Also in the news / Recycling bins, DVSA frustration, relationship help, emergency beacon, MSC certification, new police commander

SIC recycling bins. Photo: Shetland News

PAPER recycling bins in the north and south mainland that were not emptied on Monday and Tuesday due to the wintry road conditions will now take place tomorrow (Friday).

A spokesperson for Shetland Islands Council said householders are asked to put out their bins at the usual time.

NORTHERN Isles MP Alistair Carmichael has called for the head of the Driver and Vehicle Standards Authority (DVSA) to visit Shetland to see for herself the state of service in the far north.

Northern Isles MP Alistair Carmichael. Photo: Shetland News

Speaking in parliament on Thursday he said ministers should go online and try booking a place for a driving test to understand local frustration with the service.

“The minister (…) would find that in Shetland the earliest date is 18 weeks away and in Orkney there are no test dates available. That is quite apart from the continued lack of availability of off-road motorcycle testing, “ Carmichael said.


“The history of the DVSA in Shetland and Orkney – Shetland in particular – in recent years has been frankly pitiful.”

Responding for the government, Richard Holden MP said: “My understanding is that the average waiting time in Shetland is indeed 18 weeks, but I believe in Orkney the waiting time is significantly less than that. I don’t know what the source of the discrepancy between us is, so I will write to him about that.”

LOCAL parents who have decided to separate or divorce are being urged to find out how they can minimise conflict with each other and avoid lengthy legal battles by contacting the local office of Relationships Scotland.

Service manager Ingrid Webb said that January usually sees a dramatic rise in the number of parents deciding to live apart as the pressures of the Christmas period can act as a catalyst for relationships ending.

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“Making a life-changing decision to separate brings with it many challenges,” she said.

“Engaging in family mediation offers separating parents support, from a trained mediator, to assist them answer questions such as where their children will live, how they will spend time with their children and how will their new circumstances including finances and property be altered and agreed.”

Webb added family mediation is open to everyone and remains free of charge.

Relationships Scotland – Shetland can be contacted by calling 01595 743859 or via email relationshipsscotland@shetland.org

THE COXSWAIN of Lerwick Lifeboat has encouraged all boat owners to check the status of their emergency beacon – and if they do not have one they should consider getting one.

Stephen Manson was speaking after the lifeboat was launched into action earlier this week when an EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon) was activated 20 nautical miles southeast of Unst.


On this occasion the lifeboat crew was informed shortly after launch that the alert was a false alarm and the lifeboat turned back to station.

“Emergency beacons can quickly direct a search and rescue operation to the exact location of any incident,” Manson said.

“We’d encourage any boat owners to check the service status and registration details of any beacons on board. And if they don’t have a beacon, they should consider getting one – emergency beacons at sea can save lives.”

SHETLAND and Scottish rope-grown mussels have had their MSC certification renewed.

Described as the gold standard of sustainability for seafood, the eco label not only confirms that the mussels are being farmed responsibly but it also gives them a competitive edge in the market.

Two thirds of Scotland’s mussels are being farmed in the voes around Shetland – an industry that is worth £7 million to the local economy.


Chief executive of Seafood Shetland Ruth Henderson said: “We have held certification since 2012, so this is our second recertification, which demonstrates the care and consistency with which our growers have operated over the last decade.

“We know that conscientious customers care about the origin of their produce, and the MSC standard effectively demonstrates that our seafood comes from a sustainable and well-managed resource.”

A NEW police divisional commander for the Highlands and Islands has taken up his post this week.

Chief superintendent Rob Shepherd was sworn in during a ceremony at Police Scotland headquarters at Tulliallan on Monday.

The senior officer joins the single national service having transferred from the Metropolitan Police.

“The Highland and Islands Division serves a beautiful place to work and live and I am enthusiastic to continue my policing career in the area with Police Scotland,” he said.

“I am excited to join such a committed and professional team and look forward to leading and supporting officers and staff to provide effective policing for our communities.”

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