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Future of free bin bags in doubt

FREE black bin bags for every household in Shetland could soon become a thing of the past as the local authority continues on its austerity drive to balance its books.

Currently Shetland Islands Council is the only council in Scotland to provide 52 free bin bags to all homes at a cost of almost £25,000.

Next Wednesday Shetland Islands Council’s environment and transport committee will be asked to throw that policy onto the waste heap, instead offering bin bags for sale at a knock down price.

Big changes in the Lerwick shopping scene

Scalloway Meat Company's John Alex Cromarty. Photo BBC Radio ShetlandLERWICK is to get a new butcher after Globe Butchers closed its doors earlier this year.

The town centre will also be lifted by High Level Music moving into new premises at the Market Cross.

However the increasingly popular Havly Café on Charlotte Street is to close its doors next week to allow its owners to devote more time to their new baby.

Bressay hotel shuts after managers vanish

THE OWNERS of a Shetland hotel have been devastated after the Canadian couple running it abandoned the business and left the island leaving a trail of debt behind them.

The Maryfield Hotel on the island of Bressay was leased to Patrick and Morgan Blanch last August after owners David and Linda Wood retired.

The three year lease included an obligation to buy the property, but after less than a year the couple have disappeared without trace.

Remote areas lag behind superfast Lerwick

BT Scotland director Brendan Dick in Lerwick on Friday. Photo ShetnewsLERWICK will be the first island community in Scotland to get superfast broadband as part of the government’s £146 million project to connect the highlands and islands.

Speaking at a digital forum meeting in Lerwick on Friday morning, BT Scotland’s director Brendan Dick said the town could expect broadband speeds up to 80 Mbps as of September this year.

The meeting, organised by isles MP Alistair Carmichael, also heard that customers in most other Shetland communities could expect superfast broadband in 2015 and 2016, a year or so earlier than anticipated.

BP confirms 100 new jobs at terminal

From peat to prosperity. The long term future of Sullom Voe oil terminal looks healthier as BP announces yet more investment. Photo ShetnewsAROUND 100 new permanent jobs are to be created at Shetland’s Sullom Voe oil terminal as operator BP switches from the current shift pattern to an offshore style ‘two weeks on/three weeks off’ rota.

The change comes in response to difficulties in recruiting a sufficient number of local people with the right skills.

Back behind bars for copycat break in

A LERWICK man who broke into the same shop he was jailed for breaking into last year was sent back to prison for eight months at the town’s sheriff court on Thursday.

Iain Tulloch, aged 44, of 4 Harbour Street, was caught by CCTV cameras that filmed him rummaging through Home Furnishings on Lerwick’s Commercial Road on 24 December last year.

The court heard how Tulloch covered his face and used a ladder to reach a side window which he broke to enter the premises before checking the till, which was empty of cash, and then removing the disc from the CCTV camera.

Drug dealing “gambit” leads to prison

A LERWICK man who invested his inheritance in heroin to smuggle it back into Shetland to profit from its sale was jailed for three years at Lerwick Sheriff Court on Thursday.

Andrew Gibson, of 41 Hoofields, pled guilty to being concerned in the supply of the Class A drug when he was arrested by police acting on a tip off after he came off the ferry from Aberdeen at Holmsgarth Road on 7 February.

Procurator fiscal Duncan Mackenzie told the court the 36 year old had embarked on “an entrepreneurial gambit” after inheriting money, travelled to Ayrshire where he purchased 187 grammes of heroin worth up to £8,000.

Man jailed after ferry rampages

A FORMER heroin addict living on the Shetland isle of Yell has been jailed for 10 months after running rampage on two ferries and assaulting crew and passengers while high on drugs and alcohol.

On Thursday 37 year old Darren Gear, of Chalet 2, Ulsta, admitted a string of assault and breach of the peace charges on board the NorthLink ferry Hjaltland as it sailed from Aberdeen to Lerwick on 6 January this year.

He also admitted causing a breach of the peace and vandalising the Yell ferry Daggri three weeks later on 27 January.

