In brief for 16 June

Total deal nearly there

THE FINAL deal between Shetland Islands Council and oil company Total for acquiring land near Sullom Voe Terminal to build a gas processing plant will soon be signed, the local authority said on Tuesday.

A provisional deal was agreed in March allowing the UK government to give the go ahead to the £2.5 billion investment.


Since then the council’s negotiation team has been working with Total on the finer details, including health and safety and environmental protection issues.

On Tuesday council convener Sandy Cluness paid tribute to the senior council officers who have been involved in sorting out the settlement.

The details will only be made public once the contract is registered in the Registers of Scotland.


Cash for Foula

THE ISLAND of Foula is to receive £20,495 from the Scottish government’s Climate Challenge Fund to help deliver renewable energy power schemes.

The government estimates the island will save 43.11 tonnes of carbon with their plans for a wind power scheme.



Nine grants

SHETLAND Charitable Trust has awarded nine grants to community groups worth almost £6,000 during the month of May.

Eight of the beneficiaries were senior citizen clubs across the length and breadth of Shetland who have received support towards their annual running cost with grants ranging from £144 to £1,224.

A grant of £1,500 was awarded to community group Global Yell to assist with the preparation and production of a £28,300 musical theatre project called ‘The Accidental Traveller’.

A spokeswoman for the trust said that the total of the charity’s grants amounted to £5,860 with funding of £35,200 for these nine groups coming from other sources.



Remember the carers

SHETLAND and Orkney MP Alistair Carmichael is calling for local communities to recognise the contribution made by carers after learning that more than three quarters of people looking after an ill, frail or disabled loved one do not have a life outside of their caring role.

The statistics, part of new research issued to launch Carers Week, also highlights that 75 per cent of carers say they have lost touch with family and friends, while four out of five are worse off financially because of their caring role.

He said: “Some of the things that we take for granted are luxuries for the many people in Orkney and Shetland that give their time selflessly to look after somebody close to them.

“I am supporting Carers Week and want to express my respect and gratitude to all our carers. I want to ensure that those who feel isolated or lonely because of caring, learn about the services and support out there to help them.”

For more information about local events visit www.carersweek.org or call 0845 241 2582.


Catch back

PELAGIC fish processor Shetland Catch is sponsoring the 2011 Tall Ships Races visit to Shetland with a cash injection of £12,000.


Around 70 tall ships are to visit Lerwick during four days in July next year in what is expected to become one of the biggest community celebrations ever.

Shetland Catch managing director Simon Leiper said: “We are excited about supporting the delivery of a fantastic event for Shetland and look forward to inviting key international clients to join us during the event to experience the tall ships and best of our local culture and hospitality.”

Project manager of local organisers, Fiona Dally, said the latest sponsorship deal have ensured that they were now over half way in reaching their £400,000 sponsorship target, about 400 days before the event takes place.


Hill payments

CROFTERS and farmers should witness a 38 per cent increase in Less Favoured Area Support Scheme (LFASS) payments from 2011, according to rural affairs secretary Richard Lochhead.

A technical change in the supprt system will see the redistribution of up to £10 million to the most active hill farmers, he said.

 Crofts could receive an additional £1,500 if a new land management option (LMO) for sheep farming is introduced next year to protect wildlife and off set the recent losses of set-aside obligations.


Very good marks

LERWICK’S Sound primary school and nursery has been described as “good” and “very good” by school inspectors after a visit in April.

The schools strengths included children’s learning and achievement, literacy and numeracy, support for children with learning difficulties, staff teamwork, partnerships with parents and the community and the outstanding leadership of the head teacher.

The only two areas requiring improvement are continuing to develop the new Curriculum for Excellence and to make more use of self evaluation to meet the needs of children in the nursery.

SIC education spokesman Bill Manson said: “I wish to congratulate the Head Teacher and staff on the tremendous achievements recorded in this report.  Once more this is evidence that schools in Shetland deliver consistently high quality education.”


Swap shop

LERWICK’S Bells Brae primary school is holding a swap shop to help the environment, when youngsters will pay 50p to swap books with their class mates.

The event at 10.30am on Thursday is sponsored by Scottish Power and any money raised will go to Friends of the Earth Scotland.