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    SSE under fire over electricity prices

    27 Jan 2015, 12:00 am

    SSE, which runs Lerwick Power Station, is under fire for refusing to cut electricity prices despite a crash in global energy prices.ELECTRICITY consumers in Shetland will “find it difficult” to understand why their bills are not coming down following a huge crash in oil prices over the past six months, isles MSP Tavish Scott says.

    On Monday, SSE announced it would cut its gas prices by 4.1 per cent from 30 April, but is maintaining a freeze on electricity prices until July 2016. That is despite the price of a barrel of oil plummeting from over $100 a barrel to less than $50 dollars a barrel since last summer.

    Five areas set to get 3G mobile signal

    26 Jan 2015, 11:49 pm

    A FURTHER five small Shetland communities are in line to receive third generation (3G) mobile phone coverage after being shortlisted in a rural “not spot” programme by Vodafone.

    Following a successful trial in Walls, the mobile phone giant’s rural open sure signal programme will bring coverage to Aith, Baltasound, Fetlar, Sandness and Skeld. Late last year Vodafone added Baltasound and Hamnavoe to the list of those set to receive 3G.

    Vodafone said those communities have suffered from unreliable mobile coverage and slow network speeds, but by installing its “innovative” technology, they will “benefit from high quality 3G voice services, and much needed access to the internet via mobile devices”.

    Ferry strike continues

    26 Jan 2015, 5:42 pm

    Mates who are members of the trade union Unite will continue their industrial action on Shetland Islands Council’s inter-island ferries on Wednesday.

    For the latest information about ferry services affected by the action, people should visit the council website.

    The SIC will also post news on message boards at ferry terminals and text messages to regular passengers who have signed up for the service.

    Tourism boost for Unst

    26 Jan 2015, 5:38 pm
    ST15-06 unst sign

    Funding will help develop tourism in Unst.

    Islanders in Unst have wan a £63,098 funding boost to help develop tourism.

    Unst Partnership plans to use the money to provide an opportunity for a tourism development officer which will run over two years. The project will promote tourism in Unst by bringing together existing services, providers and organisations in order to maximise island potential and encourage economic growth.

    Unst Partnership is looking forward to giving Unst a boost in tourism with a main priority of bringing a larger number of tourists to the island and increasing the length of stay.

    The funding comes from the Coastal Communities Fund, provided by the Department for Communities and Local Government.

    The fund, managed in partnership with the Big Lottery Fund, aims to provide local, coastal communities the opportunity to create a more secure and diversified local economy.

    The application, submitted by Unst Partnership Ltd, moved through three separate stages before Monday’s announcement.

    • More on this story in Friday’s Shetland Times.

    Sound pupils are European quiz champions

    26 Jan 2015, 5:17 pm
    The Sound Sixes team which won the Euro Quiz (from left): Jordan Leask, 10, Zander Crossan, 10, Emma Leask, 10, and Matthew Spence, 10, all from P6 at Sound Primary School. Photo: Dave Donaldson

    The Sound Sixes team which won the Euro Quiz (from left): Jordan Leask, 10, Zander Crossan, 10, Emma Leask, 10, and Matthew Spence, 10, all from P6 at Sound Primary School. Photo: Dave Donaldson

    The quiz about Europe held in primary schools throughout Scotland has seen a Lerwick school go into the national final round.

    A team from Sound Primary School won the Shetland heat of Euroquiz 2015, eventually defeating Dunrossness Primary School pupils after a tough struggle.

    During the day, P6 pupils from five Shetland primary schools (including also Cunningsburgh, Sandwick and Skeld) attended the competition in Islesburgh and were asked questions on geography, the European Union, sport, culture and languages. Overall, the standard of answers was excellent, according to SIC and Aberdeen City Council global citizenship officer Lewie Peterson.

    He said the competition was open to all schools that wanted to participate, and there were a lot of resources online for the event, which comprised “really difficult” questions.

    Mr Peterson said: “The point of the competition is to make students more aware of Europe and aware of the EU.

    It’s important that pupils learn more of the role of the EU, it’s more and more in the news.” But, he added, fewer and fewer people understand it.

    Preparing for the quiz had taken a lot of learning and a lot of revision, he said, and added: “The quiz had questions on subjects like lakes, capitals, landmarks, national dress, flags, cultural events and specific legislation.

    “[One question asked] ‘Who is the head of the European Council?’ This would have been tough for a lot of adults. All the teams did really well.”

    In the end, he said, only a “handful” of points separated all the Shetland teams and no-one was sure who was going to win. Mr Peterson said: “It was a credit to the pupils and staff who prepared them.”

    Sound Primary School will now take their place in the national final in May at the Scottish Parliament.

    Last year Tingwall Primary School got through to the final, and were placed in the national top 10 primary schools.

    Mr Peterson said the final is always a “big event”, which last year was streamed live from the parliament.

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