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News round-up / Local authority funding campaign launched, UHA breakfast gets licensing extension, new multi-journey ferry ticket

THE CONVENTION of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) has launched a campaign to convince the Scottish Government to invest in the country’s councils “before it is too late”.

It was confirmed today that the Scottish budget will be presented on 6 February.

COSLA is keen to see local authorities receive a “fair settlement” from finance minister Derek Mackay.

A report published in 2019 showed that Shetland Islands Council had suffered a real terms decrease in core revenue funding from the government of more than 14 per cent over the last five years.

Resources spokesperson councillor Gail Macgregor said: “COSLA’s vision is that Scotland’s communities are sustainable, vibrant places to live, work and visit.

“Every year, councils invest in a huge range of services and capital projects that are key drivers for economic growth. However, ringfencing and Scottish Government-devised policy initiatives mean that more and more has to be delivered from an ever decreasing portion of local budgets.”


ALCOHOL will be available from 8am at a breakfast gathering the morning following Up Helly Aa after an application to extend licensing hours was approved.

The Sandwick Social Club had applied to sell alcohol from 8am through to its usual time of 11am on Wednesday 29 January, as it has done in previous years.

The local licensing standards officer commented on the application that there have been no reported problems resulting from the extension previously.

Lerwick South councillor Cecil Smith said at a meeting of the Shetland area licensing board on Monday that it was a “very well run” event and moved that the application was approved.

“A number of people look forward to going to the club for breakfast after Up Helly Aa,” he said.


A NEW style of multi-journey ticket for the over-60s in the next few months on Shetland Islands Council’s ferries.

The existing blue (standard passenger) and red (vehicle) tickets will remain the same colour, but green tickets will now be for children only.

New orange tickets are being introduced for anyone over 60 with a valid SIC pass.

Passes must be shown when tickets are being bought, so they can’t be offered through the online service. However, they can be bought on ferries or at the service’s reception office at Sella Ness.