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In brief for 26 August 2010

Peerie problem

SHETLAND Islands Council’s harbour board is to reassess how to prevent Whalsay’s Peerie Dock from crumbling into the sea.

Restoring the historic dock has been on the board’s capital wish list for many years, but increased pressure on its budget has now forced members to take a fresh look at the problem.

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Councillor Rick Nickerson said more imaginative ways of attracting outside funding via the rural development scheme (SRDP) or lottery funding should be investigated.

A full historical rebuild could cost as much as £900,000 based on figures quoted two years ago.

Board member Jim Tait suggested filling in the pier “to preserve what we have at the moment” while non- council funding streams are investigated.

 

Dredging delayed

WORK to dredge the channel into Scalloway harbour will be delayed after Shetland Islands Council received no tenders within the £3 million budget earmarked for the project.

A deeper channel should attract new business to the west side port, allowing larger oil support and anchor handling vessels into the harbour.

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The council also hopes to provide deeper berths as part of a separate project.

The harbour board heard on Wednesday that dredging was now not expected to begin before the end of the financial year.

 

Robust response

SHETLAND Islands Council is wondering who is responsible for responding to environmental activists challenging the UK’s stance on deepwater drilling for oil.

Councillor Rick Nickerson raised the question during a meeting of the harbour board when he asked how the SIC would respond to Greenpeace should the environmental pressure group choose to protest in the waters off the isles.

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He asked: “Has this been considered? Rather than just react, it would be useful to have a robust response.”

His sentiments were echoed by chairman Alastair Cooper who asked the same question and tasked infrastructure executive director Gordon Greenhill to come up with an answer for the next board meeting.

 

Extra sessions

AS the Sovereign Shetland conference gets under way on Thursday, organiser Stuart Hill said that additional evening sessions had been arranged to allow those unable to take time off from work to participate in the proceedings.

He said: “Those sessions will be a repeat of the main topics of the daily programme to ensure folk are able to get the information. No tickets are needed for these extra sessions.”

The Sovereign Nation of Shetland conference has attracted a number of local, national and international speakers, and will be held in the Shetland Museum and Archives between Thursday and Saturday.

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