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In brief for 6 December 2010

Fuel payment

A MAJORITY of councillors have signed a Notice of Motion urging Shetland Islands Council to consider re-instating the winter fuel payment to people over 65.

The payment was removed in February this year as part of council cost cutting measures, reducing the council’s budget deficit by £500,000.

Councillors will debate the motion, led by Lerwick South councillor Cecil Smith, on Wednesday.

Mr Smith suggests the payment should be reduced by five per cent a year over the next three years in line with budget proposals.

Tesco debate

THE popular Althing debate is moving away from big political themes this month, focussing on a contentious consumer and retail issue instead.

The question under debate next Saturday will be: “Is Tesco bad for Shetland?”

Arguing that the supermarket has a negative impact on Shetland will be Karen Fraser and Maree Hay, with Martin Tregonning and Janice Thomason opposing the motion.

The debate in the Tingwall School kicks off at 7.30pm.

Drivers’ training

A NATIONAL drivers’ training firm will deliver new compulsory training for professional bus and heavy goods drivers if there is enough interest

John Pepperell, of Phoenix Training, in Wales, said he had been approached by local drivers during the Eurobus Exhibition, in Birmingham.

Under new European regulations all LGV, HGV and PSV drivers need to complete an additional compulsory 35 hours of training every five years to obtain their Drivers’ Qualification Card. This has to be done by 2013 for bus drivers and 2014 for goods drivers.

Mr Pepperell is hosting a meeting at the offices of local bus operator John Leask & Son, on Lerwick’s Esplanade, commencing at 2pm, to discuss the options.

The only local driving instructor offering the necessary Certificate of Professional Competence training is Petur Petursson of Drive Shetland.

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