Industry warns of cuts to fisheries college

Paul Macdonald of NAFC measuring the length of fish at Lerwick Fish Market and removing otoliths (ear bones) to determine their age - Photo: SFA/SSPOSHETLAND'S multi million pound fishing industry has warned against any further cuts to the funding for the NAFC Marine Centre, in Scalloway.

The fisheries college is facing an uncertain future due to cuts in the financial support it receives through Shetland Islands Council.

Pottinger jailed for eight months

A YOUNG Shetland serial offender is back behind bars after admitting he intended to steal when he was found at a house in the island of Yell, in the early hours of Sunday 6 April.

Jason Pottinger, with an address in the same village at Meadowbank Road, Burravoe, committed the offence while on early release from a previous custodial sentence.

On Wednesday at Lerwick Sheriff Court, Sheriff Philip Mann jailed the 26 year old for 10 weeks for intending to commit theft, and ordered him to serve a further six months from his previous sentence.

SIC signs deal over high school land

The proposed Anderson High School with the halls of residence in the background. Image: SICA PLANNING application to build a new high school in Lerwick is set to be submitted before the end of the month after the local authority has managed to secure the final plot of land for an undisclosed sum.

Shetland Islands Council's head of children services, Helen Budge, said she was confident that the new £42 million Anderson High School would be ready by August 2016 despite the time it took to negotiate the land sale.

Popular Geordie comic to kick off tour at Mareel

Popular Geordie comedian Ross Noble.ONE OF Britain’s best-loved comedians, Ross Noble, has chosen Shetland as the starting point for his UK tour in September.

The 37 year old Geordie will perform in Mareel’s 330-seater auditorium on Thursday 11 September as the starting point of his ‘Tangentleman’ tour.

Noble was voted the tenth greatest comic on Channel Four’s 100 greatest stand-ups in 2007, then came 11th on an updated list in 2011. He rose to mainstream popularity through appearances on UK television, including appearances on celebrity quiz shows, bringing him widespread attention.

CLAN housekeeper's 70th birthday challenge

CLAN Haven housekeeper Jan Livingstone.ONE OF the housekeepers at CLAN Haven in Aberdeen is visiting Shetland next month on a fundraising mission in the year of her seventieth birthday.

Jan Livingstone will enter her eighth decade in October and decided to set herself an extensive 70 challenges to achieve during the year.

Those challenges include a “Shetland seven” which she hopes to tick off the list during a short visit to the islands between 19 and 23 May.

New 50-seater aircraft touches down

Loganair's new 50-seater Saab 2000 aircraft enjoyed a smooth landing at Sumburgh. Photo: Ronnie RobertsonLOGANAIR today introduced the first of three 50-seater Saab 2000 aircraft on its services between Shetland and the Scottish mainland.

The first aircraft took off on its inaugural commercial flight from Aberdeen to Sumburgh at 3pm on Monday.

The new planes will boost capacity on the route as they can carry 40 per cent more passengers than the 34-seat current Saab 340 model.

Community transport moves up ZetTrans agenda

Fetlar development worker Robert Thomson at the wheel of the island's new electric minibus that is run in conjunction with a private operator. Photo ShetnewsPUBLIC transport managers in Shetland hope to see a flowering of community groups operating their own buses and other vehicles over the next five years.

Shetland transport partnership ZetTrans wants to encourage more groups like the Burra and Trondra Community Minibus Association, which has been hiring out a minibus to local folk for more than a decade.

Northmavine ready to fight school closures

Urafirth primary school parents are getting ready to fight to keep the school open. Photo Richard WebbPARENTS in Northmavine are gearing up for battle after Shetland Islands Council announced it was consulting on closing two primary schools in the area.

Plans to consult on closing North Roe and Urafirth primaries along with Urafirth nursery were put on hold last year after the SIC agreed to carry out further consultation.

Welcome back “Oscar Charlie”

Shetland's new Sikorsky S-92 coastguard search and rescue helicopters at Sumburgh last year.A DECISION to rename Shetland’s coastguard search and rescue helicopter Oscar Charlie has been greeted with enthusiasm in the islands.

