A young male tri-colour collie was found earlier running down Garden Road from Matheson road at around 2pm this afternoon.

No collar or identification, the Vets have scanned him and he is microchipped. He is very friendly.

If you recognise him he is being taken from the EVENTS and welovestornoway office to the Police station to be collected.

The following planning applications are pending consideration by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar.

All information and accompanying documents are publicly available on the CnES website

Kenny Beaton of 94 Borve, Castlebay, has applied for planning permission to change the use of a domestic garage to a holiday let at 94 Borve, Castlebay. The holiday let is to consist of two bedrooms, a lounge/dining/kitchen area and a bathroom. The number of additional parking spaces proposed is two, in addition to the three current spaces. 

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar has welcomed the announcement made today (Tuesday April 30th) by Loganair which will enhance both air services and passenger experience to and from the Western Isles.

From this weekl, all four of Loganair’s weekday Glasgow to Stornoway services will be operated by the Embraer 145 jet, which has been cutting flight times to as little as 30 minutes airborne since its introduction in January.

Approval of a 600MW interconnector to maximise renewables potential in the Western Isles is vital in the face of the climate emergency facing us all, says SNP MP Angus MacNeil.

Mr MacNeil says UK Government agency Ofgem must ‘do the right thing’ to support Scotland’s vision for action on climate change, as outlined by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon at the SNP Conference at the weekend.

Do you want help to lose weight? Do you live in Uist or Barra?

If so, get in touch with NHS Western Isles to register for free weight management programme ‘Healthy Helpings’ – helping you meet your weight loss goals in time for summer.

Further delays in the construction of the new ferry for the Tarbert-Uig-Lochmaddy services have angered Comhairle nan Eilean Siar.

The Council’s  Chairman of Transportation and Infrastructure, Councillor Uisdean Robertson, has responded to an update from Minister for Energy and Islands, Paul Wheelhouse MSP, about the further slippage in delivery dates for two ferries ordered from Ferguson Marine Engineering.

Litter pickers in communities around Lewis are being stretched to keep up with the amount of rubbish dropped on roadside verges and blown into ditches.

A 36-year-old man has been charged in connection with an alleged robbery from a taxi in Stornoway, say Police Scotland.

The incident happened during the early evening of Tuesday, April 2.

Western Isles residents are being asked to take part in a local study being undertaken on ‘The Impact on quality of life since the diagnosis of Lyme disease’.

The study is being completed by NHSWI Health Protection and Screening Nurse Specialist Isabell Macinnes as part of a Master’s degree in Infection Prevention and Control.

Western Isles residents are being asked to take part in a local study being undertaken on ‘The Impact on quality of life since the diagnosis of Lyme disease’.

The study is being completed by NHSWI Health Protection and Screening Nurse Specialist Isabell Macinnes as part of a Master’s degree in Infection Prevention and Control.

Western Isles athletes beat the field today (Sunday April 28th) with an impressive showing at the first Scottish Athletics under 17 North East Division event in Aberdeen.

Castlebay School head teacher Suzanne Forman (above) was one of the Western Isles runners who did the islands proud in London today (Sunday April 28th), completing the world-famous run in a creditable four hours 15 minutes and 54 seconds.

She was in the field with Lewis Pipe Band drummer Jodie Mackay (below) who was running in support of Guys and St Thomas’s Hospital in London – where she works as a staff nurse. Jodies’s grandfather received life-saving treatment at the same hospital more than 25 years ago and he was there to support her run, which has brought in over £3,500, watching her come home from the crowd at Westminster Bridge.

Castlebay School head teacher Suzanne Forman (above) was one of the Western Isles runners who did the islands proud in London today (Sunday April 28th), completing the world-famous run in a creditable four hours 15 minutes and 54 seconds.

She was in the field with Lewis Pipe Band drummer Jodie Mackay (below) who was running in support of Guys and St Thomas’s Hospital in London – where she works as a staff nurse. Jodie’s grandfather received life-saving treatment at the same hospital more than 25 years ago and he was there to support her run, which has brought in over £3,500, watching her come home from the crowd at Westminster Bridge.

Around 500 people were involved in Stornoway's first pro-Scottish Independence March which was held today (Saturday 27 April.)

North Uist's first ever gin was released on Thursday 25 April with the launch of a brand-new product, named Downpour.

The spirit is characterised by turning cloudy in the glass, the result of a 'downpour' of essential oils.

Last night (Friday April 26th) saw the official start to the season at Stornoway Bowling Club - and after a sudden downpour of rain delayed proceedings, the ceremonies were successfully concluded and some initial play got under way.

Thanks to the votes of their customers and following a rigorous day of judging by some 50 of the industry’s top professionals, Stag Bakeries of Stornoway has been shortlisted for a prize in the Scottish Baker of the Year 2019/20 competition.

Four representatives of Eriskay Football Club will be guests of Celtic at tomorrow's home game with Kilmarnock (Saturday April 27th).

A car was damaged while parked at Western Isles Hospital on Wednesday 17 April.

Police say the car, a BMW 3 series, received damage to the rear nearside bodywork and light cluster.

Anyone with any information is asked to phone 101 and cite reference NH482/19.

Stornoway Trust staff have described damage to a wheelchair-accessible eco-toilet as ‘disappointing’ and ‘disheartening’.

The toilet, which has been available for public use in Lews Castle grounds since August last year, was reportedly damaged between the afternoon of Tuesday (April 23rd) and Wednesday morning. Grounds staff making morning checks discovered that vandals had broken the toilet roll holder and stuffed a whole roll of paper into the pan, making it impossible for the toilet to be used.

Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MSP Alasdair Allan earlier this week raised the issue of the recent technical issues affecting the MV Isle of Lewis with Minister for the Islands Paul Wheelhouse MSP.

MV Isle of Lewis came off service after returning to Castlebay on 14 April with an issue with her bow thrusters.

As the vessel blocked the berth in Castlebay and was unable to put to sea, no relief vessel could come alongside. Bad weather also hampered repair efforts with disruptions occurring on the Sound of Barra service.


A Stornoway band is about to move on up, after a viral video hit quickly clocked up over 150,000 views explaining ‘that’s the way we do it in the Western Isles.’

Tomorrow (Saturday April 27th) sees the debut album launch of Uptown Fank by Peat and Diesel at the Mull Festival. The album will also be on sale in shops around the islands and pre-orders should drop onto people’s doormats today.

Peat and Diesel, fronted by Calum ‘Boydie’ Macleod on guitar and vocals, with Uilleam Macleod on drums and Innes Scott on the box, have been something of a surprise success – not least to the band members themselves.

Two Lewis dancers who travelled to Orlando in Florida to compete in a world championship competition have won their way through to their finals later today (Friday April 26th).

Abbie Morrison (17) from Back and her coach, Stornoway girl Kayleigh Nicolson, were both picked for Team Scotland and headed off to the world cheerleading championships, now taking place at the Walt Disney World resort in Florida.

CNES Trading Standards Officers participated in the recent Police Scotland multi-agency Shut out Scammers campaign. 

The campaign targets doorstep and bogus crime and raises awareness of offenders who cold call people and scam them out of money.

As part of the campaign, officers from the Comhairle took the opportunity to provide timely advice to local traders to stop them from falling foul of the law, particularly when selling away from business premises.

The next contract to operate the Scottish Government-supported air routes from Glasgow to Barra, Tiree and Campbeltown will give local communities more control over the services.

The Invitation To Tender for the contract, which will run for four years from 25 October 2019, has been published today (Thursday April 25th)

Work is due to start on May 7th on the Grinneabhat community hub at the former Bragar School in North Bragar.

The building closed for the redevelopment to begin on Saturday (April 20th) with a series of events including a Friday night ceilidh, project information from the architects and a talk by author Malcolm Macdonald as the centre’s Iolaire exhibition drew to a close.

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar will be starting the annual surface dressing programme on Monday May 6th with works expected to last for 6-10 weeks depending on weather conditions.

The sailing from Castlebay was once again disrupted due to technical issues.

CalMac have said: 'Due to a technical issue, the 07:55 departed Castlebay late at 11:50 with ETA in Oban at 1630. Departure from Oban will be approx. 1645.' 

 

 

A councillor was facing court action this week (Tuesday April 23rd) over contraventions of planning conditions under an enforcement notice issued by his own council.

Councillor Calum MacMillan, councillor for Barra, Vatersay, Eriskay and South Uist, faces charges under the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997 over noise levels from a wind turbine installed on his croft at Bornish, South Uist.

A plane-load of passengers heading for Glasgow remained earthbound in Stornoway yesterday evening (Tuesday April 23rd) after a saga of delays ended with the airport closing before they could take off.

The 18 passengers were left hanging around for the arrival of their transport, after a series of delays caused by equipment failures and a full-scale emergency at Glasgow airport meant that their inbound flight left Glasgow two hours late.

The Clan Macquarrie Community Centre in Borve is to get almost £33,000 from the Scottish Government’s Climate Challenge Fund (CCF).

The CCF, managed by Keep Scotland Beautiful, awards funding to help tackle climate change by running projects that reduce local carbon emissions. They’re supporting an energy efficiency project to be run by Clan Macquarrie volunteers, which will improve energy efficiency at the centre itself and offer free support across the wider community.

Two new features have made booking online with CalMac easier.

The ferry and harbour operator has now introduced new features to their web booking system that allows customers to save payment details and make changes to reservations online.

CalMac's Head of Customer Services, Alan Hood said: "Feedback from our customers told us that they wanted an improved ability to 'self-serve' tickets, and modifications to bookings, 24-hours a day.

"We are delighted to introduce two new functions to our ticketing and reservations system to address these needs."

A call has been issued for public meetings on Brexit.

Labour have called on local MP, Angus MacNeil, to convene meetings for constituents to discuss their views on Brexit.

Labour candidate for Na h-Eileanan an Iar, Alison MacCorquodale, said: “It would be beneficial to hear something from Mr. MacNeil about his recent voting record in the first round of indicative votes and also how he would have voted in the second round of indicative votes, had he made it back to Westminster in time to take part.

Consultations are currently being held on fireworks in Scotland.

The Scottish Government is holding consultations encouraging the public to have their say on fireworks regulations.  

Fireworks are traditionally associated with festivities which celebrate events that are important to different communities across Scotland.

Fireworks can bring colour and excitement to the special occasions that are important to people.

A local MSP will hold an advice surgery onboard the MV Loch Seaforth - an event thought to be a first for Calmac!

Passengers aboard the 15.30 sailing from Stornoway to Ullapool will be able to raise any issues they wish with their local Member of the Scottish Parliament at a specified area of the vessel.

