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Unst - what does the future hold?


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Not at all, NewMagnie, just poking fun at modern bureaucracy. I abhor the emphasis on lerwick and the gradual draining process on the rest of shetland. It is preferable in many ways to keep folk spread more thinly on the ground to preserve community and all that goes with it. Good and bad. Put it this way, wherever i can leave the keys in the igniton of my car, i'm happy to live and work. As should be the case all over.

 

ps gewgaws is a word i've never come across before, thanks for that.

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I know its a beauty isn't it.

 

Sorry - bit of a sore point with me but I'm forced to concede you're not entirely wrong. I was at a meeting this morning where a member of staff applied to work from home. As it turns out, there's an element of truth in what you're saying - her house has to be risk assessed by our health and safety department - this has to include fire safety and electrical checks.

 

Not a reason not to do it - but still.

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I read the report on decentralisation on the SICs website. To be honest it looks like all talk and not much action - which I think Bill Manson was getting at when he spoke on Radio Shetland the other night. Still, its a step in the right direction and that its finally being spoken about can't be a bad thing.

 

Staying on the original topic, good to hear about Frank Strang/Blackwoods plans for Saxa Vord and that things are looking a bit more positive for Unst.

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Just an idea but how about a brothel it could employ fine local lasses and use some of those empty buildings the RAF have helpfully left behind. 8O

 

That's a preposterous idea. Immoral, lewd, demeaning… it might just work! :D

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lly

 

Posted: Thu May 11, 2006 3:43 pm Post subject: Re: Unst

Do I smell fish? wrote:

Just an idea but how about a brothel it could employ fine local lasses and use some of those empty buildings the RAF have helpfully left behind.

 

 

That's a preposterous idea. Immoral, lewd, demeaning… it might just work!

 

The trouble is that the persons who are tasked with, and funded for making plans to rejuvenate Unst have no interest in jobs for locals. Their aim is to bring incomers to the island to swell the population.

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Not really true.

 

The reality is, you need to do both. Any community needs a critical mass of population to make its public services - schools, leisure centres, health care, etc - viable so building up the population always has to be a concern for developers - whether suits in a remote office or community activists. For the record, news of families and individuals locating themselves in Unst tends to be regarded as positive by the local population.

 

On the other hand, jobs have to be created/enabled in order that the growing population can be economically active - a swollen population in its own right is worthless.

 

Now, this opens up a whole discussion about 'incomers' (never liked that word; has something of 'gast-arbeiter' about it). In my experience the persons tasked with the rejuvenation of Unst have never made a distinction between returning islanders and new population - and neither should they.

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Not really true.

 

It is a well known fact that a critical mass of population is essential to maintain a community and yes,the population of Unst do welcome incomers to replace the ones lost,as long as they are retirees and not competing for the very few jobs available. Very large sums of money have already been given in an attempt to create new jobs. The money has gone but few jobs have appeared. Why?

If the persons tasked with the rejuvenation would concentrate on job creation instead of attracting incomers the locals who have had to leave for economic reasons would return to re-occupy the houses they left.

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newMagnie wrote

 

The reality is, you need to do both. Any community needs a critical mass of population to make its public services - schools, leisure centres, health care, etc - viable so building up the population always has to be a concern for developers - whether suits in a remote office or community activists. For the record, news of families and individuals locating themselves in Unst tends to be regarded as positive by the local population.

 

Which is why I still think that the ex RAF houses could be used to house families seeking asylum in the UK. As asylum seekers are not allowed to work their prescence would help to keep numbers up at the school etc. without adding to unemployment and I think getting a chance to stay in somewhere safe like Unst would be welcomed by a percentage of those who are genuine in wanting to gain asylum in the UK.

 

Have to admit a special case would have to be made for an increased allowance to be paid on the grounds of extra living costs....thats if I am right in thinking that asylum seekers get less than the income support level to live on.

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Not really true.

 

It is a well known fact that a critical mass of population is essential to maintain a community and yes,the population of Unst do welcome incomers to replace the ones lost,as long as they are retirees and not competing for the very few jobs available. Very large sums of money have already been given in an attempt to create new jobs. The money has gone but few jobs have appeared. Why?

If the persons tasked with the rejuvenation would concentrate on job creation instead of attracting incomers the locals who have had to leave for economic reasons would return to re-occupy the houses they left.

 

Do you have any concrete examples Claudias of exactly how those tasked with the rejuvenation of Unst have been biased in concentrating their efforts on attracting incomers as opposed to creating jobs for locals?

