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News round-up / Fjara licence, MP’s favourite music, Brexit ‘bureaucracy’ and court business

FJARA Café Bar will be allowed to serve alcohol in the premises’ new additional seating area between the hours of 11am and 1am as of today.

Three temporary licences covering the period from 11 January to 21 February were unanimously granted during a meeting of the council’s licensing board on Monday morning.

The meeting heard that the company had also submitted an application for a variation of its existing licence to incorporate the new seating area. This application is expected to come before the board next month.

Owner of the café, Dennis Leask, said he hoped the extension would be ready to be opened within the next two weeks, depending on Covid-19 restrictions.

The extension offers window seating for 16 additional customers, and gives the business more space for social distancing.


NORTHERN Isles MP Alistair Carmichael has featured on a new podcast which sees politicians discuss their favourite music.

The Lib Dem, a former tuba player, picked albums by Supertramp, Keane and local act Fiddlers’ Bid as some of his favourites.

He appeared on Politics of Sound, a monthly podcast run by Iain Carnegie – a composer and journalist based in London who has links to Shetland via his maternal grandmother.

“It was fascinating to discuss Alistair’s life, work and musical passions, particularly set against a backdrop so central to my ancestry,” Carnegie said.

“As with all episodes of the podcast, the Politics of Sound band present their own versions of tracks from the guest’s selected albums and I’m so pleased that we were able to perform a track by a Shetland band for this episode.”

The podcast can be found here.


HIGHLANDS and Islands MSP Maree Todd has added her voice to calls for the government to act on delays experienced by fish exporters at ports due to post-Brexit “bureaucracy”.

“Many livelihoods in our islands are reliant on fisheries, which is why I am so deeply concerned to hear of the backlogs and delays currently being experienced at various borders,” she said.

“We were promised ‘frictionless trade’ by the UK government, yet here we are, two weeks after Brexit, and one of our most valuable food exports are under threat.”

Shetland News spoke to a local fish processor last week about the situation – read what QA Fish’s Robert Williamson had to say here.


THE MAJORITY of criminal trials in Scotland’s sheriff courts will be adjourned to a later date in a bid to reduce footfall during the latest spike in coronavirus cases.

From tomorrow (Tuesday) all non-custody trials will be administratively adjourned, with the provision to accelerate priority or urgent trials, such as those involving allegations of domestic abuse or child witnesses.

A number of procedural hearings will also be administratively adjourned.

All criminal trials in the High Court and Sheriff Court which require a jury must continue, although as it stands none would take place in Lerwick.