Hero category of the national awards in Bristol on Wednesday night.

NAFC close accommodation to allow for tests

Port Arthur House. Photo: PeterJohnson/Shetland NewsTHE STUDENT accommodation at the NAFC Marine Centre campus, in Scalloway, is closing to allow engineers to get to the bottom of an ongoing structural issue.

Merchant navy cadets have already been moved out of the first floor accommodation but Port Arthur House will now be completely vacated by the end of August.

BP to swap Scatsta for Sumburgh airport

Offshore workers boarding a Bristow operated helicopter at Scatsta.THE AVIATION partnership operating at Scatsta airport has said they are not expecting any immediate changes to the set-up at the north mainland airport after BP confirmed that it is pulling out.

The oil giant said on Tuesday that it is to move its entire Shetland based aviation requirements to Babcock based at Sumburgh airport as of November this year.

Dornan: University not the ‘be-all and end-all’

Shetland MSP Tavish Scott (left) and James Dornan, the convener of the Scottish parliament's education and skills committee at the NAFC Marine Centre on Monday afternoon. Photo: Hans J Marter/Shetland NewsYOUNG people are demanding more work placement opportunities to get a better idea of all the options available to them when deciding what to do after leaving school.

This was one of the messages a Scottish parliament committee received on Monday when meeting with pupils and students from Lerwick's Anderson High School, the Shetland College as well as the NAFC Marine Centre.

Community marks centenary of air base

The comparative plaque and information board were unveiled by Magnie Williamson (left) and Crichton Irvine. All photo: Hans J Marter/Shetland NewsA COMMEMORATIVE plaque has been unveiled at Catfirth, South Nesting, on Sunday to mark the centenary of the opening of the RAF station at Catfirth which also marks the 100th anniversary of the first ever flight to Shetland.

The station was the most northerly base in Britain for tracking and attacking German submarines towards the end of the First World War, using state of the art technology of the time such as Felixstowe F3 flying boats and wireless communication. 

Seabird picture more complex than reported

Guillemots at Noss. Photo: Shetland NewsSHETLAND is still a fantastic place for birdwatching and wildlife, according to local experts, and far from the seabird desert portrayed by a recent article in The Observer and on the www.theguardian.com website.

The article, published on Sunday quotes heavily from Royal Society for the Protection of Birds figures, has thrown up a mismatch between some RSPB statistics and those estimated by other wildlife experts and monitors.

Ire over airport bosses' forum no-show

The thorny issue of car park charges at Sumburgh airport continues dominate the agenda.THE OPERATORS of Sumburgh airport are to stick to their schedule of charging for car parking from July, but the absence of Highlands and Islands Airports Limited (HIAL) top brass at a key meeting on Thursday has irked Shetland Island Council representatives.

HIAL chairwoman Lorna Jack and managing director Inglis Lyon had taken umbrage at the thorny item being included on the Shetland External Transport Forum agenda.

SAT reorganisation

SHETLAND amenity Trust is embarking on a major restructuring exercise that will see the creation of five new management post.

Chief inspector defends introduction of tasers

Shetland police chief inspector Lindsay Tulloch.POLICE in Shetland have defended plans to train local officers in the use of tasers following criticism from isles MSP Tavish Scott.

Shetland area commander Lindsay Tulloch said arming officers with tasers was a national initiative in response to the increased number of assaults on police officers and emergency services.

The chief inspector revealed that in Shetland there have been 17 assaults on emergency workers, including police officers during the last year.

Scott had warned against "imposing" city policing on island communities where the number cases reported to police continues to decline.

Lerwick man had thousands of indecent images

Lerwick sheriff court.A LERWICK man who had stored tens of thousands of indecent images of children on his computers will be sentenced early next month.

David William Bruce, of the town's Voderview, admitted a charge of taking or permitted to be taken indecent photographs of children over an almost ten year period between August 2008 and 25 October 2017.

Challenging negative stereotypes

The Unpacking Everyday Encounters seminar was chaired by isles MP Alistair Carmichael. Photo: Patrick MainlandSOCIAL isolation, prejudices within communities and alternatives to prison were just a few of the complex local issues explored at the Unpacking Everyday Encounters seminar on Tuesday, writes Patrick Mainland.

This year's event, the fifth annual 'Unpacking' seminar, had a particular focus on the importance of everyday 'banal' conversations. In other words, how reaching out to isolated people, particularly ex-prisoners attempting to reintegrate with their communities, can be done in small, simple ways.

Clickimin helipad to be retained permanently

The Clickimin landing site photographed by Margaret Clark.THE EMERGENCY helicopter landing pad at Clickimin is to be retained on a permanent basis after receiving the backing of Shetland Islands Council's planning committee.

The Lerwick helipad - which has been in use between two grass pitches south of the leisure centre since March 2016 - initially received temporary planning approval, but full permission was applied for in February.

Merger enables expansion of Johnson Marine

Johnson Marine's Vidlin headquarters. Photo: Shetland NewsSHETLAND'S largest fish carrier and workboat company is to merge with a Norwegian counterpart – a move that will eventually see the parent company listed on the Norwegian stock market.

Vidlin based Johnson Marine has become a major success story in the aquaculture service sector operating wellboats (fish and smolt carriers), harvest vessels and workboats with 105 employees in Shetland, Scotland, Iceland and Spain.

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