MSPs often hold surgeries within their constituency to give people an opportunity to meet with them and discuss matters of concern. This is thought to be the first time a sitting MSP has held an advice surgery onboard a Calmac vessel.

Two men have been arrested this week after a break-in at shop premises in Cromwell Street, Stornoway earlier this month.

Western Isles police have been making enquiries since the shop window was broken just before 1am on Monday April 8th.

A grey day in Stornoway was brightened up this morning (Tuesday April 23rd) by the sight of an 111-year-old sailing vessel alongside Esplanade Quay in Stornoway harbour, half-way through a leisure trip around most of Scotland.

The Amsterdam-registered Flying Dutchman is a two-master, 39.55 metres long and with a gross tonnage of 120GT. She was built in 1903 and reconstructed and re-fitted in 2004, so that she now provides comfortable en-suite cabins for up to 26 guests, with a crew of mainly Dutch sailors under skipper Klaas van Twillert.

 Kayleigh Nicolson (left) and Abbie Morrison (right) both pictured with Kirstie Anderson

Two Lewis girls will be in the line-up when Team Scotland take the floor at the World Cheerleading Championships at the Walt Disney World resort in Orlando, Florida this week.

The massive international event, which runs from Wednesday (April 24th) to Friday, brings 11,000 cheer and 4,000 dance athletes together in Orlando to vie for titles.

The new route for a 10k run to challenge supporters of the Leanne Fund has been published today (Monday April 22nd).

Saturday June 1st marks the 10th anniversary of the popular and well-attended Point 5k, so the charity has upped the pace by adding a 10k race as well. The aim is for a full-blooded speed race over the 10k distance, so no walkers are allowed and the race is open to adults (over 16) only.

Stornoway drivers are being asked to be more aware of their behaviour when driving in and around the town centre, after a number of penalties were issued by police over the weekend of April 19th to 21st.

Anti-social driving behaviour, flouting of parking restrictions and road traffic offences connected with vehicles are all being rigorously checked by police officers.

A number of incidents of vandalism over the weekend have left Stornoway police calling for help from the public.

At 11.50pm on Friday (April 19th) police received a call from a householder on Portrona Drive, where a window had been smashed at the front of a house. Anyone who saw the incident or who knows anything about it is asked to call the non-emergency number 101, quoting incident number NH495/19.

The CalMac ferry Isle of Lewis was met by emergency teams at Castlebay on Saturday (April 20th), after a passenger was injured during the crossing from Oban.

Stornoway Coastguard operations centre received a call at 4.45pm from the skipper of the Barra-bound MV Isle of Lewis requesting medical assistance, after a 77-year-old woman fell on board the ferry and fractured her wrist.

Castlebay Coastguard Rescue Team members manned the pier and helped transfer the woman to a waiting ambulance, after which she was taken to St Brendan’s Hospital for further medical attention.

45% of school pupils in the Highlands and Islands believe that the range of subjects available will limit their post-school options.

Highlands and Islands Scottish Conservative MSP Donald Cameron has described findings as deeply worrying.

 The findings, revealed in a survey conducted by Highlands and Islands Enterprise, also indicate that a growing proportion of young people wish to stay in the region after they leave school.
 
Donald said: “There is good news and bad news in the survey.

 

The Scotland women's football team will be wearing Harris Tweed at the FIFA Women's World Cup this summer.

Edinburgh-based tailoring firm Walker Slater will supply the squad with Harris Tweed Hebrides jackets to wear as they fly out to France in June.

The announcement sees Walker Slater continue their role as an official licensee of the Scottish FA, which has seen them exclusively retail the Scotland National Team Harris Tweed, designed and produced in Shawbost, since 2015.

Police are appealing for information after a car was taken from Sandwick without the owner's permission.

Police say the black Ford Focus was removed from Mackenzie Avenue during the early hours of Sunday 14 April.

A window was damaged at the Nicolson Institute last weekend.

Police say the damage to the double-paned window took place sometime in the early hours of Saturday 13 April.

Anyone with information is asked to call 101 citing reference NH447/19.

Hebrides Housing Partnerships's new development at Stag Road, Stornoway, was opened today (18 April 2019) by Aileen Campbell, Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Local Government when she visited the Outer Hebrides. 

Stornoway Port Authority has awarded a major contract to design one of the biggest projects ever undertaken in the Hebrides.

Marine consulting civil engineers Wallace Stone have been chosen to take forward plans for Phase 1 of a deep-water port, which is part of the Port Authority’s 20-year Master Plan and aimed at creating significant economic growth for the islands.

The first ever Hebridean Whisky Festival will bring whisky-lovers to Harris next month.

The festival will take place on the islands of Skye, Raasay and Harris from May 21 to May 25.

The festival will feature free tours, tastings, music, casks and special events at Talisker, Torabhaig, Isle of Raasay and Harris distilleries and the Aros Centre, Portree.  

The festival kicks off with two days on Skye at Torabhaig Distillery on Tuesday 21 May, followed by events at Talisker on Wednesday 22.

Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MP Angus MacNeil has written to Transport Minister Michael Matheson MSP to suggest the Scottish Government visit the Faroe Islands to see a new 11.2 km subsea tunnel.

Mr MacNeil has hailed the success of the Faroes in creating a highly advanced transportation infrastructure which includes 17 land tunnels and two subsea tunnels with another almost complete and construction on a further tunnel due to start soon.

AUTOPARTS on Island Road, Stornoway, are delighted to sponsor Ali (Nomie) Macleod’s rally car this season.

Ali’s Escort Mk3 BD3 rally car is very rare indeed in that it is actually a rear wheel drive Escort MK3.

A number of roads will be closed for the Outer Hebrides for Independence March on Saturday 27 April.

The temporary road closures will affect Sandwick Road, Matheson Road, Bayhead Street, Cromwell Street, North Beach Street, South Beach Street, Castle Street and James Street.  

Easter Market this Saturday at Castlebay Community School.

Get creative and enter the Decorated Easter Egg competition, just remember to boil or blow the egg before you get decorating! The competition has various gae groups so anyone can enter for the chance to win some great prizes.

If you would like a stall contact Sarah at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 01871 817948.

Ferry operator CalMac is bringing new jobs to Stornoway.
 
CalMac’s customer service team is boosted by additional staff over the busy summer months and this year five of these seasonal jobs will be based in the Western Isles.
 
They will be dedicated to helping handle some of the 300,000 plus calls and 44,000 emails the company receives every year.

Sailings are still disrupted today (Wednesday 17 April) due to ongoing ferry issues.

Local repairs have been carried out to MV Isle of Lewis, resulting in the ferry able to leave Castlebay pier to allow MV Clansman into Barra.

CalMac have said: "Information and details of the repair to MV Isle of Lewis have been passed to the relevant authorities and we are awaiting feedback on the options for bringing the vessel back into service, next update will be at 13:30 unless we have any information before then."

Meanwhile, the 13:30 sailing from Oban to Castlebay has been cancelled.

Customers booked on the cancelled 7:55am sailing from Castlebay to Oban have the option of travelling from Ardmhor to Eriskay (07:30) and then from Lochboisdale to Mallaig at 09:50 (subject to availability).

Customers booked on the cancelled 13:30 sailing from Oban to Castlebay have the option of travelling from Mallaig to Lochboisdale at 06:00 or 13:50 (subject to availability). For customers travelling on the 0600 sailing from Mallaig, there is the option of travelling from Eriskay to Ardmhor at 10:15, 13:00, 16:35, 18:30 and 19:35 (subject to availability). For customers travelling on the 13:50 departure from Mallaig, there is the option of travelling on the 18:10 and 19:35 sailings from Eriskay to Ardmhor (subject to availability).

For any foot passengers requiring transport from Oban to Mallaig, Lochboisdale to Eriskay & onward from Ardmhor are advised to contact the local office on 01631 700506 (option 2) to make arrangements.

Castlebay is this afternoon (Wednesday April 17th) no longer the focus of disruption on the CalMac network.

With very little advance notice, the Isle of Lewis ferry was returned to service and set off on additional sailing to Oban.

Protests were been made in southern Skye as ferry links from Mallaig to Armadale were cut back because the Lord of the Isles is operating extra services from Lochboisdale to Mallaig.

Meanwhile additional services were operating late into the evening across the Sound of Barra to link up with the Mallaig crossings. 

A group of representatives from Scottish Government will be in Lewis from Tuesday to Thursday next week (April 23 to 25) for three days of public consultations, facilitated by Point and Sandwick Trust.

The community wind farm charity have facilitated the Scottish Government visit at the request of the Scottish Islands Federation.

The on-going restoration of the historic steamship TS Queen Mary has been buoyed by a donation from CalMac. 
 
The money will go towards reinstating the vessel’s main mast. The new mast will be machined from a single Douglas Fir tree and varnished before being installed on board with original refurbished rigging.

A helicopter involved in the NATO exercise Joint Warrior sparked an emergency this afternoon (Tuesday April 16th) as it headed for Stornoway Airport with engine trouble.

The following planning applications are pending consideration by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar.  All information and accompanying documents are publicly available on the CnES website.

Extension, Castlebay

Fiona Ferguson of The Sheiling, Castlebay, has applied for planning permission to build a lean-to property to the gable end of the house at The Sheiling, Castlebay.

New house build, Northbay

Theresa Irving of Ultima Thule, Bayherivagh, Northbay has applied for planning permission to build a house complete with septic tank and new access at 10 Bayherivagh, Northbay.

The house is to consist of 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, a kitchen/dining area, lounge and utility room. 

 

The main ferry services from Castlebay – hit in quick succession by bad weather cancellations, the damage done when debris affected propellers and the latest “technical issue” – remain cancelled today (Tuesday April 16th)

Additional sailings are running across the Sound of Barra until late into the evening to connect to sailings to and from Uist via Uig and Mallaig.

Alasdair Allan MSP has today (Monday April 15th) joined environmental charity, Keep Scotland Beautiful, in applauding the efforts of local residents from the Western Isles who are participating in its annual Spring Clean campaign, which is taking place across the country throughout April and May.

Keep Scotland Beautiful is supporting communities to take part and help remove litter from their local area - transforming the places that they live in and improving the areas that they care for. 

Constructing a 600MW electricity interconnector to the Western Isles would cost consumers just 4p more per household per year than the 450MW option.

Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MP Angus MacNeil continues to engage with Ofgem who recently announced their minded-to position of favouring a 450MW link over a 600MW.

As part of that engagement Mr MacNeil asked Ofgem for figures on what the two options would mean for household bills and learned that the 600MW would mean just 4p per household per year more than the 450MW option.

MV Isle of Lewis is out of action today (Monday 15 April.)

The sailing originally planned at 1:30pm from Oban to Castlebay has been cancelled.

CalMac cite a combination of weather and technical issues as the reason for the closure.

