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Also in the news / High visibility patrols, councillor withdraws from leadership race, SFA meets fisheries secretary, new partners at law firm

LOCAL police say they will be carrying out “high visibility patrols” in Lerwick this weekend after having received complains about anti social behaviour in the town.

They said they will in particular focus on the harbour, Harrison Square, Market Cross and the Clickimin Broch areas, as well as carrying our checks at off licences.

COUNCILLOR Ryan Thomson says he is no longer putting himself forward to be the next SIC leader.

As previously reported, leaked emails showed the North Isles member – and Shetland North councillor Emma Macdonald – were interested in the chamber’s top job.

But since then Thomson has had a change of heart and ruled himself out of the running.

Lerwick North and Bressay member Stephen Leask has also expressed his interest the position, which will be filled at a meeting on Monday.

The SFA’s Sheila Keith (left) meets cabinet secretary for rural affairs and the islands Mairi Gougeon (right). Photo: SFA

A TEAM from the Shetland Fishermen’s Association attended the recent Skipper Expo in Aberdeen to lobby on a range of issues on behalf of the local industry. 

Top of the list was the looming spatial squeeze from highly protected marine areas (HPMAs), offshore wind farms and increased fishing effort in the waters around Shetland which the industry fears will displace food production.

Executive officer Sheila Keith took the opportunity to press the case for fishing directly to Scottish rural affairs minister Mairi Gougeon and her officials.

“The Scottish Government needs to realise that while we need more renewables it cannot come at the cost of an already climate smart industry,” she said.

“If you constrict the fishing grounds you lose high protein, low carbon sustainable seafood and that has to be replaced with alternative forms of food, the vast majority of which are much more carbon intensive.

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“It is a matter of getting the locations right, away from grounds that have yielded catches for hundreds of years. Fish catching needs enough marine space to succeed.”

 LAW firm Harper Macleod has strengthened its Shetland team with two partner promotions.

Jenni Gear (left) and leigh Beirne. Photos: Harper Macleod

Jenni Gear in the family law team has been promoted to partner. The specialist in family law has been based in the firm’s Lerwick office for six years.

She predominantly advises clients on the full range of family matters including separation, divorce, and child residence and contact disputes.

Joining Gear on the promotion trail is Leigh Beirne who has also been promoted to partner and who advises Shetland clients on private client matters.

Beirne joined the firm as a trainee and has become a well-known face in the Shetland community. She advises individuals and families, specialising in the administration of complex and high value estates, the preparation of wills, inheritance tax planning, and financial and welfare powers of attorney.

Lead partner for Harper Macleod in the Highlands, Islands and Moray, Chris Kerr, said: “Every partner appointment and promotion is a tremendous achievement, and it should be congratulated even more so given the challenges everyone has faced in recent years.”

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