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News round-up / Sound art at Mareel, broadband roll-out delay, not-spots commitment and dementia film

Fiddle p[layer Aidan O'Rourke (left) and Kit Downes will perform together with author James Robertson at Mareel on Friday.

MAREEL will play host this weekend to an interactive sound-art installation created by author James Robertson and fiddler Aidan O’Rourke.

The event will revolve around the Scottish pair’s immersive 365: Stories and Music production, which launched at the Edinburgh International Book Festival earlier this year.

Robertson wrote a short story every day for a year, each story comprising of 365 words, and the collection was published in 2014 by Penguin as 365: Stories.

Lau fiddler O’Rourke then took on the challenge of writing a new tune every day for a year, with the results coming together in 365: Stories and Music.

A concert on Friday evening will see O’Rourke perform with composer and pianist Kit Downes, while Robertson will also perform readings.

This is followed by workshops on Saturday. The installation will be accessible at Mareel for the next two weeks.

Tickets are still available via the Shetland Arts box office or by phoning Mareel on 01595 745500.


IT NOW looks more than unlikely that the ambitious programme of providing superfast broadband to every household in Scotland (R100) by the end of 2021 will be met.

During a meeting of the Scottish Parliament’s rural economy connectivity committee earlier this week, islands and connectivity minister Paul Wheelhouse was challenged by Labour MSP Colin Smyth to come clean on the impact of the year long delay in awarding the contracts for the works.

“With contracts still not signed nearly a year after the target date, it clear that the SNP’s target of 100% superfast broadband coverage by 2021 has been abandoned,” Smyth said.

Wheelhouse said that he was limited in what he was able to say publicly during contract negotiation.

“I have tried to give a signal that this is extremely challenging, (…) and that we will commit to give further detail on delivery timescales as soon as we are legally able to do so,” he said.


ISLES MP Alistair Carmichael has vowed to keep a close eye on any future government to ensure a £1 billion commitment to significantly improve mobile coverage in rural areas is followed through.

Isles MP Alistair Carmichael met with secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport Nicky Morgan on Wednesday.

That is if the Lib Dem MP is re-elected at the December election.

Carmichael met with outgoing secretary of state for digital, Nicky Morgan, earlier this week to discuss last week’s announcement that mobile phone providers in conjunction with the government have agreed on a plan to tackle the issue of not-spots.

“I’m glad that the Government and network providers are finally making progress on the Shared Rural Network proposal. Our communities deserve world-leading connectivity, for businesses and consumers alike,” Carmichael said.

“Improved coverage will make a major difference for people across the country, but especially in the isles.”


ALZHEIMER Scotland is inviting islanders to a screening of their new campaign film Dementia: The True Costat the charity’s Lerwick centre at 66 Burgh Road, from 7pm on 13 November.

The event will give people a chance to find out more about the charity’s work and of the support available locally for people living with dementia.

The Fair Dementia Care campaign seeks to end the inequalities faced by people living with advanced dementia, their families and carers, in terms of accessing appropriate health care and the disproportionate impact of social care charges.

Alzheimer Scotland chief executive Henry Simmons said: “This short documentary demonstrates the harrowing inequality that people with advanced dementia and their carers face.”

People who would like to attend are asked to contact awilliamson@alzscot.org or call 01595 720343 or 07775 914 753.

General Election - 12 December 2019