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Also in the news / Ferry timetable change, Covid numbers, fuel poverty concern, SSEN grants and more…

Photo: NorthLink Ferries

NORTHLINK has brought forward the departure of both its passenger vessels for tonight’s (Wednesday) sailings in response to a weather forecast that predicts gale fore northerly winds with gusts in excess of 50 miles per hour.

The Hjaltland will now depart from Aberdeen to Lerwick at 5pm, two hours ahead of schedule, while the southbound Hrossey departing Lerwick for Kirkwall and Aberdeen will sail at 4.30pm rather than 5.30pm.

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A detailed forecast can be found on our weather page.


THE NUMBER of Covid cases recorded for Shetland continues to grow – but at a much reduced speed compared to previous months.

Just 18 new cases were recorded over the last seven days, including three in Monday’s figures.

Scotland-wide there remains considerable concern after the recent decrease appears to have levelled and hospitalisation numbers have started to grow again, right at the onset of the autumn and winter season.


SHETLAND MSP Beatrice Wishart is seeking an update on the progress of the Scottish fuel poverty strategy and the appointments to an associated advisory panel.

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The MSP said that as the country faces a winter with possible fuel shortages she wants to ensure there is no household forced to go cold this year.

Following questioning by Wishart the Scottish Government has said that updated information would be “provided in due course”.

“Islanders are facing the perfect storm of high levels of fuel poverty and energy shortages just as we enter winter. A published version of the fuel poverty strategy by the Scottish Government could have been helping residents now,” she said.

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“No household should be forced to go cold this year. The Scottish Government needs to outline the measures they can take to improve fuel poverty.”


THE RED Cross in Shetland and Orkney is to benefit from a £40,000 grant award from Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN).

The funding comes as part of a payout from the company’s resilient community fund and will help the organisation buy two vehicles that will be of assistance in its voluntary work.


PROPOSALS to end the need for food banks in response to food insecurity have been published by the Scottish Government.

Views are now being sought on a draft national plan, which is supported by food bank operators, including the Trussell Trust and Independent Food Aid Network.

Social justice secretary Shona Robison said: “We share the same vision as food bank operators – they are not a long term solution to poverty. Our draft plan sets out what we will do within our powers – including introducing a shopping voucher pilot scheme – to make food banks the last port of call.

“As part of the right to an adequate standard of living, people need to be able to access food that meets their dietary, social and cultural needs and this plan shows the way forward.”

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The consultation can be accessed here.


AWARD winning comedians Liam Withnail and Rosco McClelland are travelling to Shetland in earlier November for two shows with local comedian Marjolein Robertson.

The two events, called Da Great Nort Gaff, at the Uyeasound hall on 5 November and at Mareel the following night are recommended for those above the age of 16.

Scottish Comedian of the Year 2016, Rosco McClelland is one of the Scottish comedy scene’s biggest stars.

Shetland Arts said he brings a frenetic energy to the stage whilst delivering surreal observations and animated stories.

Meanwhile Liam Withnail is regarded as one of the most exciting new comedy voices in the UK circuit. In 2019 he won the prestigious Amused Moose award for a Fringe show.

Tickets are available from the Shetland Arts box office.

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