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In brief for 15 October 2010

Drilling approval

NORTHERN isles MP and deputy chief whip to the government Alistair Carmichael has welcomed Wednesday’s announcement by the European Commission not to propose a ban on deep sea drilling for oil.

Instead, the EC would like to overhaul and streamline the safety regime government by different national rules.

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Mr Carmichael said: “In the week that the US Government lifted their ban on new deep sea drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, an EU moratorium would have been bad news for Scotland.

“Of course we need to take steps to protect the natural environment around rigs – as well as the people working offshore – but a blanket ban would have been excessive and put thousands of jobs at risk.

“This decision from the Energy Commissioner is a welcome blast of commonsense, and will allow us to look again at the rules to see where improvements can be made without threatening the future of a sector that is vital to our local economy.”

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Grants approved

STROM Park Development Trust has been given a grant of £6,000 by Shetland Islands Council to help with the cost of ground maintenance of the sport pitch at Strom, in Whiteness.

The grant was one of four the council warded to local voluntary organisations during September.

The other recipients were: Lerwick Amateur Swimming Club (£5,000), Shetland Cricket Association (£546) and Unst Junior Netball Development Group (£197), who all received funding help with annual running costs.

Town centre survey

BUSINESSES, employees, customers and visitors are being asked to participate in survey in a bid to hear their views on improving the shopping experience in Lerwick town centre.

The Lerwick Town Centre Business Improvement District (BID) project has been set up to raise the profile of the town’s historic centre.

Questionnaires will be sent out to businesses and staff. In addition, consultancy AB Associates has been tasked to survey 200 shoppers and visitors.

As an incentive, every member of the public participating in the survey will be entered into a draw for a £100 prize.

Any body wishing to fill in the questionnaire should contact AB Associates on 01595 880 852 or e-mail: alice@abassociatesltd.com

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