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Also in the news / Pupils assist police, council strike action looms, spaceport recruitment and more…

POLICE officers in the North Mainland spent Friday morning carrying out a road traffic operation with the assistance of pupils from Brae Primary School.

Motorists entering Brae were stopped and greeted by the sight of the children raising different coloured cards, depending on their speed.

Those driving under 30mph received a green card, yellow for 31-35mph and motorists exceeding 36mph were faced with a red card.

Constable John Maxwell said the operation’s aim was to make a personal appeal to drivers to reduce their speed in and around schools, significantly lessening the likelihood of a collision.

“Having a class of eight-year-olds personally challenge your driving habits is a powerful way to get the message across,” he said.

“We want motorists to think about the impact of their actions.

“The morning was a great success, with the vast majority of drivers receiving green cards and the children enjoying their time working alongside police.”

UNISON members working in local government, including Shetland Islands Council, have indicated their willingness to take some form of industrial action in a dispute over pay.

Almost 90 per cent of union members have voted that they would be prepared to take industrial action in a consultative ballot announced on Friday.

Union leaders have now called on local government representative body CoSLA to improve its pay offer.

However, formal ballot would need to take place before any industrial action could happen.

Unison Scotland’s head of local government Johanna Baxter said: “Whilst COSLA and the Scottish Government will blame each other for this paltry pay offer it is our members that suffer – they have already endured a decade of austerity, the stress of working on the frontline of the pandemic and now face a cost of living crises like no other.”

RECRUITMENT agency Cammach Bryant has won an initial 12-month contract with SaxaVord Spaceport to assist the company in finding some key staff.

These roles include chief financial officer, quality document controller, HR manager, health and safety manager and head office support.

The spaceport received planning permission for its launch site earlier this year.

The UK Space Agency’s Pathfinder launch, delivered by Lockheed Martin, is scheduled to launch from the spaceport in the final quarter of this year.

Cammach Bryant managing director Iona Currie said SaxaVord’s current team of 24 people across sites in Shetland, Grantown-on-Spey and Germany will undergo some rapid growth to 100-plus people by 2023, increasing to double that number by 2024, with technical, sales, commercial and domestic and ground roles in Shetland to be fulfilled.

WITH less than a week to go, islanders have been reminded not to miss the deadline for completing Scotland’s census.

National Records of Scotland chief executive Paul Lowe said: “Time is running out to get your completed census return in by 1 May. It only takes a matter of minutes to complete online, or you can fill it out on paper.

“I urge anyone who hasn’t submitted their census return to do so immediately; not only are you helping your community but it is also a legal responsibility.”

Census letters have been issued to more than 2.7 million households representing 5.5 million people.

For more information and to complete the census online, visit census.gov.scot. Anyone who fails to submit their response could face prosecution and a fine of up to £1,000.

RECENT graduates who are either unemployed or not in graduate-level work are invited to apply for a paid internship with Shetland Islands Council.

The council is offering two six-month internships for graduates to have the opportunity to gain valuable work experience.

The posts are supported by the Graduate Career Advantage Scotland (GCAS) initiative, helping recent, eligible graduates living in Scotland to find rewarding employment.

The two internship posts would be project officers – one working in council’s climate change strategy team to develop a project on changing transport needs in Shetland, and the other is based in the council’s human resources team, to carry out research and deliver key actions of the council’s workforce strategy.

Human resources manager Denise Bell said: “This is an exciting opportunity for two recent graduates to work with the council for a six-month internship.  Developing our use of graduate opportunities is part of the council’s workforce strategy as we recognise the contributions that they bring.”