Also in the news / White Christmas figures, test regularly says MSP, strike called off and more…

LERWICK has had the most white Christmases in the UK since 1960, according to PR company Bonus Finder which has produced a national ranking.

The company said it had gone through various source including the Met Office, the BBC and various local news stations and had found that during the last 61 years Lerwick has had snow on Christmas Day on 18 occasions.


Aberdeen comes second with 16, followed by Edinburgh with 11. There is no word of Kirkwall in the ranking.

“Whether you love to get involved in a good old community snowball fight, or just want to know whether to prepare the de-icer for your car’s windshield, it’s always helpful to know what the chances are of getting snow over Christmas,” the company said.

Apparently, Aberdeen Airport is currently the bookies’ favourite to have a white Christmas this year.

LOCAL MSP Beatrice Wishart has expressed her hope that the latest advice to restrict the spread of the Omicron variant of Covid will be sufficient to allow people to celebrate safely with their family and loved ones.

Shetland MSP Beatrice Wishart. Photo: Shetland News

And she urged people to test regularly after receiving assurance that lateral flow testing kits are available for collection from the Test & Protect office at Greenhead Base.

Wishart said: “With little knowledge about effects of the Omicron variant it is important that we do more of what we know works to stop the spread of Covid-19 in general.

“We are not being asked to return to how we had been living at the start of the pandemic and, while challenging, these measures are not as strict to live by.


“I have been testing regularly, especially when travelling to and from the Parliament and tests don’t take long to help ensure the safety of those around you.

“I hope that action now, combined with the increased vaccination campaign, will ensure the Christmas period does not require further additional measures to help curb the spread of the virus.”

FURTHER strike action at a number of oil and gas installations, including Shetland Gas Plant, has been called off after the Unite union and management of two engineering firms reached an agreement on improved terms.

Previously, union members employed by Ponticelli UK and Semco Marine, part of the PBS consortium, had voted for industrial actions in a dispute over terms and conditions of the 350 strong workforce.

Unite regional officer John Boland said: “Unite members covered by the PBS agreement have today accepted an improved offer put to them, effectively ending this dispute.

“We do not believe that this action had to happen in the first place if PBS management had only listened to the concerns of the workforce.

“Hopefully moving forward, constructive engagement with the union is the first approach adopted by management to reach agreement, not the last.”


NORTHERN Isles MP Alistair Carmichael has spoken out in support of a National Lost Trawlermen’s Memorial Day.

The MP intervened in support of a debate led by Karl Turner, who raised the idea as a national extension to a day of commemoration already recognised in the coastal city of Hull.

“This is a proposition that I am sure will have support in coastal and island communities right around the country,” he said.

“I was brought up on Islay, with a population of 3,500 people, and even of those who were at school with me I can count no fewer than six who have lost their lives in the industry.

“The real benefit that would come from what he proposes is not just that it would be an act of remembrance but, in its own small way, it would help to improve the culture within the industry so that the many lives that were lost needlessly would not be lost in future generations.”