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Also in the news / ‘Controversial sex survey’, marine funding, Greens seek cash, hospitality students gain first-hand experience

SHETLAND Islands Council is going ahead with a controversial Scottish Government health and wellbeing census which has, according to Conservative MSP Jamie Halcro Johnston, “outraged” parents across Scotland.

Describing it as a “controversial sex survey” the Highlands and Islands MSP called on the government to withdraw the survey as it sought information on the sexual habits of pupils as young as 14. He has also written to local authorities seeking their position on the matter.

Highlands and Islands Conservative MSP Jamie Halcro Johnston. Pic – Andrew Cowan/Scottish Parliament

“Some of the questions being asked are totally inappropriate to be asking to children, and it’s no wonder that it has outraged so many parents across the country,” he said.

“I understand that some councils have already taken the decision not to proceed with issuing the survey, while others are reviewing it.”

Quality improvement officer at Shetland Islands Council James Johnston said: “We still plan to deliver the census during this school session, as we feel it’s important to understand children and young people’s views on their health and wellbeing.

“We are yet to complete our final quality assurance and delivery plan which will include consideration of the sets of questions available to us.

“We will continue to work with colleagues within the Scottish Government to discuss the local implementation of the census.”


LOCAL aquaculture business Blueshell Mussels has been awarded more than £200,000 for equipment to improve efficiency.

The money comes from Marine Fund Scotland, which was launched by the Scottish Government in March to replace the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund following the UK’s exit from the EU.

The money will be used to invest in production equipment, reduce waste and improve efficiency and working conditions.

Meanwhile those behind the Boy Frazer II LK137 was awarded nearly £11,000 to replace the engines on board to reduce emissions.

The Katie LK 67 boat received £1,355 to go towards a mackerel machine and fish bins in the time of saving fuel, reducing emissions and improving the quality of catch.

As previously reported, the North Yell Development Council also received £250,000 in the latest round of funding.


THE LOCAL branch of the Scottish Greens has launched a crowdfunding appeal to help finance their campaign for next year’s local government elections.

“Because the Scottish Greens do not accept money from big corporations and shady sponsors, we rely on people like you to fund our work. Every donation increases the chance of having more green councillors,” the party said.

“Your donation will deliver professional campaigning material so that our message comes across loud and clear to as many people as possible: Green councillors will build a green future, fair and sustainable for all.

“All proceeds raised from this fundraiser will be directly allocated to the Shetland campaign.”


Simone Anderson and Logan Ruthven.

LOCAL hospitality students got a chance to gain some practical skills recently as they held their own juice bar in the Lerwick campus canteen.

Daniel Percival, Timothy Li, Simone Anderson, Logan Ruthven, Sawitree Chaiyarat and Joe Kent sold pancakes, waffles and fruit juice to staff and students last Friday.

The event was part of their Introduction to Events module that gives students the experience of working as a member of a team to plan and organise resources for a specified hospitality event to a given brief.

Lecturer Raymond Smith said: “The team did an excellent job of planning and organising the Flippin’ Juice Bar and got to practice important real life roles and responsibilities required in a working environment.”