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In brief for 22 June

Digital Shetland

THE LOCAL council is to invest up to £40,000 in tendering for the next step of its hugely ambitious Digital Shetland project.

The tendering process will establish how best to create a high speed broadband network throughout Shetland once the council’s Shetland Telecom operation has linked into the Faroese fibre optic cable later this summer.

The alternatives include the council spending between £8 million and £16 million building such a network, or leaving another telecommunications company to do the work.

The council’s telecom project officer Marvin Smith said that by 2014 Shetland would need a communications network that could deliver 100 megabits per second.

Development committee chairman Alastair Cooper said the council had to act quickly as expectations in the community were high, and were likely to grow further once Lerwick had access to the fibre optic cable.

Care report

SHETLANDERS are receiving good social work care despite last year’s upheaval at the council, according to a follow-up report by the Social Work Inspection Agency.

Inspectors said that the management of the service needed to improve, but recognised it was under a lot of pressure due to the political crisis at the council last year.

The report specifies that improvements were necessary in self evaluation, quality assurance, and the out of hours service.

Social services committee chairman Cecil Smith said: “Front line social work services have been performing well and that has been recognised.

“The management and evaluation issues identified were largely a result of the temporary governance problems at the council, and are being thoroughly addressed. I am confident that social work in Shetland will continue to provide the effective and professional care the community is accustomed to.”

Shetland the Brand

THE SHETLAND brand has been re-launched with the publication of the Shetland Brand Pack, a folder with 12 sheets celebrating different aspects of island life.

Following a presentation to the council’s development committee on Wednesday, Andy Steven of Promote Shetland said that the ‘Pride of Place’ logo and slogan is being presented in a new “powerful and accessible way”.

Mr Steven said: “We want new companies to come and set up shop here, we want tourists to travel here, we want Shetland’s worldwide reputation to be vibrant, welcoming and attractive.

“This isn’t about advertising, it’s about identification. All of us, one way or another, represent Shetland in our dealings with people and organisations outside the isles.”

The pack covers energy, sport, tourism, the creative industries and more, and is available from www.shetland.org/prideofplace or by contacting Promote Shetland directly.