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Also in the news / Fetlar by-election, health survey, craft education call and more…

An archive photo of ballot papers being counted. Photo: SIC

ONE of Shetland’s island communities has gone to the polls to elect a new community councillor.

After just 57 postal ballot papers were issued Roy Buckland was elected as a new member of Fetlar Community Council this morning (Friday).

He received 33 votes against James Smythe’s eight. There was a turn out of 72 per cent.

AROUND 1,500 people in Shetland will be contacted to take part in a survey to understand the health of the community.

Individuals selected at random by NHS Shetland from different age groups and localities will be sent a survey pack by post and can choose to complete the survey online, by hand or by phone.

The health board said all the information collected will be recorded and reported anonymously and will be treated sensitively and confidentially.

The intention is to use the results from the survey to help local organisations plan and deliver services to meet the health needs of the Shetland community in the future.

Interim director of public health Dr Susan Laidlaw said: “I would like to encourage anyone who receives the survey to take part and help us to better understand the health of our community.

“Although we had been planning the survey before the pandemic, I think it is really important to build a picture of the health of our community.”

POLICE were made aware of a crash at the Black Gaet junction at around 7am yesterday morning (Thursday).

There were no reported injuries and the vehicles were moved off the road a short time later.

Eve Eunson. Photo: Ewan Nicolson

A FAIR Isle architect and maker has given her support to a campaign calling for crafts to be added to Scotland’s school curriculum.

Eve Eunson designed a craft activity guide for MAKE Learn’s schools pilot project, teaching children how to make a knotted basket, modelled after the technique used in Fair Isle straw back chairs.

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Eunson said: “I hope that young people will be inspired by the story behind the basket making activity and that it creates an awareness of our culture, endangered crafts and traditional techniques.

“Basketry is a great lesson in patience and resourcefulness, showing that you can easily make items that are both beautiful and useful from ordinary materials – if you just use a little imagination and give things a try.

“Traditional crafts are not always difficult; they often just need a little time. We live in a faster-paced world than our ancestors, which isn’t always a good thing – practicing craft teaches us to slow down and take the time to create.”

ENGINEERS are dealing with “minor technical issues” within offshore helicopter flight operations at Sumburgh Airport.

A spokesperson for operator Offshore Helicopter Services UK Ltd said its “overall service continues to provide safe and efficient flight services for all our passengers”.

“Our fleet is maintained to the highest standards and all our operational aircraft meet or exceed the requirements set out by the CAA and regulators at all times,” they added.

THE NUMBER of withdrawals from cash machines in Shetland and Orkney have dropped by 54 per cent in just two years.

New data from ATM operator Link shows that across the UK customers are withdrawing £100 million less each day compared to 2019. Link said the Covid pandemic has “turbocharged” the switch away from cash.

AQUACULTURE company Scottish Sea Farms is set to take delivery of the first eggs bred from salmon grown at its own marine farms in Scotland.

Traditionally, salmon eggs are imported to Scotland then reared in freshwater hatcheries before being transferred to marine farms for on growing.

Scottish Sea Farms operates a number of salmon farms in the isles, while it also intends to take over Grieg Seafood Shetland.

SCOTTISH and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) Distribution has set ambitious targets to reduce its carbon emissions.

It will become the first UK distribution network operator to set science-based targets in line with a “1.5°C pathway”.

The company said it will seek to reduce the environmental impact of its infrastructure, tackle electricity losses, reduce its reliance on diesel generation, electrify its own vehicle fleet and build a “sustainable, green electricity network that has a positive impact on society”.

HIGHLANDS and Islands Enterprise has announced the appointment of Dr Stuart Black as its next chief executive.

Black, who will take up the post in January 2022, has led the economic and community development agency’s Moray team since February last year.

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