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News round-up / Arrest following alleged assault, reaction to HIAL tender, support for carers, tourism group seeks new members

A THIRTY one year old man has been arrested in connection with an assault on a 41-year-old man at Sandside, in Mossbank, late on Tuesday evening.

A full report will be sent to the procurator fiscal.

ORKNEY MSP Liam McArthur says it is “astonishing” that Highlands and Islands Airports Limited (HIAL) is issuing a £8.5million tender for its controversial remote air traffic control project at a time the aviation industry is on its knees due to coronavirus restrictions.

Responding to a report in Shetland News on Monday, the Lib Dem politician said the airport operator should be taking stock rather than pressing on regardless.

HIAL issues £8.5m tender for remote air traffic control services

“Nobody disputes the need to modernise air traffic control services across the Highlands and Islands but plans to centralise services in Inverness were identified by HIAL’s own advisors as being both the costliest and riskiest option,” McArthur said.

“As airlines and airports are giving serious thought to the impact of Covid-19 will have on their future operations and even viability, logic would suggest that HIAL should be taking stock as well.

“Rather than pressing on with a costly procurement process, now would seem a sensible time for HIAL and Scottish Ministers to look again at whether this is a sensible or affordable policy”.

PEOPLE in receipt of carer’s allowance will be in line to receive an extra £230.10 in a one-off payment after the Scottish Government revealed plans to invest £19.2million to further support Scottish carers during the Covid-19 crisis.

Around 150 carers in Shetland will benefit from the scheme, according to Highlands and Islands SNP MSP Maree Todd.

“Carers in Shetland make an absolutely vital contribution to our society, and it’s only appropriate that their hard work is valued, and they are properly supported by the Scottish Government,” she said.

“This one-off payment will benefit carers who are on low incomes and already have some of the most intense caring roles, providing at least 35 hours unpaid care weekly to a disabled child or adult in receipt of higher level disability benefits.

“This additional payment will be an acknowledgement to carers that we know they are providing vital support to family, friends and neighbours, and playing an absolutely crucial role in our collective efforts to slow the spread of coronavirus.

SHETLAND Tourism Association is seeking new members to join the organisation at a time of crisis for the sector.

Newly appointed development officer Nadine Samuel said many small companies were still not receiving any government support at all while facing the loss of their entire season, such as tour guides operating as self-employed businesses from home and hotels not qualifying for financial support.

She said: “In order to fully understand the challenges the tourism industry is facing in both the short and longer term, we need to have meaningful input from the people who sustain and contribute to tourism in Shetland.

“We are currently seeking new members to ensure we have the widest possible consultation at an early stage, and also to ensure everyone has immediate access to help and advice when they need it.”

Anyone interested in becoming a member can visit the website at www.shetlandtourismassociation.org or call Nadine Samuel on 07842 546921.