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Everything posted by shetlander

  1. I agree entirely DavieP. Whilst there have always been avenues to express negative views publicly it can be done so much easier nowadays and the increasing prevalence of it on social media just seems to validate that it’s ok to do. The thing that astounds me about it all is the lack of midder wit some folk have before embarking on a keyboard rant. We live in a peerie place and I’m sure I’m not the only one that has formed a less than favourable opinion of some of the most notable local Facebook commentators despite never having met them in person. Do these folk not realise that if I was (say) an employer or a landlord that I might be unlikely to offer them a job or consider renting a house to them purely because of their online conduct? I could - but obviously won’t - name an individual who I distinctly remember calling a local female politician a ‘bimbo’ and another - who happens to be a local business owner - calling a group of public sector workers ‘c***s’. They’re not saying this in a private conversation but in a forum viewable by millions of folk. Do they not think that mightn’t be appropriate or, in the case of the local businessman, that it might discourage folk - as it has for me - from wanting to support them? I’m not sure Shetlanders are necessarily any more negative than folk elsewhere. But I do think there’s an increasing air that we’re always hard done by and we’ve never been treated so badly by politicians and infrastructure/public service providers. I used to think o wis as resilient and accepting that due to wir isolation, geography and weather that things don’t and can’t always work the way they do elsewhere but I do sense that’s starting to slip. That all said, there are 20,000 odd adults here and the negativity still just comes from a vocal minority. I’m always heartened that a single post from a brave soul who sticks their head above the parapet and applies some positivity, truth and perspective among a sea of misinformed, negative twaddle very often attracts a much higher number of ‘likes’ than some of the crap spouted by others.
  2. Agree with what MuckleJoannie has said but if your family is willing to consider moving to a more remote part of Shetland, there’s generally a lower demand for housing. Some areas (Fetlar for example) have council properties which have been lying empty for years. Until there’s real traction on some of the larger developments in the pipeline (Staney Hill, the Knab etc) I don’t think there’s a short term solution to this one unfortunately. For everybody who thinks priority should be given to incoming workers, someone else will be of the view that priority should be given to locals who have had their name on the housing list for years.
  3. If the minimum wage not being enough is the issue, are there really that many folk locally who (a) are currently living off benefits but want to/are able to work and (b) would be attracted to jobs in those sectors if wages were to be increased? I don’t know but I suspect the problem is also that there’s an imbalance between the number of folk of working age living here and the number of jobs available locally.
  4. Only if the competition doesn’t destroy the peerie guy who was there first - which more often than not happens when big retailers that can offer more choice and lower prices move in. From memory the Co-Op in Lerwick moved to where it is now around 1990ish, Tesco - or Presto as it was first - maybe 5 or 6 years later? Since then, my guess would be that around half of the independent grocers in rural areas as well as most of the grocers/bakers/butchers/fishmongers that existed in Lerwick have gone. Most bigger rural villages had 2 or 3 shops each in my early memory, most now just have one. Whether anybody’s view is that having big retailers is good or bad, I don’t think there’s any getting away from the fact that they make it very difficult for smaller, independent shops to survive.
  5. Good luck to the SIC on making the ‘right’ decision on this. I can see it now - refuse them and folk will complain that they’re backward, restricting choice, forcing folk to have to travel to Lerwick to do a big shop etc, approve them and you’ll have just as many complaining they don’t care about existing businesses, local jobs, local food producers etc.
  6. Retailers are only interested in one thing - making money - and don’t care what places might or might not ‘need’ a shop or what impact them moving in will have on any existing businesses. If Tingwall was going to bring them in the money that they’ve obviously predicted Scalloway or Sandwick will, they’d be biggin there. The same goes for Asda, Lidl or Aldi that folk on social media are saying we ‘need’ here. Good luck to the SIC on making the right decision on this one. Refuse them and they’ll be accused of stymying choice, approve them and folk will be complaining that they don’t give a damn about local businesses.
