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In brief – 27 March 2010

Interim arrangement for newspaper flights

FLYBE has taken on the newspaper delivery to Shetland on an interim basis after Inverness based airline Highland Airways went into administration on Tuesday evening.

A spokeswoman for PricewaterhouseCoopers said yesterday (Friday) the administrators were still in the process of finding an alternative carrier for the delivery of the newspapers to the northern isles.

She added that discussions with the Scottish Government regarding the future of the fisheries surveillance flights were also ongoing.

All Highland Airways flights were grounded on Tuesday when the company was forced to call in the administrators following months of financial trouble.

 

The cost of education

School education in Shetland remains among the most expensive in the country, according to the latest set of statistics from the Scottish government.

The average cost for teaching a primary pupil in Shetland schools during 2008/09 was £7,523, while the national average was £4,833. Primary school education in Orkney (£8,169) and the Western Isles (£8,839) was even more expensive.

Secondary education in Shetland was the most expensive across the country with the average cost per pupil at £11,245. (National average £6,665, Orkney £8,743, Western Isles £10,804)

Shetland Islands Council spent £5.92 million in 2008/09 for special education, which equates to an average of £1,952 per 5 to 15 year old in the population.

The council’s budget for education excluding capital project was £37 million last financial year.

 

Simon King is back

THE popular three part series Simon King – Shetland Diaries are due to be repeated on BBC2 next week Wednesday, Thursday and Friday starting at 7pm.

Meanwhile, the book to the film will be in the bookshops as of early April with pre-orders already taken on Simon’s website at www.simonkingwildlife.com

He will also be signing copies of his Shetland book at his own stand at the 2010 Outdoor Show, at the NEC in Birmingham, this weekend.

 

Record entry for Round Britain and Ireland Race

THIS summer’s Round Britain and Ireland Race has proved so popular that organisers for the first time in the race’s history have to start a waiting list.

Sixty two-man yachts and multihulls have so far registered with the Royal Western Yacht Club to participate in the tough 2,000 nautical mile race.

Race organiser Peter Taylor said: “We have crews from the Netherlands, Norway, South Africa, France, Belgium and Italy, and of course from the UK including Alex Bennett from the west country.

“We’ve had a surge of interest from Class 40 competitors, 10 in the last month alone, and this has resulted in the race filling up so early. These state of the art craft are the fastest 40 footers on the water by far and will make for some very, very exciting racing.”

The race is sponsored by Shetland Islands Council. The race starts at Plymouth on 6 June with yachts expected to arrive in Lerwick for a 48 hour compulsory stop over in late June.

 

Get registered to vote

SHETLAND’s electoral registration officer is urging local people to ensure that their names are on the electoral register in sufficient time before the next general election.

With the next UK-wide election generally expected for early May, the last chance to register to vote could just be a matter of days.

Registering to vote only takes a few minutes by printing off a form from www.aboutmyvote.co.uk, phoning  the Electoral Registration Officer for Shetland on 01595 745 700 or e-mailing them at ero@shetland.gov.uk 

The Electoral Commission’s head of office for Scotland, Andy O’Neill, said: “Sometimes people don’t realise they need to re-register every year.

“The Electoral Registration Officer sent you a registration form last autumn, but if you are not sure you returned it, or if you have moved house since then and have not registered with your new details, you need to register now.”

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