SIC go private
ONLY 12 councillors turned up to the SIC’s full meeting to discuss the authority’s submission to the Accounts Commission prior to the public hearing on 28 and 29 June.
Councillor Jonathan Wills only won the support of two councillors – Gary Robinson and Allison Duncan – when he called for the meeting to be held in public saying it looked “a bit silly…going into secret session to discuss our proposed submission to a public inquiry”.
Acting chief executive Hazel Sutherland presented members with her draft submission that had to be restricted to four pages of A4 to meet the commission’s guidelines.
After a two hour debate going through the text line by line an edited submission was agreed with dissent from a minority of councillors, some of whom are expected to make their own submissions to the hearing.
It was also agreed a delegation of office bearing councillors would attend the hearing on the authority’s behalf.
Yachts leave Kinsale
THE RACING fleet in the Shetland Round Britain and Ireland race left Kinsale on Thursday after their mandatory stopover.
They have set off around Ireland's south west corner en route to Castlebay on Barra in the Outer Hebrides.
The leading group are a mix of multihulls and Class 40 racing yachts facing 20 knot winds from the north east.
The leading boat after the Kinsale stopover was a Class 3 Oyster, The Shed, skippered by Pip Hare and Phil Stubbs.
Motorcycle common sense
NORTHERN isles MP Alistair Carmichael welcomed a “blast of common sense” with the government’s decision to review motorcycle tests and test centres throughout the UK.
The introduction of a two stage motorbike test last year saw several centres close across the north of Scotland, forcing riders to travel long distances to take their test.
“This review is a welcome blast of common sense and will come as a relief to the many learner riders forced at present to travel long distances in order to take their tests.
“I would encourage any of my constituents who were affected by the new rules to consider making a submission to the Department for Transport before the consultation period closes at the end of July.”
Cash for post offices
THE SCOTTISH government is inviting post offices to apply to its £1 million Challenge Fund for help to diversify into new business activities to support their future.
Applications for awards ranging from £2,500 to £25,000 will be sought over the summer, following a short consultation which started on Thursday.
Enterprise minister Jim Mather said: “We want to see applications from post offices focussed on diversifying their business. Our priority is to direct funding to help sub postmasters develop their enterprise, identifying opportunities for new revenue streams such as retailing, selling different goods, or providing a business service not already available in their locality.”
The consultation runs until July 9 and can be viewed at http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Business-Industry/support
It is anticipated that application forms will be published on July 21 with a deadline for completed applications in the autumn.
NorthLink buy local
FERRY operators NorthLink has underlined its commitment to local business by signing an agreement with wholesalers J.W. Gray & Co to be their main supplier of a wide range of products including draught beer and lager.
Gray’s director Iain Johnston said the deal was testimony to the hard work of his staff and proof local companies could outclass the counterparts on the mainland.
He added: “I would like to thank Northlink for providing this excellent opportunity to further cement links between our two companies. This deal will broaden the range of products presently on offer and passengers will now see many brands available on board ship which are comparable to those currently on sale in all Shetland and Orkney outlets.”