As yet, it is unknown what is causing the technical issues. A Castlebay sailing had been cancelled earlier this month due to debris caught in the propellers.

A century ago the founding members of the villages of Upper Coll and Gress gathered in peaceful protest and planted potatoes to mark the land of these villages as theirs.

Yesterday (Saturday April 13) their descendants gathered together to commemorate the efforts of those men who fought to secure the land and homes fit for heroes they had been promised once the fighting of World War One came to an end.

A newly established Isle of Harris brewer has reached the finals of the Scotland Food & Drink Excellence Awards.

Calum Bennett is one of three finalists in the Young Talent of the Year category.

A newly established Isle of Harris brewer has reached the finals of the Scotland Food & Drink Excellence Awards.

Calum Bennett is one of three finalists in the Young Talent of the Year category.

The Lewis Carnival is back on Saturday 3rd August.

Carnival organisers had hoped to break with tradition and move the event later in August "but the unfortunate clash with the Piping World Championships meant we’d be down on pipe bands - which just would not be right!

"So we’re sticking with old faithful and hope to see as many of you there as possible.

The design of a memorial to Eilidh MacLeod has been unveiled.

It is hoped that the bronze sculpture, featuring a young bagpiper holding the hand of a learner player, will be established on Barra in 2020.  

The life-size sculpture was made by artist, Jenna Gearing, and was deliberately not based on Eilidh's own appearance.  The sculpture is said to be a visual representation of the love, unity, resilience and diversity encompassing Eilidh's life and home.  

Na h-Eileanan an Iar MP Angus MacNeil is supporting calls from consumer group Which? for the Tory Government to put people’s safety first and ensure all fire-risk tumble dryers are removed from UK homes.

Which? UK estimate there could be up to 500,000 unmodified fire-risk tumble dryers still being used, more than three years after the first safety notice was issued.

Mr MacNeil appealed to island residents to check if their machines were affected when the first safety notice was issued in 2017.

 

Stornoway Coastguard Rescue Team headed to Branahuie Bay today (Thursday 11 April) after reports that the hull of a possible upturned vessel had been spotted.

Representatives of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar met with OFGEM officials today (Thursday Aprill 11) as part of a ‘Final Needs Case’ consultation on a new interconnector to the Western Isles.

OFGEM has stated that they are ‘minded’ to recommend a 450MW cable whilst the Comhairle, developers and SSE have all made the case for a 600MW cable which would offer more capacity for exporting electricity from renewable energy schemes in the Islands.

The Comhairle outlined a robust case to OFGEM including projected figures of the amount of energy likely to be produced through renewable schemes in the next few years. OFGEM are also meeting with Developers during the consultation.

Lewis Wind Power (LWP) is in the process of transferring ownership of the 180MW Uisenis project to the Oppenheim family, owners of Eishken estate where the project is situated.

The firm says: "Although LWP will no longer own the project, we believe the Oppenheim family is in a strong position to realise the potential for a large scale wind farm at Uisenis.

"The change in ownership should not impact on the needs case for the new grid connection with the mainland.

A winter in Lewis and Harris has given charity walker Chris Lewis some of the best experiences of his life – and reminded him of the good to be found in human nature.

Chris told EVENTS newspaper last month that he had ‘fallen in love’ with the islands, their wildlife, landscape and the people who live here, after magical moments in the most extreme conditions.

And on Saturday night (April 13th) at 7.30pm in Stornoway Town Hall, people can come to hear hime talk about this and raise money for his chosen cause SSAFA, the armed forces charity.

More than 80 landmarks across Scotland are today (Thursday April 11th) lighting up in blue to mark World Parkinson’s Day and raise awareness of a condition that affects around 12,400 people in Scotland.

That’s about 1 in 375 adults – making it the second most prevalent neuro-progressive condition after Alzheimers.

The three Western Isles landmarks involved are all in Stornoway - An Lanntair, Lewis War Memorial, and Lews Castle.

More than 13,500 electricity supply customers across Lewis and Harris were affected by major power cuts yesterday evening (Tuesday April 10) - with mobile phone services also affected.

The first power cut began just after 8pm and lasted for an hour before power began to be restored gradually as night fell.

A major Bragar development is set to start after a contractor was appointed.

Urras Coimhearsnachd Bhràdhagair is Àrnoil (UCBA), the Bragar and Arnol Community Trust announced today (Tuesday 9 April) that O' Mac Construction Ltd, of Stornoway, will undertake the redevelopment of Grinneabhat.

Moor fires took hold in several places across Lewis and Harris yesterday afternoon (Tuesday April 9th) 

Drivers were asked by police at 5.20pm on Tuesday April 9th to please avoid the Pentland Road until further notice.

The road was blocked by fire engines due to a grass fire on the moorland on the Carloway side.  (Photograph by Callanish DD on Twitter, above)  The road was declared again open around 11pm

The UK Government’s Seasonal Workers Pilot scheme to be extended to include the fishing industry.

That's the view of Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MP Angus B MacNeil who is writing to Home Secretary Sajid Javid calling for this change.

There's growing disquiet among rural GPs over the SNP Government’s new GP contract.

That's view of Highlands and Islands Scottish Conservative MSP Donald Cameron who has questioned the Cabinet Secretary for Health about it.

He told Jeane Freeman that more than 9 out of 10 GPs would reject the contract if they had the chance.

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar have this morning (Tuesday 9 April) said via social media there will be no public bus services in Barra today or tomorrow due to a bereavement.

Hector MacNeil, former head of MacNeil coaches, has died.  He recently passed the reins onto his son, but naturally all the coaches are off today.

 

The public phone box on the Cross Skigersta road could be removed, if a proposal from BT goes ahead.

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar are encouraging members of the public to have their say on the proposed call box removal.

The Council has said it is minded to approve the proposal.

The Castlebay to Oban ferry sailing was being delayed today (Tuesday 9 April.)

CalMac reported that debris had been found in the vicinity of the ferry's propellers, resulting in the 07:55 sailing being disrupted.

Meanwhile there is a road warning for those travelling on Monday 22nd April to Friday 26th April.

Islanders throughout the Outer Hebrides are being encouraged to join in a consultation about the future for their communities.
 
This supports the development of the National Islands Plan as set out in Part 2 of the Islands (Scotland) Act 2018.
Islanders throughout the Outer Hebrides are being encouraged to join in a consultation about the future for their communities.
 
This supports the development of the National Islands Plan as set out in Part 2 of the Islands (Scotland) Act 2018.

‘The Western Isles remains your home’, is the message from Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MP Angus MacNeil and MSP Alasdair Allan to all EU citizens living locally, amid ongoing Brexit uncertainty.

Last week First Minister Nicola Sturgeon made a commitment to EU citizens that Scotland remains their home - promising to continue making a strong case for their rights to be protected in any EU exit scenario.

Crossroads Harris say they were delighted to receive 'Excellent' grades in their recent Care Inspection Report for the tenth inspection in a row.  

Crossroads Harris is a Scottish Charity which provides respite care in the home to carers of ill, elderly people and people with disabilities and also provide support to vulnerable people living alone in isolated situations.  

It is affiliated to Crossroads Scotland and is registered with the Care Inspectorate, which carries out an annual inspection.  

An Clachan community shop in Leverburgh has reported a successful year of trading in 2018.

Chris Ross, who chairs Co-Chomunn na Hearadh, told shareholders:

“I’m pleased to report on what has been another very successful year for our community shop.”

An Clachan community shop in Leverburgh, south Harris, has reported a successful year of trading in 2018.

Chris Ross, who chairs Co-Chomunn na Hearadh, the community co-operative which controls the enterprise, told shareholders recently:

“I’m pleased to report on what has been another very successful year for our community shop.”

Miriam Hamilton, from Western Isles Designs,in Crossbost launched her restored loom shed with an Open Day.

The Lothian choir luadh group came over to the Isle of Lewis to perform a waulking demonstration together with the Laxdale Ladies’ luadh group.

Point and Sandwick Trust has created a fund for MSc students in partnership with Lews Castle College UHI, contributing an initial £10,000, with the equivalent amount invested by the college.

The community wind farm charity will commit £2,500 each to four students and intends that the funding will become a revolving grant, once the first £10,000 is exhausted.

The first live streaming of the P/M Donald Macleod MBE Memorial Competition has been hailed a great success, with around 1,800 viewers tuning into the piping event from around the world.

Viewers of the competition, held in Stornoway on Friday, April 5 and sponsored by Point and Sandwick Trust, came from as far afield as Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Singapore, the Netherlands, Germany and Spain.

The Lewis and Harris Piping Society, who run the competition, believe the live audience in the Caladh Hotel was also bigger this year, particularly for the ‘light music’ in the afternoon, when the Garry Room had to be opened out at the back, to allow for extra seating.

Art on land and sea came together on Friday evening at An Lanntair Arts Centre as Wave Migration, by painter, screen printer and surfer Laura Maynard, brought in an excited crowd of people for its official launch.

Laura thanked all the surfers who figure in the exhibition – 15 in total – for being so willing to work with her, and also thanked her family for their support through the development life of the project.

The exhibition – including an iconic campervan and a display of surfboards, fills the main gallery and overflows – like a bursting wave – into the reception area of An Lanntair.

The inaugural Lewis and Harris Local Industry and Jobs Fair was a huge success, says Anthony Standing, head of Skills Development Scotland for the North of Scotland.

Young people, parents and carers and adults across Lewis and Harris came together on Tuesday 26 March to find out more about career paths and opportunities across the Western Isles at a first-of-its-kind event for the area.

A casualty was evacuated from a visiting cruise ship near Stornoway earlier today (Saturday 6 April.)

The person was taken ill aboard the cruise ship, MS Astoria, which was anchored outside Stornoway Harbour during her visit.

The Scottish Salmon Company (SSC) has been named as a finalist in three categories at the prestigious Scotland Food & Drink Excellence Awards 2019.

SSC is shortlisted in the Primary Producer of the Year, Business of the Year and Export Business of the Year categories at the annual awards which recognise the highest quality produce and producers in the thriving Scottish food and drink sector.

A new study on the most well-known geographical indication products has ranked Harris Tweed in the top 10 of British products, with the Outer Hebridean tweed being the only product in the ranking from outwith the food and drink sector.

The only other Scottish products in the top 10 were Scotch Whisky and Scotch Beef.

Harris Tweed was also rated as the product with the best customer perception with 45.1% surveyed ranking the product as ‘best in class’.  

A dog had a lucky escape this morning (Friday April 5) after a full-scale emergency turnout in the outer harbour area of Stornoway around 9am.

