News / Post Office move confirmed, Community council’s charitable trust, MRI Scanner Appeal, Althing debate, MP comments on Iranian assassination

The post office on Commercial Street is due to move Conochies in February 2020. Photo: Shetland News

THE post office in Lerwick’s Commercial Street is set to close its doors at 5pm on 26 February and re-open the following morning several hundred metres down the street, Post Office Ltd has announced.

The company confirmed on Tuesday that it would go ahead with its controversial decision following a period of consultation.

The Post office said the new branch at Conochies stationary shop will have three serving positions, one screened, one open plan, and one at the retail counter.

Opening hours will be 9am to 5.30pm Monday to Saturday, and also on Sunday between 12pm and 5pm

Head of the Post Office’s directly managed network, Steve Blampied, said that the change would help to ensure the branch is commercially viable into the future and therefore protect Post Office services on which customers in the area depend.


CALLS have been made for more to be done with money sitting in Lerwick Community Council’s own charitable trust amid concern it is “not doing anything for anyone at the moment”.

The small trust, which is managed by the community council, currently contains £33,124. This figure has remained steady for years and the last expenditure came in the shape of a grant to the Big Kirk in Lerwick a number of years ago for refurbishment of its organ.

“What do we intend to do with the money and what can we do with it?” questioned Averil Simpson at a meeting of the trust on Monday, with chairman Jim Anderson saying it was up to community councillors to use it as they wish.

Gary Robinson said there were two options – spend it or invest it, while Stewart Hay suggested asking the community.

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After some discussion the community council decided to look at getting options together for what to do with the trust’s money.

THE chairman of NHS Shetland and trustee of its endowment fund has clarified that none of the funds raised by the public towards the MRI Scanner Appeal is being used for the fund’s management cost.

NHS chairman Gary Robinson.

Gary Robinson responded to suggestions made in a letter to Shetland News that local donations are being used to pay for a fundraising manager’s salary.

Robinson said: “The scale of the fundraising required is significant. This is why the Endowment Committee agreed, from the outset, to fund the marketing costs to get the appeal up and running.

“The next phase was always to bring on board an experienced fundraising manager, who could lead the now incredibly busy campaign, give it their full attention and help us reach our total faster.


The money raised by the community for the scanner appeal goes directly to the total and is not paying for any of the marketing or fundraising management costs.”

Meanwhile, to total raised is now approaching £600,000 – more than a third of the final total needed (£1.65m).

THE ALTHING debating society has confirmed that its next debate, The time is right for Scottish independence, will go ahead after some initial difficulties of finding speakers opposing the motion.

Speaking in favour of Scottish independence will be Jonathan Wills and Patrick Ross Smith while Johan Adamson and Caroline Henderson will be making the case for the status quo.

The debate will kick off at 7.30pm on Friday 17 January at the Islesburgh Community Centre. Entry, including for tea and homebakes, is £2


The killing of the Iranian military leader Qasem Soleimani by a US airstrike in Iraq on Friday, and the UK response to the assassination has made the UK a less safe place, according to isles MP Alistair Carmichael.

“Far from preventing future terrorist attacks it seems likely to embolden the most reactionary voices in Iran, undermine moderates and drive away potential allies,” the MP said.

“By acting outside of international law, Donald Trump loses any moral authority in demanding that others should do so. The UK response to this has been muted and by failing to condemn we risk being seen to support it.

“The first duty of any government is to keep its people safe. We do that best by supporting the rule of law. The United Kingdom has long enjoyed a special relationship with the United States but that relationship is only worth anything if it keeps us safe and not if it exposes our citizens to further risk.  Actions like these make our country less safe.”

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