Also in the news / Transport minister visit, council workers’ pay offer, yoga classes and more…

Scottish transport minister Jenny Gilruth. Photo: Scottish Government

A CONSERVATIVE MSP for the Highlands and Islands says the Scottish transport minister’s visit to the Northern Isles this week must result in change.

Jamie Halcro Johnston said he hopes Jenny Gilruth’s visit “isn’t just another of those visits where Scottish Government figures claim to be listening to local folk and representatives about our priorities here in the Northern Isles, but then nothing changes”.

“As our islands economy starts to recover from the unprecedented disruption of Covid, it is essential that that the Scottish Government looks in detail at our air and sea links, and ensure that they are made sustainable for the future,” he said.

“However, this is government with a disastrous 15 year record of mismanagement of our transport infrastructure, and with the ongoing ferry crisis taking place on the west coast, and the newly nationalised Scotrail network moving from shambles to farce, I don’t hold out much hope of things getting better on their watch.”


Gilruth will visit Shetland tomorrow (Tuesday) at a time of dissatisfaction among many when it comes to the isles’ external transport links. Shetland News will be interviewing the minister.

DEPUTY first minister John Swinney has confirmed that the Scottish Government will contribute a further £140 million of recurring funding to enable a revised pay offer to be made to local government workers.

Members of unions representing council workers across Scotland have recently voted to strike over pay.

“Without the ability to borrow or change tax policy, this will have a significant and ongoing impact upon our fixed budget that ministers are taking steps to address,” Swinney said.

“Finding a solution must be a collaborative endeavour and local authorities now need to do the same.

“This additional funding demonstrates our commitment to local government and their staff and will allow local authorities to make a significantly enhanced pay offer.”

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Maya Schlomka.

A VISITING yoga teacher is heading to Shetland from Israel next week to host workshops and classes in Lerwick, Yell and Unst.

It will be Maya Schlomka’s second visit to the isles, with the tour sponsored by Unst-based Hamars & Harps Ltd. and supported by local yoga teacher Kate Lonsdale.

Classes are suitable of all levels of practice and local harpist Sunita Staneslow will provide live harp music at all the classes.

The events will take place between 20 and 24 August. More information can be found here.

SPECSAVERS in Lerwick is now offering customers the chance to recycle their glasses and contact lenses in-store.

The new initiative comes after the opticians teamed up with recycling experts MYgroup to install recycling collection boxes at Specsavers stores across the country.

Customers at Specsavers Lerwick will be able to drop off both metal and plastic glasses and sunglasses, as well as contacts lenses and accessories, including blister packs, contact lens cases and solution bottles.

The glasses and contact lenses will be given a second lease of life and repurposed into a wide range of items such as furniture, home and garden accessories, including benches and play park equipment.

It can also be used in the building trade as an alternative to plywood.

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