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Also in the news / Radar contract, Pride committee changes, salmon industry on HPMAs and more…

SERCO has been awarded a new £32 million contract by the Ministry of Defence to maintain air defence radars and provide day to day operations of remote radar heads.

This includes the radar site at Saxa Vord in Unst.

Serco will be the prime contractor for the new contract with Lockheed Martin – which which will be involved an upcoming launch from the SaxaVord Spaceport in Unst – as the main sub-contractor.

Doug Umbers, managing director of Serco’s UK defence business, said: “Serco has a long and proud history of supporting radars in the UK and we are delighted to have been awarded this new contract to ensure the availability and readiness of this element of the United Kingdom’s critical national infrastructure.”

Kerrie Meyer during last year’s pride parade.

SHETLAND Pride founder Kerrie Meyer has resigned from its committee ahead of its second festival this summer.

In an online post Meyer, who had previously stepped down as chairperson due to stress and medical reasons, said the event was taking a “very different and radical path” under its new leadership.

Following the return of stress Meyer said the decision was taken to “give up fighting get Pride back on track” and resign from the committee.

Treasurer Matthew Lawrence and trustee Robin Beckett also stepped down.

The festival posted on Facebook that it wanted to pay thanks to Meyer and Lawrence in particular for the work they undertook on Pride.

The statement on social media confirmed that the 2023 festival is due to go ahead as planned on Saturday 1 July.

Anyone who wishes to volunteer or have a stall at the event is asked to contact info@shetlandpride.co.uk

TRADE body Salmon Scotland has voiced its opposition to Scottish Government plans for highly protected marine areas (HPMAs).

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The government’s aim is to see at least 10 per cent of Scottish waters designated as HPMAs by 2026, in which any fishing and aquaculture activity would be banned.

Chief executive Tavish Scott said: “We support proposals that can improve Scotland’s marine environment. Scotland’s reputation for the very best farm-raised and wild-caught seafood depends on the seas around our coastline. However banning responsible sea use is not the answer.

“Salmon farms occupy a tiny proportion of Scotland’s waters, yet ours is one of the most important sectors of the marine economy and one of the biggest employers in the Highlands and Islands.”

The Scottish Fishermen’s Federation has also welcomed the growing concern over the plans, which have been under consultation.

HELP is at hand for anyone struggling with nuisance phone calls or wanting to better protect themselves from scammers online or on the doorstep, the council says.

Trading standards can help and support with any kind of scam, and are currently inviting people to nominate themselves or someone they think is vulnerable to scam phone calls to receive a free call-blocker to help protect them.

The team can be contacted on 01595 744887.

The local Citizens Advice Bureau can provide advice, help and support on many issues, and they can be contacted on 01595 694696.

Anyone with concerns about the safety and welfare of an adult at risk should contact adult social work on 01595 744468. Out of office hours (before 9am and after 5pm), weekends and public holidays is on 01595 695611.

Police Scotland – 101 or 999 in an emergency is the 24/7 place to report any fraud or scam in which money has been lost. People can also get in touch with their bank to try to recover any money.

People can also pick up a scam advice pack from the council offices at 8 North Ness, or phone 01595 744887 to get one sent out.

TWO Lerwick town centre buildings could get a fresh look if planning permission is secured for signage.

A digital screen and other new signs are proposed for the RBS building on the street.

Meanwhile Don Leslie’s has applied for consent for various new ‘Ellesmere Stores’ signs.

SNP MSP Emma Roddick has told constituents she continues to be a Highlands and Islands MSP first, following her appointment to government as the new minister for equalities, migration and refugees.

After visiting places around the region, including Shetland, during the recent parliament recess, Roddick said she is “looking forward to getting to work as a minister, and continuing my work as an MSP”.

“I am a Highlands and Islands MSP first, and I want to make clear that I am still available to help the people I represent,” she said.

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