Stornoway Coastguard Rescue Team, Stornoway RNLI Lifeboat and two Coastguard duty officers were involved

Ferry operator CalMac is backing Ullapool in its bid to win £38,000 of funding for its Winter Lights Festival.
Ullapool has been shortlisted for funding by the National Lottery’s People’s Projects and is looking for votes to secure the funding it needs.

The extent of empty homes and how these can be brought back into use is to be investigated by Holyrood’s Local Government and Communities Committee.

National Records of Scotland data from 2017 has shown that 4% of the dwellings in Scotland are unoccupied and the Committee’s inquiry will investigate why.

A new study commissioned by Crown Estate Scotland provides a potential way forward for a more localised approach to offshore renewable energy deployment in coastal and island communities across Scotland.

The study, carried out by specialists Everoze, looked at six scenarios linked to a number of renewable technologies such as floating wind, wave, and tidal energy, and analysed how they could support the development of key industries, including whisky and salmon farming, in coastal locations.

A small fishing vessel ran aground on the east side of Sandray this morning (Thursday 4 April.)

The vessel, which had one person aboard, called Mayday.

The Barra lifeboat was launched to assist.

A local vessel towed the fishing boat back into Castlebay, and both were escorted by the lifeboat.

Traffic is now flowing again on the Lochs Road, south of Stornoway, following a car accident.

This follows a road closure around 11am which also affected the Pentland Road as traffic attempted to bypass the affected section of road near Creed Park industrial estate.

Local Coastguard teams have returned home after assisting with a missing person search on the Isle of Raasay.

Teams from Stornoway, Ness and Bragar joined in the search for missing 72-year-old, Alistair Lovie.

Disadvantaged young people living in seafaring communities are set to benefit from a £5,000 grant from ferry operator CalMac.
It has made the donation to the Sailors’ Orphan Society of Scotland to help fund their work. 
As well as supporting young people living in coastal towns, the charity is also committed to feeding, clothing and educating children of deceased seafarers.

The Hebridean Mustard Company based in Leverburgh is launching three new products, the company has announced.

Mustheb’s founder Heike Winter explains: “8-Pepper-Cèilidh is a pepper mustard. Black, green, white and pink peppercorns sway with allspice, cubebs, Bengal pepper and grains of paradise to the beat of the mustard.  

A search for a person threatening to enter the water near Stornoway Harbour took place late last night (Tuesday 2 April.)

It was reported that the male was on South Beach Street.

Stornoway Coastguard Rescue Team and Stornoway RNLI searched the area around 11:15pm.  

Police officers located the man safe and well at home before midnight.  

Water supplies to HS2 postcodes are currently interrupted today (Wednesday 3 April).

Scottish Water have stated that a squad is carrying out emergency repairs in Back and hope to be finished early this afternoon.

A huge community effort for The Leanne Fund has raised £5,000 which will directly support those affected by Cystic Fibrosis.

Workplaces, schools and groups across the region held Rainbow Raiser events in aid of the charity which works to support young people and their families who are affected by the chronic lifelong condition through a range of services.

A number of ferry sailings tomorrow (Wednesday 3 April) are cancelled or liable to be disrupted.

All Ullapool to Stornoway sailings have been cancelled, however the early freight ferry service is still expected to run.

A number of ferry sailings tomorrow (Wednesday 3 April) are cancelled or liable to be disrupted. 

Sailings between Castlebay and Oban are cancelled. Sailings from Ardmhor to Eriskay are operating as normal.

Lochboisdale to Mallaig and Ullapool to Stornoway sailings have also been cancelled.

Were you born on 1 July 1999? If so, the Scottish Parliament is looking for you!

A search has been launched today (Tuesday 2 April) for anyone born on 1 July 1999, the same day that the Scottish Parliament was established.

Were you born on 1 July 1999? If so, the Scottish Parliament is looking for you!

A search has been launched today (Tuesday 2 April) for anyone born on 1 July 1999, the same day that the Scottish Parliament was established.

Horgabost beach is officially the best beach in the Western Isles.

Christine M Morrison's photo of the Harris beach (above) received 284 votes in the final of the Western Isles Weather Best Beach competition.

The beach fought off competition from Eilidh Mackenzie's Reef beach entry, Chris Dickinson's Hosta Beach photograph, Hayley McLay's image of Cula Bay in Benbecula and Jacqueline Murray's picture of Vatersay Beach. The finalists were the winners of earlier rounds where the favourite photograph was voted for each of the Outer Hebridean Islands.

Over 700 votes were cast by followers of the Western Isles Weather Facebook in the final and thousands in the competition itself.

Angus MacNeil has missed an indicative vote on Brexit after his flight was cancelled.

The MP was on a flight between Barra and Glasgow and had hoped to catch a flight from Glasgow to London yesterday (Monday 1 April.)

However, flights from the Western Isles were affected after airspace was restricted during a Joint Warrior military training exercise.  

A new management team at the Callanish Visitor Centre are looking ahead to the 2019 visitor season with confidence – and they’re buzzing with ideas.

Victoria Harvey and Gregor Macleod took the helm of visitor service provision at Callanish after the retirement in January of Angus Mackenzie, Visitor Centre Manager for nearly 10 years.

Every household in the Galson and Carloway estates are eligible to receive free home energy audits.

The project comes from a partnership between Urras Oighreachd Ghabhsainn and Urras Oighreachd Chàrlabhaigh.

A car which was stolen from an address in Stornoway has been found and reported to police – 10 miles from its owners’ address.

The blue Renault Clio was taken from outside a home on Lewis Street some time between March 22 nd and Saturday morning (March 30th).

A café run in a community centre in Point celebrated its first birthday and official opening in one day on Saturday (March 30th), with a tremendous turnout of local supporters to share the occasion.

The first operational day of the international military exercise Joint Warrior was marked by a request for civilian emergency help this morning (Monday April 1st).

Stornoway Coastguard received a request for assistance from a military vessel operating in the Minch, after a crew member was injured on board.

Stornoway Coastguard helicopter R948 was tasked to airlift the man from his vessel and brought him to Stornoway airport, from where he was transferred into the care of Scottish Ambulance and onwards to Western Isles Hospital for treatment.

 

Coastguard Rescue Team members from Stornoway, Ness and Bragar have been asked to help with a major search, being co-ordinated from Portree in Skye, for a man missing on the Isle of Raasay.

After a sold-out run in Shetland, Orkney and Argyll, Scottish Ballet brings Matthew Bourne’s Highland Fling to Stornoway on Thursday and Friday this week (May 3-4)

The performance is at Lewis Sports Centre but you have to head to www.lanntair.com to buy one of the remaining tickets.

Highland Fling follows the downfall of James, a young Scot with sex, love and rock and roll on his mind.

Lewis Wind Power is in the very early stages of exploring potential changes to its proposed wind farms at Stornoway and Uisenis, it announced today (30th April 2018).

These initiatives aim to make sure that the company looks at all the potential ways to boost the projects’ chances of winning future auctions for low carbon electricity.

The so-called Contract For Difference auction is predicted to take place before June next year, after a Government pledge last autumn to hold it in “spring 2019.”


George and Peppa Pig were joined by over 100 island youngsters for the first ever Stornoway Peppa Pig Muddy Puddle Walk

More than 100 children took part in the first Stornoway Peppa Pig Muddy Puddle Walk on Saturday (April 28th) raising more than £1,000 for Save the Children.
Starting and finishing at Bayhead Playpark, the island youngsters took on a half mile walk to Lews Castle Grounds, led by mascots Peppa and George Pig.
The walk was the idea of three year old Bethany Macleod from Stornoway, who is huge fan of Peppa Pig and wanted to do something to help children in need across the world.

Parked cars stretched down the road from playpark towards the football pitch at Eoropie in Ness recently as friends and families enjoyed Easter holiday fun at the Eoropie Dunes Playpark.

Yet despite being one of the busiest periods seen at the volunteer run community playpark, the contents of its donation box didn’t reflect the number of visitors.

“We want to encourage young families, but the amount in the donation box is always very, very low,” said Shona Morrison of GAIN, the voluntary group which run the playpark.

The Hebridean Celtic Festival is helping one of Scotland’s finest young ballad singers to take the Next Steps to stardom.

Iona Fyfe, 20, from Aberdeenshire, who combines contemporary folk music with traditional Doric and Scots songs, has a number of high-profile appearances under her belt, including performances at The Royal Albert Hall, Glasgow’s Barrowland Ballroom, Aberdeen Music Hall and a sell-out Edinburgh Festival Fringe show.

She has now won a coveted slot on HebCelt’s Islands Stage after winning the festival’s An Ath Cheum (Next Steps) contest, aimed at finding the best young artists or band, aged between 18 and 25, during the Year of Young People.

A series of announcements about the use of and teaching in Gaelic across Scotland were welcomed this week.

Bòrd na Gàidhlig, the principal public body in Scotland responsible for promoting Gaelic development, has welcomed:

  • the continued cross-party support for Gaelic as demonstrated in the Scottish Parliament debate on Tuesday 24 April
  • the announcement of funding for a third Gaelic school in Glasgow, and
  • backing for Faclair na Gàidhlig, the historical dictionary project.

A solemn ceremony took place by the war memorial at Melbost outside the gates of Stornoway Airport today (Wednesday April 25th) to mark Anzac Day, a key date in the history of Australia and New Zealand.

The event took place because 30 members and two helicopters from the Australian Navy are on exercise for two or three weeks with NATO partners based at the airport. The Australians were joined by local veterans and representatives of local uniformed organisations. Also present at the ceremony was Commander Jon Holroyd, the Commanding Officer of 820 Naval Air Squadron of the Royal Navy, which is hosting 816 Squadron.

The council on the Western Isles has hit out over the ferry crisis hitting isles' services.

The Chairman of the Comhairle’s Transportation and Infrastructure Committee today (Wednesday April 25th)  called for the intervention of the Minister for Transport and the Islands to address significant and growing concerns associated with the performance of Transport Scotland and CalMac Ferries Ltd following a period of unprecedented non-weather-related disruption to ferry services across the Clyde and Hebrides network.

Uisdean Robertson said, “I have personally been inundated over the last several weeks by a huge amount of complaints regarding the levels of service, the extent of disruption and the lack of effective communications by CalMac. 

"The non-availability of a single vessel, the MV Clansman, has had wide ranging implications across the network.  I have received complaints from many members of the public and businesses in the Western Isles and I am aware that the implications have been felt in other communities elsewhere in the network”.

“The lack of resilience and of suitable spare capacity in the fleet is unacceptable and must be dealt with by the Minister as a matter of urgency. 

CalMac has reassured customers that despite unavoidable disruption due to vessel repair overrun, each of its 26 island destinations remain very much open for business.

But disruption is expected to continue until May 23.

The company says its priority has been responding to its customers and has handled over 12,500 calls during the last five days. 