  7. Bein fae da isles I hae a slightly different tak on dis een. As doo says, I certainly hivna heard o anybody fae da (Shetland) Mainland saying dats where dir fae or getting any sense that they hae an 'affiliation' with da (Shetland) Mainland as a whole - as opposed to dir local district (Nortmaven, da Ness etc). But its certainly a term used in da idder isles - you'd speak about somebody wirkin on da Mainland or hearin about somebody movin ta da Mainland. Although thinkin aboot it, probably only if there was some vagueness as to where in da Mainland it might be, so if it was Lerwick, you'd say Lerwick etc. Fur dat reason, 'sooth' is always da (Scottish/British) Mainland ta me. Ta add anidder isles/non-isles variation inta da mix, you'd get da ferry ta Laxo, Taft etc but da boat ta Aberdeen...... Its certainly interestin' how different things are on a very local level.
  8. ^Yis good point aboot da use o ‘island’. Definitely heard folk fae Yell, Whalsay etc speak about ‘da isle’ when speaking aboot their own isle but I’m never heard ‘the island’ (da isles - as in plural - yes) used ta describe Shetland as a whole until recently.
  9. ^I do get where it comes from though - think the Canaries, the Falklands etc. which we probably all use without too much thought. Logic would imply that use of ‘the Shetlands’ is just as acceptable A more recent annoyance IMO - and to my horror I’ve seen folk living here using it - is ‘the island’ (singular). Since when did we become a single land mass?
  10. The times are like any other business - they have employees and other overheads that need paying and I suspect an increasing number of us ‘use’ the service they provide online without ever paying them a penny. It used to be the main, if not the only, way for folk to advertise locally and as (free) online alternatives started taking the place of that even before coronavirus I suspect they’ve seen a huge drop in advertising revenue in recent years. At the same time more folk are going online to read da paper, they’re losing revenue from paper sales, in turn that makes advertising less attractive for businesses - and it’s a downward spiral. I do still buy da times every week as a way of supporting what I get for free online as much as anything else and would be saddened if it was lost locally.
  11. For the record it was a wife......
  12. The problem is, who’s ‘say’ wins out when there are strong opinions on both sides? I’m on the opposing side but the notion that folk haven’t had a chance to say their bit is nonsense. Objections were made, the decision-makers disagreed with them and one side lost out - they were never going to be able to please everybody.
  13. I might be wrong too but wasn’t it something along the lines of ‘if Shetland doesn’t want it, it won’t happen’ as opposed to the offer of an actual vote or referendum? If that’s what was said, assuming there would be public agreement one way or another made it a pretty foolish statement to make IMO
  14. Doesna look like there’s much left of it if the most recent photos I’ve seen online are anything to go by. What a waste of a modern building that could have been a huge asset to the place if circumstances even before today had been just slightly different.
  15. I too questioned whether this would be viable in the long-run but I don’t think that’s the job of councillors or the council when they decide to grant planning permission. However much the owners may have believed – or have been led to believe - that the camp was temporary they took a gamble on the basis that it would and/or that whatever they may have picked up in the way of tourists on top of oil/gas business would have been enough to keep it going. It’s a shame though that between this place and Scalloway we’ve now lost what on the face of it were among the most modern and well-run of wir hotels. I’d say what really needs to change is the planning system so that impact on existing businesses is something that has to be taken into account when a decision is made. But folk are quick enough to complain when that means their choice is being curtailed (think back to the carry-on about the Tesco extension and Chris Hodge) and you canna have it both ways.
  16. Folk are quick enough to come up with ideas about what should be done but as usual the expectation is that somebody else and/or the council should be funding them. The hard truth is that any use that is found for it needs to be commercially viable. I just can’t see anything on the scale of what has kept it going for the last 40 odd years ticking that box. There just aren’t enough locals or visitors flying in and out and tourism is never going to grow to levels that make a second airport viable. Use of it by the much-lauded Space Centre might be one glimmer of hope but IMO there’s still a lot to be proven on that front before it will bring the economic benefits we keep hearing about. Yes it’s devastating for the North Mainland but the boom was never going to last forever and we’re all going to have to plan for and get used to oil and gas playing a shrinking role in wir economy and way of life here.