On Friday Bristow Helicopters announced they would be holding a naming ceremony at the coastguard’s Sumburgh base on 25 April.

Relay for Life on track for success

In 2012 the Relay for Life was blessed with glorious sunshine as 130 cancer survivors started the even with their lap of honour. Photo Hans J MarterSHETLAND’S biggest charity event is building up to be as successful as the last one two years ago with 105 teams already signed up to take part.

Organisers of the Relay for Life for Cancer Research say there are more teams than there were at this stage in 2012, with just 50 days to go to the big event on 31 May.

Groups are already staging fundraising events throughout the isles, such the Southern Belles and Beaus – formerly the South Mainland Cancer Support Group – who organised a flash mob routine of The Birdie Song at Sumburgh airport on Wednesday raising an astonishing £341.63 in just 45 minutes.

Racing driver enjoys Alfa Romeo debut

Shetland racing driver Kristian Leith dons Alfa Romeo colours for the first time at Silverstone.

SHETLAND racing driver Kristian Leith enjoyed his first taste of action with Alfa Romeo at the world famous Silverstone circuit at the weekend.

The 38 year old was chosen earlier this year to compete as part of the Pro Alfa team in the BRSCC (British Racing & Sports Car Club) Alfa Romeo Championships this summer.

Ska band laugh off airport security 'farce'

Bombskare keyboardist Matthew Bartlett wearing the supposedly offensive t-shirt.A MEMBER of popular ska band Bombskare has branded Edinburgh Airport’s security "humourless" after being ordered to cover up a t-shirt bearing the group’s name before boarding a flight to Shetland on Saturday.

The group were catching a flight to Sumburgh Airport before headlining Saturday night’s hugely successful MS fundraising concert at Mareel.

Keyboardist Matthew Bartlett told Shetland News that two members of security had told him the t-shirt could offend fellow travellers.

Businesses pay delivery 'postcode penalty'

A SURVEY by Citizen Advice Scotland (CAS) has gathered further evidence that households and businesses in the northern isles are penalised by high delivery charges.

The report The Postcode Penalty: The Business Burden, published on Tuesday, recommends businesses should use Royal Mail rather than courier services.

Striptease helps raise over £14,000 for MS charity

  • All was not totally revealed. But avid snapper Davie Gardner says he is leaving the rest to Shetland News readers' imaginations - along with a tantalising hint that he may have pictures of the men in a more advanced state of undress.
  • The seven local strippers who (not quite) revealed all were Wayne Uren, Jamie Sim, Stevie Coutts, Karl Batty, Samuel Scott, Stephen Glaister and Christopher Irvine. Photo: Davie Gardner.
  • Ska band Bombscare had many in the audience dancing. Photo: Davie Gardner.
  • Shetland party favourites The Revellers delivered their usual upbeat set. Photo: Davie Gardner.
  • Local singer songwriter Toni Sidgwick opened the charity concert. Photo: Davie Gardner.
  • All was not totally revealed. But avid snapper Davie Gardner says he is leaving the rest to Shetland News readers' imaginations - along with a tantalising hint that he may have pictures of the men in a more advanced state of undress.
  • The seven local strippers who (not quite) revealed all were Wayne Uren, Jamie Sim, Stevie Coutts, Karl Batty, Samuel Scott, Stephen Glaister and Christopher Irvine. Photo: Davie Gardner.
  • Ska band Bombscare had many in the audience dancing. Photo: Davie Gardner.
  • Shetland party favourites The Revellers delivered their usual upbeat set. Photo: Davie Gardner.
  • Local singer songwriter Toni Sidgwick opened the charity concert. Photo: Davie Gardner.

A SELLOUT concert featuring feel-good music, a seven-man strip tease and a public waxing raised a phenomenal £14,648 for Shetland’s multiple sclerosis (MS) society on Saturday night.

Organiser Amy Uren said she was “delighted” to have raised such a large sum, much higher than the £10,000 she had been targeting, and thanked everyone for their remarkable generosity.

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