Eight elite athletes from the Outer Hebrides are set to benefit from a scheme designed to support travel costs for island competitors, it was announced today (Tuesday April 24th).

Following the recent introduction of the pilot Islands Athlete Travel Award Scheme by sportscotland 8 local athletes from across the Islands will receive £1,500 to support their travel and accommodation costs in attending training and competitions. The overall aim of this scheme is to help gifted athletes from the Outer Hebrides, Orkney and Shetland to gain better access to competitive and developmental opportunities available on the mainland.

Applications were received from 22 individuals covering 7 different sports, highlighting the demand for increased support. The overall standard was high, making the selection process appropriately challenging.

The following athletes will receive an award: -

Gemma Macritchie Athletics
Scott Maciver Athletics
Matthew Hanlon Swimming
Isla Budge Swimming
Amie Ringstead Basketball
Rory Mighton Rugby
Chloe Nicolson Football
Matthew Wright Football

 

NHS Western Isles’ ‘Walk on Hebrides’ will receive £4,300 this year to improve access to Health Walks across the islands.

The walking project has been successful in an application to Paths for All’s 2018/19 ‘Walking for Health’ grant. Walk on Hebrides aims to provide Health Walks in communities across the Outer Hebrides, providing people with an opportunity to be physically active and improve their health through walking.

Karen Peteranna, NHS Western Isles Health Improvement Practitioner and Health Walk Coordinator for the Outer Hebrides, said: “We are delighted to have been successful in our application.

The new CalMac Community Board is launching an initiative aimed at cutting the disruption caused by ferry failures in the CalMac fleet.

At their meeting held at Largs and Millport on 19th and 20th April, the Community Board was unanimous in delivering a strong message on behalf of their communities to CalMac's managing director, Robbie Drummond and other members of CalMac's management team.

Overwhelmingly the main concern was that measures being taken to deal with a recent vessel breakdown are failing to prevent major disruption which is bringing significant economic damage and having a detrimental impact on individual and family life in the Islands.

Leverburgh Crew, including Lifeboat Operations Manager and Deputy Launching Authorities, aboard the RNLB Stella and Humfrey Berkeley 13-25

Leverburgh RNLI has welcomed its brand-new Shannon Class Lifeboat, RNLB Stella and Humfrey Berkeley to the station.
The state-of-the-art
, £2.1m vessel arrived in Leverburgh at 1325 hours yesterday (Saturday April 21st), timed in recognition of the boat's side number 13-25.  

All Shannons are given the number 13, as they are 13m in length. The "25" in Leverburgh’s side number shows that their boat is the 25th Shannon to be built by the RNLI.

The arrival of the Shannon at Leverburgh RNLI brings with it a whole host of benefits to the life-saving capabilities of the station.

Complications during the repair to the propulsion system of CalMac’s MV Clansman means the vessel will now be out of service for longer than first anticipated, it was announced today (Thursday April 19th).
However, to minimise any disruption CalMac has agreed an extension to the MV Hebrides’ operating licence with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency for a further three weeks.  It was due to enter dry dock. 
Parts of the Clansman’s propulsion system have had to be sent to Denmark for specialist repair. 

Researchers want to hear about tick bites to people and pets in the Outer Hebrides

Two public questionnaires have been launched as scientists seek the help of Western Isles residents as part of research into ticks found in Uist and the Lyme-disease causing bacteria they carry.
In a meeting at Balivanich Hall, Benbecula, this week, NHS Western Isles Health Protection and Screening Nurse Specialist Isabell MacInnes gave details about the awareness raising work that she and colleagues have been doing since launching the Western Isles Tick Awareness Programme last year.
The Programme was established to investigate concerns that the incidences of Lyme disease in Uists being far greater than that on neighbouring islands in the Outer Hebrides.

With less than half of Western Isles CalMac staff resident outside the island chain, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar has called on the Scottish Government to ensure that jobs created for the islands are secured within the islands.
Valuable data regarding staff levels across the ferry company network was secured recently by the Comhairle and reveals that only 204 CalMac staff reside in the Outer Hebrides.
This is despite an estimate of between 350 and 455 staff being required at Outer Hebrides ports and on the ferries that serve the routes to and within the Outer Hebrides.

The Western Isles will be represented at the Royal Wedding of HRH Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at Windsor Castle on Saturday 19 May by Kerry and Kirsty MacPhee from South Uist, it was officially announced today (Wednesday April 18th).

The sisters have established names for themselves at national and international levels with Kerry having participated in the Scottish, British and European Cycling Championships as well as the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games and both have been competitors in the Island Games, representing the Western Isles.

Over 70% of Western Isles homes and businesses are now covered by superfast broadband – but there is still a lot of work to be done on broadband availability in the isles, says Outer Hebrides MSP Alasdair Allan.
Dr Allan today (Wednesday, April 18th) welcomed news that in the Western Isles, Government investment has led to more than 135 fibre cabinets being built, delivering superfast broadband access to more than 12,000 premises and covering around 71% of homes and business.
“More than 71% of homes in the Western Isles now have access to superfast broadband,” said Dr Allan, adding: “This figure was zero before this project started.”

Above: 1st Back Brownies who collected an incredible 90 kg rubbish which included old creels and a rusty old bike and lots of bottles and fishing line from Coll beach.

Volunteers across the islands took part in the Big Spring Beach Clean organised by Clean Coast Outer Hebrides, with 48 mini beach clean-ups and 142 people taking part. The group set a target of 1 tonne but estimates that 1.5 tonnes of rubbish was picked up over the eight days.

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This follows successful beach cleans at Sandwick in Lewis, Hushinish in Harris, Balranald in North Uist and Vatersay and Barra - who also held a Great Nurdle Hunt! Future beach cleans will be organised by Clean Coast Outer Hebrides, who would like to encourage people to continue with their own mini beach cleans too.

This is the link to sign up to their mailing list- http://eepurl.com/dhQDkH, and their new email is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Facebook page for anyone wanting more information

 

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar’s Youth Champions, councillors Paul Steele and Norman MacDonald, have welcomed Loganair’s support for the Year of Young People 2018 (YOYP).

Loganair and local authority partners are searching the Western Isles, Shetland and Orkney communities for 30 individuals who represent the ‘Spirit of Young People’.

Orkney, Shetland & Western Isles are to identify 10 young people between 8 – 26 years.

Outer Hebrides Tourism is calling on Scotland’s Transport Minister Humza Yousaf to intervene as the isles’ tourist industry suffers due to CalMac ‘juggling’ of ferry services.
Easy access for tourists to the Outer Hebrides is critical to the islands’ economy, says the group; but that those travelling to and from the Hebridean islands are suffering ‘yet again’ from CalMac’s juggling of ferries services due to ‘operational reasons’.
Outer Hebrides Tourism detail that in the few weeks since the start of the peak tourist season, capacity has been sacrificed at short notice from the ‘Uig triangle’ ferry route, with a vessel too small to even deliver an effective service for pre-booked passengers – and that the ‘Lord of the Isles’ ferry has been removed from the Mallaig-Lochboisdale route until further notice.

Connor on his new trike with classmates during the fundraising cycle event at Sgoil an Rubha.

Photo: Sandie Maciver/SandiePhotos

Inclusion was the watchword when Point and Sandwick Trust gave money to Sgoil an Rubha and Sandwick Learning Centre to help buy specialised cycling equipment for children with additional support needs.

Donating a total of £500, at Sgoil an Rubha, PST were helping pupil Connor Macleod, who received the gift of independent cycling from his classmates.

Western Isles politicians have welcomed today (Tuesday, April 17th) news of investment opportunities which will secure the future of the Arnish fabrication yard.

It follows an announcement that the Scottish Government has brokered an agreement between Canadian company JV Driver, through its subsidiary DF Barnes, and BiFab to support new opportunities at Arnish, as well as BiFab sites at Methil and Burntisland, for the fabrication and construction in the marine renewables and energy sector.

“We are delivering on the commitment I made last year that we would stand by BiFab and work to secure a long term future for the company,” said First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.


Join Bethany at Bayhead Park on Saturday, April 28th, for the first ever Stornoway Peppa Pig's Muddy Puddle Walk for Save the Children

This Spring will see the return of the UK’s muddiest fundraising event for little ones – Peppa Pig’s Muddy Puddle Walk for Save the Children.
And on Saturday, April 28th, children in Stornoway will have the opportunity to take part thanks to the idea from Peppa Pig superfan, three year old Bethany Macleod, from Stornoway.
“Bethany wanted to do something to help other children who are in need, those who don’t have enough to eat or somewhere safe and warm to live,” said Bethany’s mum Michelle.


Stornoway RNLI 'y-boat' ashore at the Shiants with the all-weather Severn class RNLI lifeboat 'Tom Sanderson' in the background. Photo: Stornoway RNLI

Stornoway RNLI lifeboat ‘Tom Sanderson’ and volunteer crew launched today (Monday, April 16th) to the aid of an injured person on the Shiant Islands.
The RNLI crew launched at 0915 hours to a report of a person on the Shiants who had suffered a head injury.
The local volunteer crew recovered the casualty from the island with the lifeboat’s inflatable ‘Y-boat’, before returning to Stornoway where they landed the casualty into the care of Stornoway Coast Rescue Team and members of the Scottish Ambulance Service.
The Stornoway RNLI lifeboat ‘Tom Sanderson’ was back alongside, refuelled and ready for service again by 1400 hours today.

A total of 45 riders took part in the Third Harris Tweed Cycle Ride from An Lanntair on Saturday 14th April.
 
Participants included a variety of different sizes and types of bike - including a unicycle - and were led by a musical cycle rickshaw. Sunny weather graced the event which included visits to various local retail outlets - including Charley Barley's.
 
Participants donned their finest Harris Tweed outfits - including one tiny canine participant - and stopping several times for light refreshments and Hebridean delicacies. "This is not a race," it was emphasised at the start.

One of the riders was former councillor and the present chairman of the Harris Tweed Authority, Norman L Macdonald, in a Blue Herringbone jacket. The Gensaidhe Buidhe for the best-dressed rider was awarded to Barbara Ziehm with her stylish Harris Tweed helmet.

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Despite a sunshine weekend, weather conditions are causing disruption to CalMac ferry services from Stornoway to Ullapool this week.
Customers travelling on the Ullapool-Stornoway passenger ferry route are advise to ‘Be aware’ as tomorrow’s sailings (Tuesday, April 17th) are liable to disruption or cancellation at short notice due to forecast high winds.
And the Lewis freight ferry (Ullapool to Stornoway) is also affected with tonight’s sailing (Monday, April 16th) at 10.30pm and tomorrow’s 3am freight service both facing disruption or cancellation at short notice due to forecast high winds.
For further information and service updates, please visit www.calmac.co.uk/service-status. 

