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Also in the news / Tunnel feasibility studies, drama group donations, Up Helly Aa window display, winter heating payment and more …

Shetland MSP Beatrice Wishart. Photo: Shetland News

LOCAL MSP Beatrice Wishart has called on the Scottish Government to sit down with representatives in Shetland, including councillors and action groups, to seriously consider feasibility studies for short tunnels to island communities.

Speaking in the Scottish Parliament earlier in the week, Wishart said Shetland needed 21st century infrastructure to meet its 21st century ambitions.

“I continue to raise the view of many islanders that there are great benefits to be gained with tunnel connections for Shetland’s island communities,” she said.

“As well as social connectivity, Shetland’s growing role in the space industry at the SaxaVord Spaceport, our economic contribution to Scotland through fishing and the salmon and aquaculture sectors, and our contribution to energy security, all rely on good inter-island connections.”

In response, cabinet secretary Mairi Gougeon gave a commitment to engage with the transport minister and before responding to her in full.

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Marking the cheque presentation in the Islesburgh Community Centre are (left to right):
Stephanie Georgia – Calendar Girls director; Marina Anderson & Cheryl Jones – Macmillan nurses; Martin Henderson – Cancer Research UK Relay for Life Shetland; Karen Erasmuson – Islesburgh Drama Group trustee and charity calendar team; Sophie Whitehead – charity calendar photographer; Dorothy Jamieson – CLAN Shetland and Stanley Manson – Islesburgh Drama Group president. Photo: Austin Taylor

THREE LOCAL cancer charities have shared a total of just over £6,800 which was raised by the Islesburgh Drama Group from its calendar Wir Charity Lasses.

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Photographed by Sophie Whitehead, the calendar was produced to support the drama group’s sell out production of Calendar Girls in March 2022.

Representatives from Macmillan Cancer Support Shetland, Clan Cancer Support and CRUK Relay For Life – Shetland accepted cheques for £2,267.84 each.

Islesburgh Drama Group said it wished to thank Whitehead for her work and for donating her fee to the charities, as well as Lynne M. Laurenson for her design work.


The winning window display at Millgaet Media.

THE MILLGAET Media shop in the Toll Clock shopping centre has won this year’s best Up Helly Aa window display competition.

The competition was judged by Lerwick guizer jarl Neil Moncrieff earlier in the month.

It is the third time that the company, which also publishes the ii Shetland magazine, has won the award.

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Highlands and Islands MSP Emma Roddick Photo: Sarah Cooper for Shetland News

A NEW £50 winter heating payment is being paid to around 400,000 people in Scotland on low incomes, with the first payments processed this week.

In Scotland the winter heating payment replaces the previous cold weather payment, administered by the DWP, which was only paid following a sustained cold weather period.

Welcoming the new payment, Highlands and Islands SNP MSP Emma Roddick said: “Unlike the Cold Weather Payment down south, this new benefit for Scotland does not rely upon weather station readings, which very often do not reflect the reality of the conditions folk live in, and instead is paid automatically to anyone eligible.

“This is very welcome news for households across my region in areas like Orkney, Shetland, and Wick, where no Cold Weather Payments were triggered last year despite the often very harsh weather conditions.”

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CLAN Cancer Support is appealing for new volunteers in Shetland as it aims to reach more local people affected by cancer and bolster its fundraising activity as part of its 40th anniversary.

Clan is looking for people to take on a range of roles including listening and support services and event support.

The charity’s volunteer manager Claire Mechie said: “Volunteers are the lifeblood of Clan and we are indebted to them for the amazing role they play in ensuring we can provide first class support services to people affected by cancer across the north-east, Moray, Orkney and Shetland.

“Lockdown completely disrupted our operations and our volunteering programme, but we’re now back with face-to-face events and client services, meaning we are looking for motivated and positive people who are keen to invest their time with us.

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For more information on the roles available and to apply, please contact Clan’s volunteer manager by calling 01224 647000 or email volunteering@clancancersupport.org


THE IMPACT of ferry journeys on livestock being transported between the Northern Isles and the mainland will be assessed as part of a new study carried out by the Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC).

Several journeys are often required during an animal’s life to allow access to better grazing, trade in breeding stock, or for fattening, and transport to markets and slaughter.

However, there is little objective scientific evidence to understand how cattle and sheep are affected by journeys involving ferry transport, and whether management and practices can be modified to improve animal welfare.

Lead researcher Professor Simon Turner said: “Currently, only limited information is available relating weather conditions and sea state to the actual motion of vessels over an extended period.

“Anecdotal evidence suggests animals generally travel very well in the cassette system but may sometimes appear ‘tired’ when they have made rough crossings, suggesting that factors like sea and weather conditions are likely to impact on livestock welfare.”

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