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Local views mixed over second indyref

EU Leave campaigner Brian Nugent.POLITICANS locally are divided on the question of whether the EU poll result has provided a mandate for a second Scottish independence referendum.

Amid unprecedented upheaval following the UK’s 52-48 vote to sever its ties with Brussels, local Leave campaigner Brian Nugent said he was “not convinced” there is a mandate for another indyref, while Shetland MSP Tavish Scott cautioned against having “endless debates” over independence.

But SIC leader Gary Robinson thinks Scotland “must consider its position” after 62 per cent of voters north of the border voted Remain, while No-supporting SIC councillor George Smith hinted that he may support independence within Europe second time around.

Scalloway man plans new Viking tipple

Mead from Scalloway is set to be the next locally produced drink to enter the market.SHETLAND is set to add mead to its burgeoning home-grown drinks industry.

Alistair Morgan, who lives in Scalloway, has launched Viking Mead and hopes to start full-scale production next year once premises are secured and equipment is in place.

The human resources worker has already been making mead - a drink closely associated with Viking heritage that is made from fermented honey - at home.

Fisherman dies after falling overboard

King Challenger BA87THE CREW member of the Ballantrae-registered fishing boat King Challenger who fell overboard on Thursday morning off Shetland has died in hospital, police have confirmed.

Shetland Coastguard was alerted to the incident southwest of Scalloway at 9.50am and immediately tasked its search and rescue helicopter.

Live: local reactions to EU exit

First minister Nicola Sturgeon says she will start setting out the legislative programme for a second Scottish independence referendum.PRIME minister David Cameron has announced he is stepping down in October after losing Thursday's historic EU referendum, while first minister Nicola Sturgeon has said that a second independence referendum is now "highly likely". Almost 52 per cent of UK citizens voted for Leave although Scotland (and Shetland) voted in favour of remaining a member of the European Union. Here is our Live Blog with local reactions (please refresh this page regularly):

4.30pm: Tavish Scott MSP says it is "hardly surprising" Nicola Sturgeon is already talking up a second independence referendum, but warns there are more important issues to consider following Thursday's vote to leave the EU.

"The markets have fallen dramatically, the pound is on the slide, businesses are worried about the future, we have economic chaos caused by the Tories and I don't think Nicola Sturgeon should be causing more chaos," he said.

Fishing leaders respond to EU exit

SFA executive officer Simon CollinsSCOTLAND's two largest fishing associations have urged the governments in Edinburgh and London to work with them to secure better fishing opportunities.

The UK has voted in favour of leaving the EU in Thursday's historic referendum.

Leave won the ballot by 51.9 to 48.1 per cent, although Scotland voted strongly in favour of remaining in the EU with 62 per cent. In Shetland 56.5 per cent of voters opted for staying in the EU.

In a joint statement issued shortly after the official result was announced on Friday morning, the leaders of the Scottish White Fish Producers' Association and Shetland Fishermen's Association acknowledged that most of their members had wanted out of the EU.

Shetland votes to remain in the EU

Counting officer Jan Riise declares the result of the EU referendum in Shetland, with 56.5 per cent voting to remain.SHETLAND has voted to remain in the EU by a margin of 13 per cent. The results came in a full hour and a quarter ahead of schedule, with a high turnout of 70.4 per cent voting.

Out of 12,231 votes cast, 56.5 per cent (6,907) voted to remain, while 43.5 per cent (5,315) voted to leave.

Norwegian sailors enjoying Shetland summer

 

A short video with a few impressions from Victoria Pier on Friday afternoon.

Jail for crashing stolen motorcycle

Lerwick Sheriff Court.A MAN from Mossbank described as being "lucky to be alive" after crashing a stolen motorcycle while under the influence has been sent to jail and disqualified from driving.

Grant Huntington, of 18 Sandside, was sent to prison for eleven months and banned from the road for four and a half years after admitting a string of offences at Lerwick Sheriff Court on Thursday.

Voting in EU referendum under way

POLLING stations in Shetland are now open in the historic EU referendum, which will see UK voters decide whether to remain a member of the European Union or to leave.

A total of 17,375 voters in the isles are eligible to cast their vote.

There are 34 polling stations in 28 polling places across Shetland with voters in the outer isles having all signed up to be postal voters.

National recognition for two housing schemes

The Grodians scheme, next to the Baptist Church at Quoys, is one of two Richard Gibson Architects schemes to feature in a national exhibition. Photo courtesy of Hjaltland Housing AssociationTWO HOUSING schemes designed by local firm Richard Gibson Architects on behalf of Hjaltland Housing in recent years are featuring in a Scotland-wide “Best of the Best” exhibition launched earlier this week.

The Grodians and Vadil developments in Lerwick were both singled out for the quality of their design by Architecture and Design Scotland (A+DS).

30th Bergen-Shetland race gets underway

This year's Shetland Race got underway in Bergen on Wednesday morning. Photo: Karen AnderssonTHIS year’s Shetland Race got underway on Wednesday morning with 34 competing yachts going across the starting line in Bergen in a competition celebrating its 30th anniversary.

Their progress can be tracked online, with the trackers updated every 30 minutes, here. The early leader on the water is Solo 2, skippered by Rune Aasberg.

Historic Scotland cash for town hall repairs

Lerwick Town Hall on Tuesday - Shetland Flag Day. Photo: ShetnewsWORK TO repair water damage to Lerwick Town Hall has received a fillip in the shape of a grant from Historic Environment Scotland (HES) worth nearly quarter of a million pounds.

HES confirmed the £233,855 grant towards the A-listed Victorian building’s upkeep – amounting to 14 per cent of the estimated £1.7 million cost of the repairs to be carried out.

