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Also in the news / Road policing visit, science block transfer complaint, cervical screening and more …

ROAD policing motorcyclists were in Shetland over the weekend (16-18 June) and attended at the Simmer Dim Rally, which took place at Ollaberry.

Officers spoke with over 150 motorcyclists over the days, as well as carrying out road safety patrols.

A total of 30 other vehicles were also stopped, and a number of offences were dealt with, including in relation to seatbelts, MOTs and insurance offences.

Constable Robbie Stewart, of Highlands and Islands roads policing, said: “Riding a motorbike can be a thrilling experience, but it can be more risky, as you naturally have less protection than in a car. It is vital that motorcyclists ride within their capabilities and never too fast for the conditions.”


THE TERMS of the complaint into the council’s handling of the transfer of the science block of the old Anderson High School to a local church have now been finalised, with a completion date scheduled for the start of August.

New Life Shetland had a community asset transfer request for the building approved back in 2021, and a recent ruling from the Scottish Government stated it never needed to apply for change of use planning consent for its project.

It has been estimated the building is worth in excess of £100,000, but the sale price has been designated as a nominal £1.

Whilst the complainant wishes to remain anonymous, equalities campaigners Peter Hamilton and Kerrie Meyer – who are seeking to prevent the church from being able to provide mental health counselling in the community hub proposed by the church – have welcomed the beginning of the investigation.

“It should enable the political leadership of Shetland Islands Council to explain how this all started in the first place and help them to ensure the best outcome for all the people of Shetland,” they said.

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“It is hard to understand why an asset which could have increased in value would have been handed over at less than market price, particularly at a time when the council is making budget cuts and council tenants and council workers are struggling with cost of living increases.”


SHETLAND will host the UK’s leading cervical cancer charity for Cervical Screening Awareness Week.

Suzanne Kelly, cervical cancer prevention manager at Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust, will be in Shetland from Tuesday to Thursday this week.

Kelly’s visit will include delivering information and awareness sessions on cervical cancer to groups across the islands including the local public health team, the Compass Centre, Women’s Aid, as well as GPs, practice nurses and the admin teams that support them.

The sessions will provide information on how to increase cervical screening uptake in Shetland, as well as raise awareness of cervical cancer, the symptoms to look out for, and the importance of taking up invitations for the HPV vaccine and cervical screening (smear test).

Kelly will also host a public cervical cancer awareness session on Tuesday (20 June) from 6pm – 7pm at Islesburgh Community Centre in Lerwick. All are welcome to attend.


New interim chief officer for Shetland’s Integration Joint Board Jo Robinson. Photo: SIC

JO ROBINSON will act as interim chief officer for Shetland’s Integration Joint Board (IJB) and as director of community health and social care in Shetland from 1 July.

The move follows the appointment of current director Brian Chittick to be the new chief executive of NHS Shetland.

Robinson has been depute director for the last three years, having previously filled the director’s role in 2019.

Her appointment to this role on an interim basis will allow the conclusion of the recruitment process for a new director.

The IJB oversees the delivery of health and social care services in Shetland, through NHS Shetland and Shetland Islands Council in the Health and Social Care Partnership.


LOCAL singer-songwriter Freda Leask has released her new song Wildbird – and a video filmed by the Emmy-nominated Nick Brandestini.

It has been described as an “acoustic, Americana country song” touching on the subject of contemplated separation.


LOCAL arts organisation Gaada has been included as a case study in a practical guide to ‘fair work’.

The guide – commissioned by Creative Scotland – is aimed at employers in the creative and cultural sectors in the country, with case studies and illustrations to help digest the information.

Gaada’s Daniel Clark said: “We are thrilled that our organisation has been included as a case study for this national guide on best practice around fair work.

“Gaada works hard to provide a safe and nourishing creative space in Shetland and it’s always felt an important and natural continuation to extend this approach to how we employ and work with artists.

“Though we are always learning, adjusting, and improving our practices – it has been great to contribute some of our experience so far to this excellent resource for other organisations.”


AN INQUIRY seeking to find out the key issues facing healthcare services in remote and rural areas has been launched by the Scottish Parliament’s health, social care and sport committee.

The committee is keen to find out what specific challenges people in these areas face and what can be done to improve services in these places.

People can share their views here

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