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Also in the news / Busta recognised by carers group, cash machine campaign and more…

Grant O’Neil (right) of Busta House Hotel with Louie Gray, social worker in training at Shetland Carers.

SHETLAND Carers recently presented a certificate to Busta House Hotel in recognition of their continued support of unpaid carers through its Respitality Scheme.

The scheme gives local carers overnight stays free of charge.

Busta joint manager Grant O’Neil said: “Having had paid carers taking care of my parents had already alerted me to how much effort is involved in caring for someone, and for someone to do this unpaid must be extremely difficult.

“As such, we were keen to offer a small gesture of our appreciation to those who are in the position of offering free care.’”

ISLES MP Alistair Carmichael has joined a cross party campaign calling on the government to protect access to cash in the face of declining numbers of free-to-use cash machines across the country.

A letter with 72 signatures from MPs was sent to the treasury for the attention of the chancellor in advance of the upcoming new legislative session.

Many people and businesses, particularly in rural areas, rely heavily on the use of cash and yet the overall number of free-to-use ATMs across the UK has fallen by 23 per cent since 2018, rising to a reduction of more than 50 per cent in some areas.

Carmichael said: “Access to cash is vital for our communities and businesses and yet it is increasingly under threat through a gradual loss of local services.

“Even as many people have shifted to make more payments by card or online there is a vital need to maintain free and open access to cash, particularly for vulnerable people.”

MAREEL has no immediate plans to return to opening seven days a week.

Earlier this week Shetland Arts confirmed the venue would reopen on Tuesdays again after receiving a grant from the Scottish Government.

But when asked by Shetland News about the prospect of returning to a seven-day week, a spokesperson for the agency said arts bosses were “taking things one step at a time and working to establish stability in recovery”.

The venue, cinema and cafe cut its opening days to Wednesday-Sunday in the recovery from the Covid pandemic.

ROUTINE drug and alcohol testing is taking place at the Viking Energy construction site, a meeting heard last night (Tuesday).

The matter was brought up at the latest session of the Viking Community Liaison Group by chairman Andrew Archer.

The group provides updates on the wind farm and transmission link projects, and allows community council representatives to ask questions.

PEOPLE in the Northern Isles have been urged play their part in planning for future services in Shetland and Orkney by completing the Scottish census.

Speaking ahead of the 1 May deadline for completing the census, SNP MSP Emma Roddick said: “The census is the official count of every person and household in the country, takes place every 10 years and it is in the interests of everyone in Shetland and Orkney to complete it accurately and on time.”