 

I can understand the frustration of folk in Unst who have seen sums of money being thrown towards job creation since the airport closed with little in the way of results. Employment can't just be created out of thin air though no matter how much money goes towards it and its always going to be difficult to entice new job creating businesses to set up in any rural parts of Shetland. I would have thought that the role of the Unst Response Team and other agencies like Shetland Enterprise is not to create jobs per se but to act as a one stop shop for business advice, to see how Unst can tap in to funding for new enterprises, to approach those who are thinking about setting up businesses in Shetland to encourage them to set up in Unst etc.

 

With the exception of public agencies like the SIC (by decentralising office based staff to Unst or deciding to base the ferry there for example - which I think need to be given serious consideration) jobs will and can only come about in Unst when private businesses - even with the financial support of public agencies like the SIC, Shetland Enterprise or the Unst Response Team - decide they want to create them there.

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Unst needs some sort of brainstorming group to be set up in order to link ideas from thinkers to people who could use the ideas. For example I have noticed that sheep and goats milk cheese sells for high prices. Can Unst support flocks of sheep or goats in high enough numbers to make milking them viable?.

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I am an interested spectator,not an investigative reporter,so I am not going to name names or report concrete facts. However,I was at a meeting, several years ago, to discuss the setting up of an Animation Studio where the persons tasked with the rejuvenation of Unst stated quite clearly that the project was being set up to draw qualified incomers into the island rather than to cater for unemployed local people. What happened to all the money invested in that project?

Since then,Shetland Enterprise and the Unst Response Team have expended thousands of pounds without coming up with any ideas as worthy of consideration as JuasMe's idea of bringing in asylum seekers. Creating a couple of posts to think of ideas is merely throwing good money after bad.

SIC and Blackwoods between them formulated the plan to move to Unst and Frank Strang seems to have his own ideas without any prompting.

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Unst needs some sort of brainstorming group to be set up in order to link ideas from thinkers to people who could use the ideas. For example I have noticed that sheep and goats milk cheese sells for high prices. Can Unst support flocks of sheep or goats in high enough numbers to make milking them viable?.

 

Another fine idea. We could get asylum seekers to bring their own flocks. If they are not allowed to gain paid employment this would allow islanders to make the cheese. Gains all round.

I propose that JustMe is employed as a consultant to SIC Planning.

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Just to clarify one thing.....my idea of a brainstorming group was for an unpaid group. Somewhere to kick ideas around to see what merit there is in them and what the pitfalls could be. Input from anywhere. Certainly all the Schools in Unst.....in fact all the schools and colleges in Shetland.

 

My own thinking is that Unst needs a wide variety of small projects so there is never again a crisis such as the closing of Saxa Vord and that any new projects need to be something logical for Unst rather than the daft ideas such as a helicopter factory as was once proposed for the Western Isles.

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Hasn't the brainstorming thing been done before though through meetings held by the Unst Partnership, the Unst Response Team, Initiative at the Edge etc? I don' t think that there has been any shortage of opportunities for ideas to be discussed - and I'm sure many good ideas have been talked about by folk in Unst.

 

I agree that a large number of small, sustainable businesses is the way forward for Unst (and anywhere else in Shetland for that matter). But surely theres a limit to how much the various public agencies can be expected to do to take ideas forward. The point I was making before was that ultimately it needs to be up to private individuals or businesses to implement ideas and create jobs. The role of the likes of Shetland Enterprise or the Unst Response Team should be limited to providing financial assistance, training, advice on possible premises, grants and loans, marketing Unst to prospective employers from outwith the island and so on.

 

Good ideas are useless if they stay just as that - if we are so sure our ideas would work, why should it always be up to someone else to do something to implement them?

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Shetlander wrote

 

Hasn't the brainstorming thing been done before though through meetings held by the Unst Partnership, the Unst Response Team, Initiative at the Edge etc? I don' t think that there has been any shortage of opportunities for ideas to be discussed - and I'm sure many good ideas have been talked about by folk in Unst.

 

Thats just it......"teams" and "partnerships". I believe that a Shetland wide brainstorming session could come up with things that, if not for Unst, could be taken up in other parts of Shetland. What I have in mind is a multimedia consultation where people could submit ideas by post, by leaving a message on some sort of voicebank or via the internet. A sort of "no need to give your name" system where anyone from primary 1 bairns to Shetland's oldest person could give their thoughts. Perhaps something like Shetlink for discussion. And only one rule......any ideas submitted cease to be the property for the person who submitted it.

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