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Also in the news / Extra flight capacity, ferries under review, solidarity gathering, community council consultation, coastguard response times and more …

Photo: Ronnie Robertson

LOGANAIR has said it is doing what it can to get stranded passengers on and off the islands but is limited in its options after two aircraft were damaged by Storm Babet whilst parked at Aberdeen airport.

The airline’s chief executive Jonathan Hinkles said Loganair will be using larger aircraft on its Aberdeen to Sumburgh services on Saturday to create extra seat capacity.

Flying conditions remain challenging with gust of up to 45 knots at Aberdeen airport.

Most afternoon flights were cancelled on Thursday due to the weather while ferries are cancelled again today.

SATURDAY’s sailings of NorthLink’s passenger and freight vessels are now under review due to the continuing adverse weather conditions.

An update on the services is due to be made on Saturday morning.

Meanwhile, all of tonight’s (Friday) sailing are cancelled.

A GATHERING to show solidarity with the civilian population in Gaza and Israel and mourning the  the senseless loss of life will be held outside Lerwick Town Hall on Saturday starting at 2pm.

The group of concerned Shetlanders, calling themselves Palestinian Solidarity Shetland, is urging an immediate ceasefire and more humanitarian aid for the people of Gaza.

“We stress that this will be a peaceful gathering to show solidarity and promote peace, justice and equality”, said in a facebook post.

A 12-WEEK consultation on the future of community councils in Shetland has opened today (Friday).

The first phase focuses on the areas and composition of community councils of which there are 18 in Shetland:

  • Option one proposes no changes to the number and areas of community councils;
  • Option two would create a single new community council for Fair Isle, Fetlar, Foula, Papa Stour and Skerries,
  • The third option proposes creating a single new community council for Fair Isle, Fetlar, Foula, Papa Stour and Skerries, as well as creating five new community councils that match the Shetland mainland multi-member wards.  The councils in Bressay, Whalsay, Unst and Yell would remain unchanged;
  • Option four would create new community councils that match the multi-member wards;
  • Option five proposes no changes to the existing community councils, other than boundary adjustments to Dunrossness and Sandness & Walls community councils to allow the creation of new Community Councils for Fair Isle and Foula;
  • A sixth option allows respondents to submit their own proposals should they wish to do so.

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More details and a link to on online survey are available here.

A series of public drop-in sessions is being planned for November.

Please see also:

Hopes for good engagement with community council consultation


ISLES MP, Alistair Carmichael, has called for transport secretary Mark Harper to make a statement in parliament on proposed changes to response times for the coastguard helicopter based at Sumburgh.

The MP said while discussions on these proposals were said to be ‘ongoing’, these were not ‘ongoing’ with islanders themselves.

He said: “The blue-light services of towns and cities would never be treated like that, so why should islanders be treated differently?”

He got assurances from the leader of the Commons Penny Mordaunt that the department of transport would be in touch with his office. The MP has also written to the transport secretary and is awaiting his response.

LIB DEMS climate emergency spokesperson Liam McArthur has called on the Scottish Government to make new funding available to protect communities from extreme weather events such as Storm Babet.

The Orkney MSP is proposed a £75 million climate emergency communities fund to protect people.

He said around 284,000 homes across Scotland were already estimated to beat risk from flooding

“The Scottish monsoon has become all too frequent a hazard in recent years. Communities across Scotland are being left vulnerable each winter that passes without work being done to make our defences more resilient,” he said.

“The destruction and disruption that we are now seeing is not just an act of nature but also a consequence of the Scottish Government’s failure to prepare for more extreme weather.”

SNP Highlands and Islands MSP Emma Roddick has launched a survey to better understand how constituents want to engage with their representative and politics.

“Speaking to folk across Scotland, (…) something I hear too often that upsets me is ‘I don’t vote’,” she said.

“Politics affects everything around us, and it bothers me that many people feel as though they cannot get involved and make a difference.

“It is really important constituents feel as though they are represented in politics. That is why I have launched this survey to ensure that I am effectively engaging with those that I was elected to represent.

The survey can be found here.

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