  17. Agree climate may be a factor but I’d be very surprised if the speed and extent of their lockdown won’t prove to have contributed significantly to their low mortality rate. Time will tell but if things continue on the current trajectory it could also prove to be what gets their economy back on track before most others. South Korea is another interesting example - they’re just out of winter too but also seem to have got a grip on things largely through extensive testing and tracking. There’s no right or wrong answer with any of this but there will be folk everywhere who think their government should have handled it all differently. I sure as hell wouldn’t want to be making the decisions when there’s such a delicate balance to be struck between protecting the economy and the lives of your citizens.
  18. Not necessarily. Obviously nobody knows how future outbreaks might pan out but as an example New Zealand (who have had a more stringent lockdown than we have til now) has had just 12 deaths. Per head of population, that’d be the equivalent of about 160 in the UK. What I think will come out in the wash as to how some countries have fared over others will be when lockdowns kicked in, when/if borders were shut, how widespread testing was, the state of their health service as well as things like population density, demographics, ethnic breakdown etc.
  19. Hear hear. While stirring up controversy may well be the trademark of several of wir regular contributors on here, there’s a line to be drawn between having a healthy debate and showing some common respect and decency. IMO that line has been crossed in several posts over the last week or so.
  20. A necessary evil I’d say - and this year we’re paying the second lowest rate in Scotland. Given the financial predicament all other councils are in I’d imagine most of them will be looking at similar increases.
  21. Given how low wir current unemployment rate is and how we’re already struggling to fill vacancies in areas like fish processing, hospitality and social care I canna see this being good news for us. https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-51550421
  22. No doot the number of folk using them and the number of things they use them for is on the slide. What’s about to happen in Lerwick has been going on elsewhere for years and as the older, less tech-savvy generation moves on, that’s only going to continue.
  23. ^Good question. But how exactly does this work as far as who the staff work for and who is given the chance to 'host' the post office? I ken that in rural areas if a postmaster/mistress retires or a PO or shop housing one closes, they advertise the opportunity for somebody to take it on. I'm pretty sure that the business owner then gets paid by the post office but there are no direct post office employees as such. Is it any different for main post offices like Lerwick? The existing staff are presumably directly employed by them so will a Conochies shop assistant also be doing post office work or will there be a dedicated PO counter with PO paid staff?
  24. HIE commissioned a report on this very subject a few years ago. From memory, as little as 2% of the whitefish landed here is processed here. I’ll see if I can hock it oot but what it said was that the speed mainland processors can now get whole or gutted fresh fish from here, the costs of importing packaging and a lack of local labour are all things that might limit more value-added processing being done. While I get the benefits that *might* come about on the catching side, I can’t see Brexit changing any of that given that wir competition is from within the UK rather from the EU but I’d be happy to be proven wrong. If anything I can only see the labour situation worsening given the number of EU nationals who have willingly worked in fish factories here in recent years while many of the rest of us have turned our noses up at that kind of work.
  25. Any new site needs to be big, relatively flat, have reasonable road access and ideally have a decent outlook for the folk who will be unfortunate enough to stay in it. Bolts would almost certainly be far too peerie/hemmed in and while the Knab might be big enough and provide a splendid outlook, road access isn’t the best and keeping the listed buildings might be a bit of a constraint. We’re only at the very early stages of this happening though. Considering what all needs to be done next (a business case, securing finance, design, public consultation, procurement, planning permission, construction etc.) we’re probably speaking about the place opening in 5-10 years’ time if it gets the green light at all. Bolts is for sale now and most of the old AHS is going to be flattened fairly soon so I don’t think the timing would work out for either of them anyway. While there is land at the north end o da toon, a sizeable amount of it is surrounded by pretty ugly industrial buildings so my bet would be on somewye out the Sea Road/Ness of Sound being looked at if road access can be improved a bit.
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