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News round-up / Redd Up proves popular, voting reminder, port optimism, call to invest in music tuition, crowdfunding thanks

A well earned tea break after the Redd Up at Gletness, Nesting.

TONNES of rubbish were again collected from Shetland’s roadside verges and beaches as almost 4,500 volunteers followed the call to participate in the isles’ annual clean up Da Voar Redd Up. 

The bruck collected from Quendale.

Ali Robertson, who manages the Dunna Chuck Bruck campaign on behalf of Shetland Amenity Trust, expressed her gratitude to the many people who turn out every year.

“A huge thank you goes out to all the volunteers and sponsors for making the Redd Up happen,” she said.

Shetland Amenity Trust is asking participants to continue sending in their photos and return their survey forms.

“We always have some interesting finds each year,” Robertson said.

“So far this year we have reports of a fridge with a two pin continental plug on it which was washed up at Quendale, and a large plastic goose found at Scalloway.”

Last year, almost 70 tonnes of bruck were collected.


SHETLAND Islands Council is reminding anyone who has not yet received a polling card to register if they wish to vote in the European parliamentary election on 23 May.

To vote in these elections, which might be called off at the last minute should the UK leave the EU before the end of the month, anyone not registered must sign up before the deadline of 7 May.

Applications for postal vote can be made up to 5pm on 8 May. More details are available from the local electoral registration office (see number below).

Depute electoral registration officer Ian Leslie said: “Most people in Shetland should have received their polling card in the post in the last few days, confirming that they are registered to vote on 23 May, and they don’t need to do any more.

“Anyone who hasn’t received a polling card may not be registered, or the card may have gone to a previous address.  The quickest and easiest way to register to vote is online at  HYPERLINK “http://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote” www.gov.uk/register-to-vote or by calling the Electoral Registration Office on 01595 745700.”


Oil traffic has increased at Lerwick Harbour

LERWICK Port Authority’s new chief executive Captain Calum Grains is looking optimistically into the future after the first set of harbour activity statistics for the 2019 showed increased traffic in many sectors.

The number of vessel arrivals between January and March increased 26.2 per cent to 1,046, including fishing vessels up 23 per cent and a 45 per cent jump in offshore sector shipping.

Overall tonnage increased 9.27 per cent to 1,959,030 gross tonnes.

While the amount of cargo handled at the port during the first three months of the year showed an increase of five per cent, offshore related freight rose almost three fold indicating renewed confidence on the oil and gas sector.

“Lerwick is set for another significant period of activity,” Capt. Grains said.

“Alongside a cautiously optimistic outlook for offshore, the authority looks forward to record-breaking cruise calls, preparations for the Ninian Northern platform’s arrival for decommissioning in 2020, renewal of the Northern Isles ferry contract in the autumn and ongoing construction work to complete a new white fish market early next year.”


FOLLOWING last weekend’s Shetland Young Fiddler of the Year competition, local MSP Tavish Scott has called for more money to be found to invest in school music tuition.

Speaking in the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday, Scott said that the fiddle, pipes, singing and harp represented the basis of Scotland’s musical heritage, which should be nurtured.

A report from the parliament’s education committee recognised the value of music in schools and raised concerns about the impact of music tuition fees.

The report concluded that, in principle, tuition should be free in every local authority. Fees currently vary across local authorities with some providing tuition free of charge and others charging up to £524.

Scott said: “Access to instrumental music tuition is too important to be determined by a postcode lottery.

“Young people whose parents cannot afford to pay for private tuition or the fees set by the local council must not be locked out of the joy and skills learning to play an instrument can bring.”


COMMUNITY vegetable growers Transition Turriefield is saying “a big thank you” to their supporters in Shetland and beyond after £8,670 was raised in its crowdfunding campaign to further develop the Sandness based project.

Partner in the business Penny Armstrong said: “The support for the project has blown us away. From the pledges made to all the help we received in getting the campaign together, making the video and sharing on social media. A big thank you to everyone”

Although just shy of the £10,000 target, the funds would go a long way toward increasing infrastructure and buying materials and tools which will help secure the long term future of the project, she said.

Armstrong added: “In turn, the increased production will support more assistance for low income households and more education on local food growing for young people.”