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Also in the news / District heating knocked out, Junior Up Helly Aa fundraiser, island survey and more…

Some of the electrics at SHEAP were knocked out due to flooding. Photo: SHEAP

LARGE parts of Lerwick were without heating today (Sunday) after a flood at the premises of Shetland Heat Energy & Power knocked out some of the electric controls of the district heating system.

The company said a short while ago that they had now been able to resume supply but warned that it would take some time to reheat the town.

In a social media message posted at 4pm SHEAP said that they would start with the Sound/Murrayston and Westerloch area of Lerwick.

“We have 1,200 cube of water to reheat and circulate, so unfortunately it can’t happen instantaneously.

“We’ll do our best very best to get everyone back on as soon as practically possible.”

A FUNDRAISING campaign for the Junior Up Helly Aa has already received donations of more than £400.

Earlier this week the organisation launched the campaign to help towards the 2024 running costs.

It said the cost of putting on the junior event is increasing. The fundraising page can be found here.

THE WASTVIEW Care Centre has received a 65 inch TV donated by the Viking Energy wind farm turbine supplier Vestas as the company reduces its presence in Shetland.

A defibrillator has also been given to Andrew Archer from the Tingwall, Whiteness and Weisdale community council, while several other items from Vestas’ suite of offices at the main Sandwater compound have gone to a variety of community groups.

Lead project manager for Vestas Robert Yeates said: “Since completing the installation of the final turbine at Viking Wind Farm, the need for a large number of our team to be on site has reduced, meaning the requirement to have the office space we had at the start of the installation process has also decreased, therefore we’ve started to demobilise from site.”

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THE LARGEST survey of island life in Scotland has been launched to help review the Scottish Government’s National Islands Plan.

The Scottish Islands Survey 2023, being run by The James Hutton Institute, is being sent to 20,000 people across Scotland’s inhabited islands for their views on topics from transport, housing, the economy and cost-of-living crisis to the environment, healthcare and education.

“Scotland’s islands make a huge contribution to the nation’s cultural and economic identity,” said Dr Ruth Wilson, a social scientist based at the Hutton in Aberdeen who is leading the survey.

“To improve quality of life in island communities, it’s important we hear from people living in the islands.”

SCOTTISH independence would allow Scotland’s marine sector to realise its full potential, according to a new paper published by the Scottish Government.

Cabinet secretary for rural affairs, land reform and islands Mairi Gougeon said: “Brexit has significantly impacted Scotland’s marine sector, creating major barriers to trade, reducing access to labour and a loss of fishing opportunities for parts of our fleet.

“As an independent EU Member State, Scotland would for the first time be able to negotiate for its own priorities at the heart of Europe.”

However, Northern Isles MP Alistair Carmichael said the suggestion that separating from the UK would empower coastal communities was “galling”, highlighting the SNP-Green government’s “ongoing centralisation of services and local authority powers”.

Alistair Carmichael is the Liberal Democrat MP for Orkney and Shetland. Photo: Shetland News

MEANWHILE Alistair Carmichael has also poured scorn on Conservative Party deputy chair Lee Anderson’s recent comment that asylum seekers should be sent to “remote” Scottish islands while they wait for their applications to be processed.

Speaking about Orkney, Anderson said: “If people are genuinely escaping war or persecution then a nice Scottish island with a few outbuildings would be suitable.”

Carmichael said in response to the comments: “This is not a serious proposition. I would be astonished if Lee Anderson could even find Orkney – or in his words ‘the Orkneys’ – on a map.

“His remarks show inhumanity towards desperate and vulnerable people – and disdain towards island communities to boot.”

THE SUMBURGH Head Lighthouse and Visitor Centre is opening for a fundraising winter weekend soon to kick off the festive season.

It will open out of season on 2 and 3 December, with activities – including Christmas crafts, a treasure hunt and a festive tombola – and homebakes on offer.

Admission, activities and access to the exhibitions and marine life centre are free but all donations received will go towards transport costs for school visits to Sumburgh Head.

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