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Also in the news / NorthLink delays, nursery inspections, outdoor space, tree planting and more…

Photo: John Bremner

THOSE travelling south on tonight’s NorthLink ferry have been warned to expect delays of up to three hours in arriving at Aberdeen on Friday morning.

The strong to gale force south westerly winds are also expected to cause some minor delays to the northbound ferry, while the southbound freight boat will leave Lerwick at the later time of 9pm tonight.

COUNCILLORS were pleased to hear that three island nurseries have had positive inspection reports from the Care Inspectorate.

While Sound Nursery and Tingwall Nursery managed to get two ‘very good’ and two ‘good’ ratings each, the Isles Haven Nursery in Lerwick was rated as ‘good’ in setting and the team running the facility while the categories care, play and learning as well as leadership were deemed ‘adequate’.

The inspections, which all took place at the end of June, were the first in Shetland to be undertaken since the full implementation of the expansion of early learning.

Isles Haven Nursery is still in the process of incorporating two previous settings into one. It provides funded early learning for up to 74 preschool aged children.

Inspectors made three improvement recommendations including further development of personal plans for children, measures to prevent them from accessing the car park as well as the development of a “robust system of quality assurance”.

MEANWHILE councillors have heard that the SIC’s roads manager Dave Coupe is undertaking a phased retirement.

Members of the local authority’s environment and transport committee were told on Wednesday that an advert for his replacement should be issued in the coming weeks.

THE MAJORITY of the public believe the fishing industry must not be squeezed out by offshore renewables developments and tougher conservation measures, according to a survey commissioned by the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation (SFF).

In polling carried out by JL Partners, 78 per cent of respondents agreed with the statement “governments should ensure that fishing communities are not squeezed out of our increasingly crowded seas”, while just four per cent disagreed.

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Just over 2,000 people across all regions and nations of the UK as well as all age groups and social classes were asked by JL Partners on 31 October and 1 November.

SFF chief executive Elspeth Macdonald said: “We fully recognise that decarbonisation is necessary to address climate change – especially topical this week during COP27 – and that offshore renewables in particular can contribute to this.

“However, that should not be at the expense of an industry that is already producing healthy, low-carbon protein.”

Lauren Anderson, Lisa Ward, Ashlea Tulloch in the new outdoor space at The Compass Centre.

A NEW outdoor gathering space for service users of the Compass Centre in its garden has been unveiled thanks to a donation from BAM Nuttall Ltd.

The space, which previously was unused, now has a patio area complete with picnic benches and a brand-new shed.

The civil engineering contractors also coordinated a donation of £1750 from themselves, Siemens Energy and Venesky-Brown to the charity, which supports survivors of sexual violence and harm in Shetland.

Compass Centre service manager Lisa Ward said: “We’ve been developing our garden into a calming space for service users for a number of years now but had struggled to find a way to transform the space at the back into somewhere that really felt welcoming.”

Tree planting. Photo: Shetland Amenity Trust

SHETLAND Amenity Trust is encouraging schools and community groups in the isles to plant native trees and help improve the local biodiversity.

The project is in collaboration with the Woodland Trust, which offers free tree packs as part of its national campaign to plant hundreds of thousands of trees throughout the UK.

The trees distributed in Shetland are provided by Shetland Amenity Trust from its local tree nursery, many of which have been grown from tree seed collection in Shetland, ensuring that the tree packs are best suited to the local climate.

They are available to order in a number of different pack sizes, up to 400 trees.  The amenity trust will help to select the right species and provide information on how to plant and take care of the saplings.

For more information or to apply for a free tree pack, contact Gordon Cumming by 20 December on GordonCumming@woodlandtrust.org.uk

THE ORGANISERS of next summer’s Tall Ships Races are appealing to local catering and bar providers to come forward and ensure the event showcases the very best of Shetland’s local produce.

Several local providers have already been appointed to cater at the Victoria Pier and Holmsgarth sites for the four-day event next July.

Shetland Tall Ships Ltd project manager Emma Miller said: “We still have a requirement for additional catering providers, including the main bar provider.

“That’s why we are issuing a further appeal for suppliers to get in touch if they can offer catering services for this, with an extended application deadline of 2 December.

Anyone who wants to express an interest in catering at the Tall Ships Races Lerwick 2023 can contact the organisers via email
info@tallshipslerwick.com or by phoning 01595 502110.  

LOCAL MP Alistair Carmichael warned people in the Northern Isles to use or exchange their non-barcoded postage stamps before they cease to be valid from 31 January 2023.

Barcoded stamps were introduced in February to make deliveries more efficient and improve security. Customers will still be able to use themed, commemorative and non-barcoded Christmas stamps after the deadline.

Anyone unable to use older everyday stamps by 31 January will be able to exchange them for newer barcoded ones free of charge.

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