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News round-up / Salmon farm company to pay back furlough money, blue-green algae reminder, free books for children

Scottish Sea Farms' Slocka site in Shetland.

SCOTTISH Sea Farms – which employs over 100 people in Shetland – said it will repay around £100,000 in money it received through the UK government’s job retention scheme.

It comes as “markets re-open and business performance begins to show signs of bouncing back”.

The salmon farm producer furloughed four of its 111-strong workforce in Shetland.

Across the whole company 36 full-time and part-time staff – out 451 workers in total – were put on the job retention scheme, with Scottish Sea Farms paying the extra 20 per cent so employees received their full pay.

Managing director Jim Gallagher said: “Both the UK and Scottish Governments were quick to identify food producers as being key to the nation’s resilience during the Covid-19 crisis, so we have worked hard to put in place the protective measures necessary to enable us to operate safely and at near full capacity to help keep supplies of fresh farmed salmon flowing.”

PEOPLE are being asked to be cautious around lochs where algal blooms can be seen.

It comes as environment body SEPA continue to be able to test water suspected of containing blue-green algae due to coronavirus restrictions.

Reports have been received to date of blooms in the Loch of Brindister, Kirkhouse Water near Bixter and in Clickimin Loch, Lerwick.

Dogs and livestock should be kept away from these lochs to prevent any potential health effects. The public are advised not to bathe in any affected waters and fishermen should also exercise caution.

Members of the public are requested to make reports of sightings by contacting the local environmental health team on 01595 745250, or by email at ehadmin@shetland.gov.uk or via Facebook.

ANY child under the age of five living in a Hjaltland Housing Association property will be eligible for a free book each month after the organisation signed up to a scheme developed by country singer Dolly Parton.

The books will be posted directly to the children until their fifth birthday.

Head of housing and customer service at Hjaltland Ian Bray said: “Hjaltland is delighted to be working with the Dolly Parton Imagination Library to offer this exciting initiative to our tenants with children under five years of age.

“Our involvement with the Imagination Library reinforces our commitment in delivering great services to our tenants, at a time when we are aware many will be worried about their financial situation.

“We would like to remind all tenants that we are here to offer support and guidance where there is financial hardship or worry about what the future may hold – our staff are available on 01595 69 4986 or mail@hjaltland.org.”