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Also in the news / Tanker update, mobile MRI scanner and more

Motorists have been asked to take extra care when passing the tanker that came off the road near Skelberry. Photo: Shetland News

THE WORK to recover the tanker that came off the road on the B9071 between Laxo and Vidlin will continue tomorrow (Saturday).

The road will be closed to all through traffic between 9am and 2pm to allow the removal of the remaining fuel, then the recovery of the vehicle.


FOLLOWING the pandemic and national changes to the vaccination programme delivery, NHS Shetland is now offering a refreshed travel vaccinations service after recently undergoing a redesign.

For people registered with a GP in Shetland requiring vaccines for travel, firstly, contact the travel health service team via email – shet.travelclinic@nhs.scot (preferred option) or via telephone – 01595 743319.

From this point, individuals will be required to complete a pre-travel questionnaire as part of their assessment. More information can be found here.


THE AUTUMN/winter Covid and flu vaccination programme ends in Scotland on 31 March 2023.

Anyone who is eligible and wishes to have a vaccine should contact our NHS Shetland’s vaccination team as soon as possible on 01595 743319 or shet.vaccination-team@nhs.scot.

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The offer of first and second doses of the Covid vaccine will end on 30 June 2023 for five to 49 year olds with no underlying health conditions. After this date, you will no longer be eligible for any Covid vaccines.

The offer of an initial booster dose (ie third dose) will end on 31 March 2023 for five to 49 year olds with no underlying health conditions. This booster was offered to most people in winter 2021.


NORTHERN Isles MP Alistair Carmichael has criticised the “skewed” priorities of the Conservatives following the spring budget earlier this week.

“Rather than cutting energy bills or backing small businesses they have given tax breaks to the well off,” the Lib Dem said.

“The chancellor has also missed a trick by not taking the opportunity to cut energy bills for families.

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“Bolstering the Energy Price Guarantee by £500 per household would have dropped average bills back to where they were before the huge price rises of the autumn.”


A NEW art installation called Taxcloth: the Toevakoddi Project will open at the Shetland Museum on Saturday (18 March).

Cloth fulling in water at Helliness.

It is a collaboration by three Shetland artists, Hazel Hughson, Barbara Ridland and Joan Fraser, and the immersive art installation is the culmination of the artists’ exploration of the little-known subject of the Shetland toevakoddi and the practice of using woven cloth as currency.

From the Middle Ages until the 1700s Shetlanders in every community paid part of their rent and tax in quantities of wadmal, a plain wool cloth of handspun yarn, which they wove in their homes and fulled (cleaned and milled) in the sea.

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This was done in toevakoddies, clefts in the coastal rock with suitable wave action. The knowledge of their location was passed down through generations, and they are still found as named places on some maps.

The mixed media exhibition will run from 2pm on Saturday to Sunday 7 May.


SHETLAND MSP Beatrice Wishart says she is disappointed that there is no confirmation of a new hospital for the isles in the Scottish Government’s capital projects plan.

In response health secretary Humza Yousaf cited high inflationary costs affecting capital planning. But he said there is a “strong case” for a replacement hospital.

Meanwhile Wishart has encouraged NHS Shetland to sign the Miscarriage Association’s pregnancy loss pledge.

Signing the pledge commits employers to providing a higher standard of support to employees if they suffer from pregnancy loss.

“I am backing the campaign to improve support for parents who experience miscarriage and call on NHS Shetland to further all of the positive work they are undertaking to support those experiencing baby loss by signing the Pregnancy Loss Pledge,” Wishart said.

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“My thoughts are with all those affected by baby loss. Bereavement support is available from Sands, which have a local Shetland group, and the NHS.”


A MOBILE MRI scanner will be arriving at the Gilbert Bain Hospital in Lerwick on Saturday (18 March)

From this evening (Friday) until the scanner departs on 25 March, the six disabled parking spaces at the front of the hospital will be re-provided opposite the main entrance on the Cairnfield Road side of the car park.

A mobile bone density DEXA scanner is also due to arrive on 24 March and will be located at Montfield Support Services in Burgh Road.


THE ANDERSON High School halls of residence will be used to accommodate visiting contractors during this summer’s Tall Ships event.

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It is not being used as holiday accommodation, and race participants will be staying on their respective ships.

However, Shetland Islands Council is due to explore the future use of the halls during the summer months as holiday accommodation as a way of generating extra income.


GRANT aid totalling nearly £700,000 has been approved for over 300 applications to the Viking Energy community benefit fund since it launched in 2021.

A large range of projects from around the isles have seen grants approved by community councils in the past few months.

Sandsting and Aithsting has seen two of the largest grants with £32,700 for improvements to the Aith marina and over £22,000 for upgrading the village hall’s toilets and fire doors.

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