Council / SIC meetings round-up

Lerwick Town Hall.

COUNCILLORS have given the green light for a wide-ranging project exploring the future of the energy sector in Shetland to progress to the next stage.

The Shetland Energy Hub project aims to prolong activity in the local oil and gas sector while at the same time integrating the move towards low carbon solutions and renewable energy.


It will move to the next stage after councillors agreed the SIC should press ahead with forming a project board and deploying staff and resources.

The transition from hydrocarbons to greener energy could include diversifying activity at Sullom Voe Terminal away from oil and gas.

The project was first called the Sullom Voe Hub, but its name has been broadened to reflect the “growing influence of the important climate change debate, which has now become a guiding principle for the oil and gas industry”.

SHETLAND Islands Council is to progress with a project to extend its fibre broadband network to Yell and Unst.


The project was given the final approval by councillors on Wednesday after previously being allocated funding from the UK government.

The total cost of the scheme will be £2,140,322, with £1,376,863 of that already covered by funding from the government, with more grant money anticipated.

The project is primarily focused on the deployment of fibre broadband to public sector buildings, but it would be “ideally positioned” to provide support for the Scottish Government’s planned roll-out of super fast broadband to all properties in the country.

Councillors were told that “without improving services to the North Isles, it is almost certain that depopulation will continue unabated”.


A LOCAL place plan for Scalloway has been hailed as one of the first of its kind in Scotland.


A presentation on the plan was delivered to the development committee on Monday, and there are hopes that it could act as a blueprint for other areas in the future.

The draft Scalloway local place plan was a pilot project produced by Scalloway Community Council in partnership with Shetland Islands Council’s planning and community planning and development services as part of the Re-Create Scalloway scheme.

A period of public consultation on the local place plan now needs to take place before it can be formally adopted as non-statutory planning guidance for the SIC.

Local place plans are a new type of plan which give people an opportunity to develop proposals for the development and use of land in the place where they live.

A GRITTING policy implemented for the winter of 2018 has now been adopted by the council on a permanent basis.

Councillors were told this week that £103,000 would need to be added to the winter service revenue budget as a result.

The measures were approved in October 2018 to address a number of concerns from the community over the level of gritting in the winter.

These included extending the weekday level of service to weekends, and standby crews being on call to respond to emergencies on Christmas and New Year’s Day as well as post-5pm.

SHETLAND Islands Council’s fleet management unit has won a national award, the environment and transport committee heard on Tuesday.

It picked up the 2019 – Association for Public Service Excellence prize for the UK’s ‘most improved transport operations and vehicle maintenance”.

Committee chairman Ryan Thomson paid tribute to the work of the staff involved in fleet management.