Shopping baskets in the Tesco store in Stornoway are no longer available for customers.
An update on the shop’s Facebook page today (www.facebook.com/Stornowaytesco/) advises that baskets are no longer available due to theft – with around 15 baskets a week being stolen.
Stornoway Tesco said: “We are very sorry to say that we are unable to provide our customers with shopping baskets due to them being taken from the store.
“We are losing approx 15 baskets a week due to theft. We have more baskets on order, but they take six weeks to arrive.”
The store added: “If anyone has a basket, can you please return them to the store. No questions asked on return!”, and apologised to customers for any inconvenience caused.

Concerns about speeding are regularly raised by communities in the Highlands and Islands - and is also a contributing factor in many serious collisions.
With this in mind, local road policing officers will be supporting a national safety campaign next week which will raise awareness of the dangers of inappropriate speed.
The campaign - which runs this week (April 16th to 22nd) - will also target drivers using their mobile phones and not using their seatbelts.

Pictured: Iain Hepburn, head gamekeeper at Dunmaglass Estate & 
Alex McKinley, a Wildfire Tactical Adviser for the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service

Gamekeepers are embracing the new Muirburn Code – and sharing their expertise with fire crews who battle wildfires across Scotland's countryside.

Sunday 15 April marked the official end of this year's muirburn season (1 October – 15 April) – a controlled burning technique which has been used for centuries on moorland to regenerate Scotland's famous purple heather on our hills whilst protecting against wildfires.

This season, estate owners and gamekeepers have been working to a revised Muirburn Code, launched by the Scottish Government in September 2017, and have been working in partnership with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) to ensure that controlled burning is conducted safely and responsibly.

Controlled seasonal burning and cutting is one of the most effective means of reducing the risk of damage from wildfires by providing breaks in continuous moorland cover and reducing the fuel load.

Iain Hepburn, head gamekeeper at Dunmaglass Estate, part of the Loch Ness Rural Communities, and also a part-time firefighter with the SFRS, has been engaging with firefighters to share best practice when it comes to tackling wildfires on moorland.

There were congratulations for Andrew Hughson (above) on winning the Coffee Pot Shield DTL competition at The Harris Gun Club in Aline Forest yesterday (14 April 2018)

Two groups of young people will be doing a sponsored walk tomorrow, Saturday 14 April, to raise funds for a much needed new minibus for the Lewis and Harris Youth Association and Scaladale Centre.

At 9am one group of 17 young walkers will set off from Cameron Terrace and walk to the Scaladale Centre in Harris, the walk is expected to take at least seven hours! Meanwhile a second group of five will set off from Tarbert to also walk to the Scaladale Centre. Both groups will be joined by one of the centres instructors.

Sean Ziehm-Stephen, manager of the Scaladale centre said: "Please take care passing us and please donate."

The routes have been chosen as the most common drive for the now-retired bus that needs replacing, and it also highlights how necessary the bus is to get youth groups and all the equipment to the centre or to more remote areas for the range of activities which the centre runs. 

To donate visit the LHYCA Minibus Fund Virgin Money giving page which gives further details on why the bus is so needed:

Na h-Eileanan an Iar MSP Alasdair Allan is calling for Scottish Gaelic to be added to Duolingo, the world’s most popular online language learning service.

Duolingo’s 200 million worldwide users can choose to learn minority languages Welsh and Irish as well as fictional languages from Star Trek and Game of Thrones for free on the app - however, there are no Scottish languages currently on offer. 

In the first two years after the Irish language launched on Duolingo in 2014, 2.3 million people started learning Irish, averaging 3,000 new learners a day. Irish is reportedly one of the top ten languages on Duolingo.

The Scottish Government’s plans for legislative reform of crofting have now been outlined by Fergus Ewing MSP, Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy and Connectivity.

This follows on from The Consultation on the Future of Crofting Legislation which received responses up until 20 November 2017 and the subsequent analysis of the responses published on 21 March 2018.

Mr Ewing, commenting on the analysis report on 12 April 2018, said: “The results made for interesting reading  and the diversity of responses only highlighted the scale of the challenge ahead.

An announcement from the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) that they have “issued an Enforcement Notice on Advertised Delivery Restrictions and Surcharges” has been welcomed.

The measure comes as the ASA have ruled that adverts which “mislead on parcel delivery and surcharge practices” have been banned, forcing companies to be upfront with consumers from the outset as to how much they will need to pay in delivery costs for goods.

Companies who advertise free delivery on items, yet impose punitive charges well into the purchasing process will be slapped down by the ASA after the 31st May 2018, when the new rules come into effect.

Hebridean Housing Partnership are pleased to announce that they have awarded the following contracts as part of their 2018/19 investment programme:

  • 51 new kitchens to be installed by O’Mac Construction Ltd
  • 71 new gas heating systems to be installed by Alex Murray Construction Ltd
  • 56 new bathrooms with showers to be installed by Alex Murray Construction Ltd
  • 56 houses to receive new fencing to be installed by Alex Murray Construction Ltd

The successful contractors have now started surveying houses and works on site will soon follow.

Almost new Pair of all weather tyres 215 50 R17 

Price new £250, will sell pair for £125.

Phone:  07555 462 3

 

Parkinson’s UK is calling for businesses and organisations across Scotland to make life better for people living with Parkinson’s. Today (Wednesday April 11th) is World Parkinsons Day.

The charity has found that a lack of awareness of the condition and its symptoms can make everyday activities such as shopping and dealing with public services difficult.

Parkinson’s has more than 40 symptoms and many are little known among the wider public. Almost two thirds of people (64%) identify having a tremor as the symptom most commonly associated with Parkinson’s. But tremor is not experienced by everyone - and more than 12,000 people with Parkinson's in Scotland frequently experience other symptoms too.

One particularly distinguished guest at the competition this year's Pipe Major Donald MacLeod Memorial Competition was Rod Macleod, from Calgary. Rod –  who is pictured left with winner Angus MacColl and Kenny Dan Macdonald, one of the directors of Point and Sandwick Trust – has donated ‘memorial medals’ to the competition.

The 25th Pipe Major Donald MacLeod Memorial Competition was held in Stornoway last Friday (April 6) and hailed a great success.

It was particularly successful for piper Angus MacColl, who was crowned the overall winner of the competition, having come first in two out of three sections: Piobaireachd and also March, Strathspey and Reel. Craig Sutherland won the Hornpipe and Jig category.

Pipe Major Iain Murdo Morrison, who organises the competition, said Angus MacColl “really was playing well” – and that it had been “an absolutely brilliant” day. 

With local families and visiting tourists enjoying the Easter holidays and a forecast of fine weather ahead, Clean Coast Outer Hebrides are asking everybody to pitch in to help remove a ton or more of plastic from our beautiful beaches.

Teaming up with Surfers Against Sewage during their official Big Spring Beach Clean running April 7 to 15, the local campaign is encouraging all islanders and visitors to head out to the coast for a personal #MiniBeachClean.

On Saturday 7 April in Castlebay, a Beairteas Bharraigh community clean up filled a whole skip and they are hosting a Great Technicolour Nurdle Hunt (www.nurdlehunt.org.uk) on Saturday 14 April, while North Harris Trust are asking locals to help out with a beach clean at Outend Scalpay, also on 14 April.

There's been quick success in the fund-raising to pay for restoration work on a derelict house on James Street, Stornoway, which is being redeveloped at a mosque/community centre for the local Muslim community.
Less than a week ago a target of £50,000 was set  - and by the end of Saturday, a total of 1135 supporters had raised £54,669. Meanwhile, over the past few weeks the house has been cleared of debris and work is now progressing on creating new roof for the building.
 

Stornoway’s ‘The Lido’ restaurant– opposite the Town Hall in Cromwell Street – is in the running for a national award after a public poll.

The Molson Coors 7th annual Scottish Entertainment & Hospitality Awards received more nominations and votes than ever before with more than 5,000 venues taking part.

There are a whole range of categories and ‘The Lido’ – which was set up last year – is placed in the one for Newcomers.

The tourist industry in the Western Isles has a chance to win government funding for projects to assist local visitor services – but it has less than three weeks to think them up! (as of Saturday April 7, 2018).

The types of projects which can be supported include:

  • Parking and scenic lay-bys
  • Camping facilities
  • Waste disposal points (especially for camper vans)
  • Toilet provision
  • Essential improvement works to paths (where they alleviate visitor pressures)
  • Recycling points

The support comes from the Scottish Government’s £6million Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund (RTIF), formally launched on Friday 30 March.

The Harris Tweed Authority has won £25,000 in damages after a court battle with a chain of shops over the Harris Tweed trademark.

The statutory body established to safeguard the standard and reputation of Harris Tweed went to court after a retail chain infringed its registered marks.
 
The Authority launched the legal action following concerns that a number of retail outlets were using the Harris Tweed ® name and famous Orb device on the outside of their premises without permission, creating a false impression that the Harris Tweed Authority was in some way associated with the outlets.

More than half the target of £50,000 to help build the first mosque-centre in Stornoway has been raised on justgiving.com in just over two days.

Permission for the conversion of a derelict Stornoway house to a mosque and community centre for the Western Isles Muslim community was granted by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar  on Thursday, September 31st, 2017,  at a meeting of the local authority’s planning application committee.

The plans involves a long-disused house in James Street, adjacent to the former Church House premises of ND Macleod Ltd, which are soon to be the base for welovestornoway.com and EVENTS newspaper.

In a statement today (Thursday April 5) from An Lanntair regarding the outcome of its Sunday opening trial, the arts centre says it intends to begin opening on Sundays as soon as operationally possible.

An Lanntair recently ran three trial events to pilot Sunday opening of the arts centre, once a month from January to March.  

Each event included one cinema screening, access to the arts exhibitions and informal arts activities for children and families.  The aim of these trial events was to explore whether audiences would like to see the arts centre open on Sundays, to further An Lanntair's audience research into this question.

The Crofting Commission look forward to working with Scottish Government and other stakeholders to take forward crofting legislation reform. 

The practical approach outlined by the Cabinet Secretary will enable the necessary improvements of phase one to be made in this Parliamentary Session, with more complex issues being held over to a second phase, it says

In particular the Commission welcome the opportunity to work with the Scottish Government in developing a New Entrants Scheme for crofting and to discuss a future promotional role for the Commission itself.

Local people are being called by an HMRC scam caller - imitating a similar campaign being run the USA alleging to be related to the IRS. 

Stornoway-based accountants Mann Judd Gordon report today (Thursday April 5th):

"We had a client calling yesterday as a result of a phone call they had received supposedly from HMRC.

