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News round-up / Ferries likely to be cancelled, vandalism, more wind farm objections, NFU boost and lifeboat members recognised

THE MET office has issued a yellow weather warning for the north of Scotland for Monday and Tuesday.

Northwesterly winds gusting up to 75 mph have been forecast for Monday evening and into Tuesday.

NorthLink said their both its passenger ferries were under review with a high possibility of cancellation.

POLICE are appealing for witnesses after a wing mirror was forcibly removed and taken away from a small red car in the Church Road car park, in Lerwick, between Friday afternoon and Saturday morning.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact the Lerwick police station on telephone 101.

THE John Muir Trust is calling for a public inquiry into Viking Energy’s planning application to increase the height of the turbines for its planned wind farm in the central mainland of Shetland from 145 metre to 155 metres.

The conservation body, which had opposed Viking’s original application for the wind farm, is one a number of organisations objecting to Viking’s variation application which being is considered by the Scottish Government’s energy consent unit (ECU).

Last month, Shetland News reported that the Ministry of Defence had objected to the plans as it could interfere with the new air defence radar at Saxa Vord in Unst.

Since then, Scatsta Airport operator Serco, the Joint Radio Company, which manages the ‘spectrum management needs’ of the fuel and power industries, the RSPB, Shetland Bird Club and Sustainable Shetland have all written to the ECU opposing the proposal.

SEPA, meanwhile, has requested modifications and new planning conditions in order for the development to follow up-to-date best practice. Should these not be applied, the environmental protection agency requests its representation to be considered as an objection.

NFU Scotland is set to boost its presence in Shetland and Orkney with plans to appoint a part-time regional policy advisor for the Northern Isles.

 This has become possible thanks to a £44,000 surplus in the union’s finances for year ending 21 October 2018.

NFUS chief executive Scott Walker said: “We will be putting  new part-time regional policy advisors in Orkney and Shetland to enhance the support we provide to members and we will continue to strengthen our lobbying activities.”

Long serving members with their awards (left to right): Neil Ridland, Wilbert Clark, Kevin Henry, Jim Nicolson, Hylton Henry, Hamish Hunter, an Ian Anderson. Missing from the photo is Paul Georgeson. Photo: RNLI Aith

SEVERAL long serving and retiring members of the Aith lifeboat were recognised during a social evening held in the Rankin Lounge, in Aith, at the end of last year.

The longest serving volunteer was deputy launch authority Wilbert Clark, who had managed to give 54 years to the RNLI in Aith, while operation manager Jim Nicolson was retiring after 48 years of service. Neil Ridland, meanwhile, was retiring as 2ndengineer after 29 years.

Long service medals were presented to Hamish Hunter and Paul Georgeson, who have both served for 20 years, while Ian Anderson received a 30 years service medal.

Certificates of service were then presented to Hylton Henry, who had retired as coxswain after 38 years, and to Kevin Henry, who was retiring as mechanic after 40 years. Kevin is staying with the RNLI in a shore-based role as the deputy launch authority in Aith.

The eight men, many of whom have been serving the RNLI in Aith since they were young boys, managed to rack up a total of 279 years of service, saving many lives in the process.

Thanking everybody, operations manager Alexander Simpson said: “The number of years these men have given to the lifeboat was amazing, and it was certainly much appreciated by the RNLI, and everyone in the Aith community.