Although such a small island with only five properties permanently occupied life in Papa Stour isle is considerably more comfortable than it used to be. Shetland Islands Council togther with the Utilities have invested a lot of money into the isle to ensure a high standard of living.
Communications. Properties are connected to BT and broadband is available.
Electricity. Power is supplied to Papa Stour by Scottish Hydro Electric via a sub sea cable accross Papa Sound. The mains supply was first installed in 1991 and the last croft house to be connected was about 9 years ago.
Fire Cover. There is no fire unit in Papa Stour. In the event of a fire residents are advised to dial 999 and call the Emergency Services.
Medical Services. There is no doctor or nurse resident in the isle. The nearest surgery is at Walls on the mainland (tel 01595 809352). For those without transport or unable to drive there is a Community Council Taxi available on Wednesdays to take patient from West Burrafith to the Walls surgery and return again ( Andrea Watt 01595 809337 but please give as much notice as possible).
However, if requested the doctor, Helen Ward, will make a home visit. In the event of medical emergency the helicopter would be called to take patient to hospital. By prior arrangement the doctor will do a telephone consultation and any medication required will be sent out with the post.
Police. There is no police presence in the isle and, if required, local police can be contacted at Lerwick Police Station (tel 01595 692110).
Postal Services. The island Post Office closed in 2005. However, Royal Mail is still collected from and delivered to Papa Stour three mornings each week. Both outgoing and incoming mail is collected and delivered by an island resident employed by Royal Mail. He is also happy to deliver mail order parcels to individuals on his postal rounds.
Refuse & Recycling. Household waste is collected each Monday and there are recyling bins for glass and cans at the pier. All bulky household waste items ie old refrigerators, washing machines etc have to be taken by the householder to the Landfill Site in Lerwick. Folk are encouraged to recycle garden waste and cardboard boxes either by burning or composting. It is the responsibility of individual crofters to dispose of croft waste ie old fencing wire, silage wrap etc. Each spring the community is encouraged to take part in the annual Voar Redd Up. Organized by the Shetland Amenity Trust the aim is to clear the beaches of rubbish washed up by the winter storms.
Roads. There is only one public road in Papa Stour. It extends from the pier area to the airstrip and is just one mile long. Being a public road all vehicles require to be taxed and insured. Vehicles driven off the isle also require an MOT. The road was widened in 2009 and there is a 7.5 tonne weight restriction.
School. Shetland Islands Council maintain a primary school in Papa Stour for pupils aged between five years and eleven years. Beyond age of eleven children are required to travel to Andersons High School in Lerwick where they stay as weekly boarders.
Shops. There are no shops in Papa Stour. Those living in the isle either order supplies from the Co-op in Lerwick that are delivered via the ferry or travel to Lerwick to shop. Animal feed, coal, building materials etc can be delivered to West Burrafirth from where they will be brought into Papa Stour on the next ferry.
Water. Papa Stour has it’s own water supply drawn from Garda Water. Scottish Water has responsibility for mantaining the quality and supply of water to each household. In 2008 Scottish Water built a new filtration plant and pumping station and a local man in the isle is employed to check the system on a daily basis.
Community Councillor. Mrs Jane Puckey represents Papa Stour on the Sandness & Walls Community Council and can be contacted either by phone (01595 840619) or by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org)