 Stornoway Harbour showing a visualisation of the proposed deep water berth

The public will have a chance to help shape plans for major developments at Stornoway Harbour that will bring significant benefits to the town.

An exhibition on Tuesday 24 April, between 10am-6pm at Stornoway Town Hall will set out the proposals and the methods being used by the Stornoway Port Authority to assess the environmental impact of the projects.

At a second exhibition, on Monday 4 June between 10am-6pm at the Town Hall, the Authority will explain how the proposals have evolved since the first consultation event and provide information about the environmental impact assessments.

Students from the Outer Hebrides and Shetland are about to embark on an exciting inter-island creative industries placement, giving them a great new opportunity to learn and develop their creative practice in a different and inspirational environment.

Devised to encourage collaboration between the creative talent of the Northern and Western Isles, An Lanntair’s Between Islands initiative has produced a number of innovative ventures to date. These have included two musical projects – with a third due to premiere at the Hebridean Celtic Festival this July – and the publication of a book of short stories.

Earlier this year An Lanntair Arts Centre, creators of the Between Islands project, put out a call for film or textile students from across the Western and Northern Isles to apply for this pioneering inter-island exchange scheme. 

Norman A MacIver has been elected to chair the Stornoway Trust.

On Tuesday 3rd April 2018 Trustees of the Stornoway Trust attended the statutory post Election meeting of Trustees, convened to formally declare and accept the five recently elected Trustees and to appoint a Chairperson for the next three years.

West coast ferry operator CalMac has teamed up with 14 conservation bodies in a bid to better protect the environment it sails in.The company’s new Marine Awareness Programme outlines specific actions it will take to help passengers get the most from the environment they are travelling through and to better understand the wildlife in its area of operations.

Speaking at the launch of the Programme, CalMac’s managing director, Robbie Drummond said:‘Knowledge is a major part of protecting the environment for future generations.

"By finding out what wild resources we have, we are in better position to take steps to help conserve them. Our commitment to the monitoring, education and information sharing activity outlined i n this Programme will help ensure we continue to build knowledge about the seas we sail.’

‘The marine environment we work in is among the most diverse in the world, supporting over 6,500 complex and 40,000 single cell species of plants and animals. Our seas are among the richest in Europe for marine mammals. Scotland holds about 70% of Europe's population of grey seals and 35% of common seals along with numerous species of whales, dolphins and porpoises and seabirds.’  

Actions outlined include using CalMac vessels to undertake marine biodiversity monitoring, passenger engagement and education to raise marine environment awareness with both visitors and locals and to facilitate better information sharing between conservation agencies.

CalMac’s 14 partners are Scottish Natural Heritage, Marine Scotland, Joint Nature Conservation Committee, British Divers Marine Life Rescu e, British Trust for Ornithology, Capturing Our Coast, Field Studies Council Millport,Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust, MARINElife, ORCA, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, Scottish Sea Angling Conservation Network, Scottish Wildlife Trust and the Whale and Dolphin Conservation.

‘CalMac understands how important the environment we work in day to day is to our communities. The natural environment and the wildlife within it are central to attracting visitors and helping to grow the economies within the areas we serve.

‘We want to help stimulate this economic growth wherever we can by delivering reliable services that people want to use. However, it crucial that we balance this with protecting the very environment that is the driver of this growth. Our new Marine Awareness Programme is a first step in this direction,’ added Robbie.

There is more information and regular updates on the Marine Awareness Programme website.

A tree of thumbprints representing past, present or future midwives in Scotland - known as the Tree of Life - recently visited the Western Isles Hospital, where local midwives added their own prints to the tree.

Heather Gilchrist a second year MSc Student Midwife, launched the UWS (University of the West of Scotland’s) Tree of Life Campaign during her recent remote and rural placement in Dunoon.

Maternity staff from Western Isles Hospital recently hosted an afternoon tea for members of a local knitting group, who donate knitted garments to the Maternity Department for a number of years.

The knitting club, based in Trust Housing on Matheson Road in Stornoway, knit hats, gloves, boots and cardigans for the department; all much appreciated by local mums and babies, especially premature babies who need to be kept extra cosy because of their inability to regulate their own temperatures.

A major meeting took place this week about prospects for the UK Space programme having its launch base in the Western Isles.

Isles MP Angus Brendan MacNeil, together with representatives from Hebrides range operator QinetiQ and the Leader and officials from Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, yesterday (Tuesday April 3rd)  welcomed Scotland’s Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy, Paul Wheelhouse MSP to Uist to discuss the possibility of having a spaceport located in the Hebrides.

Angus MacNeil MP said:“Uist is the lead site in the UK for a vertical take-off facility to be located…not least because of the local expertise which could launch and successfully guide monitor and control such a rocket. 

A great opportunity for anyone working with young people.

Get in touch with Community Learning Hebrides by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.or call 01851 822716 to book your slot, the closing date to join this course is April 10th.

Emergency services were racing out of Stornoway towards Point on two occasions yesterday (Monday)   Pictured above is the major deployment of fire and rescue vehicles sent to Lower Bayble after wind caught a moorland fire and turned it into a blaze which, at one point, it was feared would spread over the hills to Swordale.   The firefighters brought the blaze under control in the early evening.

Ferry operator CalMac is making further changes to its West Coast services in order to absorb on-going capacity issues resulting from the MV Clansman still in dry dock.

CalMac will be redeploying these vessels to the following routes:

  • MV Hebrides will return to Uig-Tarbert/Lochmaddy tonight and will commence service tomorrow (Tuesday)
  • MV Lord of the Isles will be redeployed to Oban to carry out Oban-Coll/Tiree and Colonsay services
  • MV Hebridean Isles will be redeployed to Lochboisdale to carry out daily Lochboisdale-Oban service

Meanwhile the Clansman is awaiting the return of her propulsion unit sent to Denmark for repairs.

Pupils from The Nicolson Institute headed off from Stornoway Airport this afternoon (Monday April 2nd) for another in the series of US exchanges which began in the 1990s

Confusion, delays and cancellations have enveloped the Bank Holiday ferry services from Tarbert and Lochmaddy which are temporarily being undertaken by the Hebridean Isles ferry, dating from 1985

Isles MP, Angus Brendan MacNeil has contacted Caledonian MacBrayne because of what he termed “the acute situation with the ferry service from Uig to Lochmaddy.”

Mr MacNeil has raised a number of suggestions with CalMac which he believes could help get the MV Hebrides back on the route. 

The Gambia Partnership fundraising shop has moved! It has vacated the temporary premises on North Beach and moved to Church Street opposite Artizan Coffee shop and next to the Colour Centre.  It is opening for the first time today (April 2, 2018)  The formal address is 7-9 Church Street.   It is to be open 11 am to 4pm Monday to Saturday. All funds are spent directly in the Gambia to assist with their schooling project there.

As its summer timetables came into force, CalMac Ferries warned of breakdowns and delays ahead as its ageing ferry fleet faces ever-growing problems finding parts to make essential repairs.

The average age of the ferries serving its routes is just under 22 years old and CalMac’s fleet will again be stretched to its full capacity over the summer months, the firm says.

Any issues with a vessel on one part of the network will have knock-on effects for other routes, as boats need to be diverted or deployed elsewhere to keep the network running.

Today An Lanntair is holding its Fèill Ceáird is Còcairachd: Craft and Cookery Festival – a FREE festival throughout An Lanntair’s building offering a fabulous tour of food and craft from the diverse island communities of the Outer Hebrides.

 

 

 

 

Brue Common Grazings

Formal intimation under the Crofters (Scotland) Act 1993 

Notice is hereby given that Urras Sgire Oighreachd Bharabhais Community Company has applied to the Scottish Land Court for an Order authorising resumption of 0.03 hectares of the common grazings of the township of Brue.  The purpose of the resumption is to sell the said area to Mr Iain MacRitchie, 7 Merlin Crescent, Inverness, IV2 3TE, to regularise the position whereby the said area is being used as garden and amenity ground for the dwellinghouse 19B Brue.

On 22nd March 2017 the Court appointed this intimation by newspaper advertisement and ordered the Applicant to send to the Clerk to the Grazings Committee copies of the Application, associated productions and the Court’s Practice Note No. 4 (which emphasises the need for crofters to protect their own rights).  The Court ordered any shareholder or other person having a legal interest who opposes the Application or who wishes to claim compensation or a share in value of the land to be resumed, to lodge Answers, including details of any such claim, with the Principal Clerk, George House, 126 George Street, Edinburgh, EH2 4HH within fifteen days from the end of the period covered by this edition of Events.  Copies of the Application, productions and Practice Note have been sent to Mr Kenneth A. Matheson, Seabhal, 19 Brue, Isle of Lewis, HS2 0QW and these documents may be inspected either there, at the Court’s offices in Edinburgh, or at the offices of the Agents.  Copies of the Practice Note may also be obtained from the Principal Clerk (Tel:  0131 271 4360). It should be noted that any further Orders of the Court, including the Final Order, will be intimated to those persons who have lodged answers to this advertisement and to the Clerk to the Common Grazings Committee.  Copies of any further Orders may be obtained from the Principal Clerk upon request.

Messrs Anderson MacArthur Solicitors

Old Bank of Scotland Buildings

Stornoway

Isle of Lewis

HS1 2BG

(Agents for Urras Sgire Oighreachd Bharabhais Community Company) 

of which intimation is hereby made.

Scotland’s population continued to increase between 2015 and 2016 – but the increase is uneven and the population of the Western Isles is falling faster than anywhere else in the country.
This is because of natural population decline – an excess of deaths over births – combined with a fall in the number of people moving into the Islands.  This reverses the positive trend seen between 2001 and 2011.
The population of Na h-Eileanan Siar was down 0.63 per cent between 2015 and 2016 according to statistics published this week by the National Records of Scotland (NRS).

We have a whole host of job vacancies looking to be filled on welovestornoway.com, with five new posts added this week! Click on the job titles below for more information.

Hebrides Travel are seeking a confident Modern Apprentice with good admin and numeracy skills to join their team from June, for 3 or 4 days per week.

Calmax Construction Limited in Newmarket, Stornoway, are recruiting a Machine Operator.

The County Hotel in Stornoway requires an experienced Shift Manager for their busy bar and restaurant.  The candidate should be flexible, with a positive attitude and excellent communication skills.

Crossroads Lewis are looking for Care Attendants to join their dedicated team.  The posts offer good rates of pay with flexible hours, and training and mileage costs will be covered.  Applicants must have a full driving license and their own vehicle.

Travellers now have more help at hand to plan their Outer Hebridean holidays thanks to the publication of the first ever guide book to focus on these islands alone.