Joint anniversary for museum and archives

The old Shetland Museum at Hillhead. Photo: Shetland Museum and Archives.SHETLAND Museum and Archives is celebrating a brace of significant anniversaries this summer.

On 28 June it will be 50 years since the old museum at the Hillhead in Lerwick opened, displaying artefacts held by the county for the first time. It remained open for 40 years before moving to its current Hay’s Dock location.

‘Victorian’ photographer's lifeboat station visit

Photographer Jack Lowe - a man and his camera - Photos: Hans J Marter/ShetNewsA PHOTOGRAPHER documenting all 237 RNLI lifeboat stations in the manner the Victorians would have done has arrived at the Aith outpost in time for the Simmer Dim.

Eighteen months ago Jack Lowe embarked on a five-year project that will see him capturing all of the lifeboat stations, their volunteer crews and individual portraits on 12x8-inch glass plates.

Refugee group evades ban to reach Calais

THE SHETLAND Solidarity with Refugees group successfully delivered a van-load of supplies to the Calais refugee camp on Saturday – but only after undertaking a covert mission via Belgium to evade a ban by the French authorities.

The team – Jeanette Nowak, Rita Smith, Kaila McCulloch and Bruce McCulloch – set off on the NorthLink ferry on Thursday night and had intended to join a peaceful demonstration against the UK Government on Saturday before joining a Convoy to Calais.

Muckle warship comes to town

HMS Somerset initially anchored off Gulberwick and Quarff before coming in to Lerwick Harbour at midday on Friday - Photo: Austin TaylorTHE LARGEST Royal Navy warship to visit Shetland in recent years has berthed in Lerwick harbour for the weekend.

The Type 23 frigate HMS Somerset stopped off on Friday morning with its 184 crew for a break and to take on fuel and stores before heading for Norway to take part in an annual NATO anti-submarine exercise.

Feedback sought about Shetland’s bus service

How well is Shetland's bus service meeting local needs?SHETLAND Islands Council is seeking feedback about the quality of its bus service two years after a new network timetable was introduced.

The call comes as a study by Citizens Advice Scotland reveals that the SIC spent more per person on bus services than any other part of Scotland than the Western Isles.

Transport manager Michael Craigie explained that the high cost of bus transport in the isles relates to its geography.

Local tributes paid to murdered MP

The fUnion flag flies at half mast over Lerwick Town Hall in honour of murdered MP Jo Cox. Photo SICTHE UNION flag is flying at half mast above Lerwick Town Hall as a mark of respect for Labour MP Jo Cox who was murdered outside her constituency office in Leeds on Thursday.

Shetland Islands Council convener Malcolm Bell said: “Like most people, I was shocked as the awful news emerged from Yorkshire yesterday.

“Jo Cox was murdered for simply doing what politicians do: her best for those she was proud to represent.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and colleagues.”

Monster truck joins Midsummer Carnival

The Red Dragon monster truck: in Shetland this weekend for some car crushing.EUROPE's only monster racing truck is in Shetland this weekend to participate in the annual Midsummer Carnival but also to perform a number of car crashing stunts.

The Red Dragon monster truck will be at the Tesco car park later on Friday where bids can be made for one of just ten available seats on the truck during Saturday's procession.

Time to bring isles into 21st century

SIC leader Gary Robinson wants to make the case to government for Shetland Telecom to deliver the necessary digital infrastructure to drag Shetland into the 21st century.SIC LEADER Gary Robinson is pushing for the council to take bolder action to improve broadband and mobile infrastructure in the islands amid yet more frustration at telecoms giant BT.

Speaking during this week’s development committee meeting, Robinson was again heavily critical of Digital Scotland’s “superfast” project, being delivered by HIE and BT, which should see around three quarters of isles households enjoy faster broadband speeds.

Promote Shetland contract under review

A new contract to promote Shetland is expected to go out to tender this autumn.THE FUTURE of Promote Shetland, the organisation contracted to attract tourists and new residents to the islands, will be determined this autumn ahead of its contract expiring in March 2017.

Promote Shetland was first created seven years ago and its contract with Shetland Islands Council has been set at £394,000 a year since 2012/13, with the current arrangement running until next spring.

SIC introduces charges for charging points

NHS Shetland chief executive Ralph Roberts and SIC leader Gary Robinson pictured at the Gilbertson Park's electric vehicle charging point last month. There are now a dozen points throughout the isles. Photo courtesy of SIC.SHETLAND Islands Council is to introduce charges for users of its burgeoning network of electric vehicle charging points around the islands.

The local authority has so far installed a dozen charging points – six in Lerwick, and a further six in more rural locations – after benefiting from various tranches of external money.

Council seeks views on uses for old AHS site

The SIC has drawn up a "draft development brief" for the existing Anderson High School site. Photo: Shetnews/Neil RiddellSHETLAND Islands Council is launching a six-week public consultation to help determine how best the site of the current Anderson High School – which in theory has room for up to 276 houses – can  be developed.

Consultation on a “draft development brief” will begin in July prior to drawing up a more detailed “masterplan” for the Knab site, which will be freed up once the new high school being built at the lower Staney Hill opens in the second half of 2017.

Sheep killings leave farmer devastated

Farmer Allan Ridland with one of the dead sheep suffering multiple gunshot wounds - Photo: Hans J Marter/ShetNewsA SHETLAND farmer has spoken of how he had almost 100 sheep shot dead by a group of young men going on a rampage with guns.

Allan Ridland, who has been farming at Punds, Voxter for all his working days, said his life has turned into "hell on earth".