News round-up / Tea, homebakes and Van Gogh, lottery funding workshops, new fuel poverty definition

LOCAL art enthusiasts will get a chance to replicate Vincent van Gogh’s classic Starry Night Over The Rhône painting over some tea and homebakes at an event in Scalloway next week.

The art session will take place at the Cornerstone on Wednesday (22 May) from 7pm to 9pm, with the £35 cost including all materials and coffee, tea and fancies.


The event, led by visiting artist Jan Yates and isles-based Anne Barron, provides a local twist to the Wine with Van Gogh evenings held in Yates’ native Canada.

Participants will be guided through painting their own attempt at Starry Night Over The Rhône, and they will be able to take home their work.

The evening is being organised by Wild About Art, with no experience necessary to take part.

To book a place at the event, contact Anne Barron on 07713985081.

A REPRESENTATIVE from the National Lottery Community Fund is set to hold a series of funding surgeries in Shetland in early June.


Helen Currie will visit the isles on 3 June, with 15 minute slots available from 4pm to 7pm.

A book a slot, contact Voluntary Action Shetland on 01595 743900 or reception@shetland.org.

The National Lottery Community Fund disperses money raised by raised by lottery players, with over £9 billion issued across the UK since 2004.

Voluntary Action Shetland executive officer Catherine Hughson said: “We are delighted to host a visit from the National Lottery Community Fund.

“It’s important that funders visit the islands to gain knowledge of the challenges that organisation’s face in relation to reducing funding across areas and the impact that can have on communities and individuals.”


A CHANGE in the way fuel poverty is defined in Scotland has been made to legislation in an effort to take account of higher living costs in island communities.

Just over half of Shetland’s households are thought to be in fuel poverty, with less than half those in ‘extreme’ fuel poverty.

The definition of fuel poverty, however, has now been changed in Scotland’s Fuel Poverty Bill.

A household must now fulfil both the following criteria to be fuel poor:

  • Its required fuel costs must be more than 10 per cent of household net income after deducting housing costs
  • The remaining household net income after the payment of fuel costs, childcare costs (if any) and benefits received for a care need or disability (if any) must also be insufficient to maintain an acceptable standard of living for the household.

The definition of extreme fuel poverty is the same but with the exception that households must spend more than 20 per cent of their after housing costs net income on fuel in order to heat the home.

The Scottish Government says island local authorities will receive £9.6 million in government funding this year to help improve home energy efficiency.

Housing minister Kevin Stewart said: “We talked to island communities about the issues they face and heard a lot of concerns about the impact extreme fuel poverty is having.

“These changes have been made to reflect the specific higher costs of delivering energy efficiency measures in the region, which will better target funding to those who need it most.”