Bradt's new guide to the 'Outer Hebrides: The Western Isles of Scotland, from Lewis to Barra' by experienced writer and journalist Mark Rowe is the only full-size guide to focus solely on the islands of Lewis and Harris; St Kilda; North Uist; Benbecula; South Uist; Eriskay; Barra, and Vatersay.

Rowe, and environmental and outdoor journalist, first visited the Outer Hebrides in 1990 when using up the last few days of an Inter-Rail ticket.

Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MSP Alasdair Allan has recorded an introduction as part of a new digital recreation of St Kilda.

St Kilda has been painstakingly recreated on the best-selling videogame Minecraft as part of Scotland-wide World Heritage Day celebrations. This will give gamers the opportunity to explore the archipelago with ever having to step foot there. It will also form part of the learning resources available in both English and Gaelic to Scotland’s schools.

Lews Castle, by Natural Retreats

Lews Castle is proving the place to be today (Friday, April 28th) as island residents and visitors enjoy the opportunity to look around the new luxury accommodation on offer by operators Natural Retreats.

And today there is also a chance to win a free stay for four in Lews Castle by taking part in the Open Day raffle, in support of the RNLI and Bethesda Nursing Home and Hospice.

Opening its doors at 10am this morning, the Castle staff have been kept busy throughout the day with a huge number of visitors, from old to young, excitedly exploring the new look Castle with a selection of the 23 bedrooms planned ready for viewing.

Rooms will remain open to the public until 9pm tonight; and from 4pm there will be displays of Highland Dancing and entertainment from local school choirs, as well as free welcomes drinks and canapes to deliver A Taste of Stornoway until 8pm. And the Lews Castle whisky bar will be open until 1am tonight for visitors and guests.

People in Lewis and Harris with an interest in mental health and in dementia are invited to come along to a World Café event.

You can meet with the team who are redesigning mental health services across the Western Isles and talk with them about what the redesigned services will mean for you.

 

 

 

Angus MacNeil MP with John Murdo Macdonald, Volunteer, St Andrew’s First Aid

Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MP, Angus Brendan MacNeil, after working to assist, has welcomed the introduction of St Andrew’s First Aid Volunteers in the islands to provide Event First Aid.

Last year the British Red Cross took the decision to withdraw from providing Event First Aid in the Western Isles.  Now with the help of St Andrew’s First Aid, volunteers are now able to continue to provide this service.

The winning Sgoil a'Bhac team with Stornoway Rotary President Gavin Woods and Rotarian Kenneth MacDonald

Sgoil a’Bhac were the victors of Stornoway Rotary Club’s Primary School Quiz, held at the Nicolson Institute last night (Thursday, April 27th).

The quizzing pupil of Back now have the chance to go through to the Rotary Area Heat held in Balintore on Saturday, May 6th, and if successful, onto the Highland Final in Aberdeen in June.

In second place last night were Sgoil nan Loch, followed by Laxdale Primary School in third.

Ferry operator Caledonian MacBrayne has introduced the likes of cullen skink pie, smoked salmon bagels and vegetarian haggis nachos to its menu. 

Served in the Mariners cafés on board its major ships, the food has become a firm favourite with customers – regular travellers and excited tourists alike – as offering great taste, value for money and supporting Scottish produce. 

An appeal – carried on welovestornoway.com – for craftspeople and makers to contact the Stornoway Airport shop about putting their products on sale there has produced great results, says Donald Martin who runs the shop.

Within a few days, several local producers had their products on sale at the airport for the first – and had made their first sales. “There’s some very nice stuff come through,” said Mr Martin.

But he is still looking for more potential craftspeople to join the throng on the main display shelves.

There are no plans to close the Stornoway airport control tower, it was stated today. 

Reports had suggested that HIAL were considering centralisation of Air Traffic Control by relocating the operation to a 'virtual tower' on the mainland.

The late Rev Dr Iain D. Campbell, who passed away in January

Elements of the moral conduct of the late Rev Dr Iain D. Campbell were 'seriously inconsistent with that expected of a Christian minister'.

This was the finding of the Western Isles Presbytery of the Free Church of Scotland, who convened in Stornoway yesterday.

Hebridean Housing Partnership (HHP) is now an accredited Living Wage Employer.

HHP join Intermedia Services (Stornoway) Ltd, Lewis Builders, OnTime Computing, and Living Wage MSP Alasdair Allan in their commitment to pay the living wage of £8.45 per hour.

The living wage is significantly higher than the government minimum wage of £6.70, and the new minimum wage premium for over 25s of £7.50 per hour.

Full-time employees earning the real Living Wage earn up to £2000 per year more than those on the government minimum.

The real Living Wage is an hourly rate, calculated annually by the Resolution Foundation and overseen by the Living Wage Commission, based on the best available evidence on living standards in the UK. Employers choose to pay the real Living Wage on a voluntary basis.

WIIGA chair Norrie Tomsh, left, accepts the £1,000 donation from Angus McCormack, chair of Point and Sandwick Trust

Community wind farm charity Point and Sandwick Trust have made it easier for a group of athletes to represent the Western Isles on the world stage this summer with a donation of £1,000.

The donation was made to the Western Isles Island Games Assocation (WIIGA), who are sending a squad to compete in the NatWest Island Games in Sweden in June. 

Norrie ‘Tomsh’ MacDonald, chair of the local games association, was delighted to receive the donation recently from Point and Sandwick Trust chairman Angus McCormack. 

The St Andrew’s First Aid charity is stepping into the gap left on Lewis and Harris by the withdrawal last May of the British Red Cross from providing First Aid cover in the Islands.
The organisation was formed in 1882 as St. Andrew’s Ambulance Association by doctors and businessmen in Glasgow who were concerned with the number of people being injured in the industrial city.

The Cafe facility at Lewis Sports Centre will be closed for good unless it is taken over by independent operators.

The Ionad Spors Leodhais Cafe was in its end being run by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, but closed on March 31st due to financial constraints.

“The Cafe as it was was unable to break even,” said a council spokesperson, adding: “A decision was taken by the Comhairle that the cafe will not be operated by the Trading Operation again.”

Award winner, Mary Gillies, with her husband, John Angus, and children, Jonathan (19), Joanna (17) and David (2)

The first Gaelic Writing for Children Award has been presented to a Western Isles resident, Mary Gillies.

The competition received entries from across Scotland, as well as an entry from Canada.

Mary’s submission - a Gaelic story for 5 to 8-year-olds - beat off the competition to win the award.

Along with a £500 prize, Mary also receives the opportunity to have her manuscript considered by Acair Books, with a view to getting it published.

   

Frances and Michelle

NHS Western Isles has announced Frances Robertson, Senior Charge Nurse at Western Isles Hospital’s Surgical Ward, and Michelle Cameron, Staff Nurse at Ospadal Uibhist agus Bharraigh, as its latest successful graduates for Cohort 7 Dementia Champions.

Over the last nine months Frances and Michelle have committed time and effort to completing the course, which expands the NHS Western Isles team of Dementia Champions to 11 situated across the islands.

In conjunction with NHS Western Isles, Tommy Whitelaw from the ALLIANCE Dementia Carers Voices will be hosting a series of events in the Outer Hebrides aimed at raising dementia awareness for people with dementia and their carers.

Tommy, who lives in Glasgow, was a full-time carer for his late mother Joan who had been diagnosed with vascular dementia. Through supporting his mother, he became a well-known national campaigner raising awareness of the issues surrounding dementia.

He said: “My motivation as a carer came from the love I had for my mum and I would do it all again in a heartbeat, but my experience has shown me just how tough it is to live with dementia and how many struggles it can bring.

The Epic Award winning Barra Bunting will be on display for the festival

A free food festival offers a fabulous tour of food and craft from diverse island communities throughout the Outer Hebrides this weekend.

An Lanntair arts centre launches its Fèill Ceáird is Còcairachd: Craft and Cookery Festival on Saturday, April 29th, taking place from 12pm to 4pm.

During the festival visitors will be able to sample world cuisines from the Minch to Mumbai in a fun filled day of cooking demonstrations, food tasters and Hebridean craft stalls, highlighting the quality of handmade crafts to be found on a journey through the islands.

Isles MP Angus MacNeil  has been contacted by more than 40 constituents who say they have been denied access to Scottish Gas’ cheapest advertised tariff, in the ongoing row between Scottish Gas and its island customer base.

Last month, following a complaint by his constituent - Derek McPherson of Fernlea Guesthouse, Stornoway - Mr MacNeil revealed that he had evidence that island LPG customers were being denied access to advertised tariffs enjoyed by mainland customers.

Scottish Gas has now admitted that Mr McPherson’s failure to access such tariffs may not, as it originally claimed, be an isolated case. In a letter to Mr MacNeil, Scottish Gas has conceded that its call-handlers may have given the wrong advice to island customers regarding these advertised tariffs.

Scotland’s blue badge scheme has been extended to allow people who may have difficulties and pose a risk to themselves or others in traffic to get a badge, provided they meet eligibility criteria.

People who think they might be eligible are being invited to contact their local authority.

The blue badge scheme provides an essential service for disabled people, allowing parking access that can often make the difference as to whether disabled people live their lives as fully as they can.

A whole range of jobs are available in Stornoway and the surrounding areas – all in the vacancies section of welovestornoway.com!
For instance, the Group Practice Health Centre, Stornoway, is recruiting to the following full time posts:  Practice Manager; Medical Receptionist; and Healthcare Assistant.
http://www.welovestornoway.com/index.php/jobs-westside/6512-job-vacancies-the-group-practice

Tighean Innse Gall (TIG) – which is the local Energy and Development Agency for the Western Isles – is seeking a part-time receptionist (22.5 hours p/w)
Mon-Fri - 12:30 pm - 5.00 pm

Outdoors at last!  The Stornoway Bowling marked the start of the new summer season with an initial event at their club premises on Bayhead last night (Friday April 21st).  The club spent the winter months with the indoor version of the sport inside Ionad Spòrs Lèodhas - and now with around 50 active members they are looking forward to a new season - and would be happy to welcome new members.

The first ever Gaelic travelogue is to be officially launched at an event in Ness next Thursday.

Author Maureen Macleod, who is a producer of the BBC Alba’s current affairs programme Eòrpa, will read extracts of her new book 'A Toirt Mo Chasan Leam', roughly translated as 'Taking My Feet With Me'.

A hustings meeting will take place tonight in Uig Community Centre.

The meeting will hear from all four Sgir' Uige agus Ceann a Tuath nan Loch candidates - Ranald Fraser, Norman A. Macdonald, Donald Cudig Macleod, and Angus Morrison. 

Proceedings start at 7.30pm.

 

 

 

Lews Castle College UHI is facing a decrease in funding of around 4.8 per cent for 2017-18, due to a drop in student numbers.

In a report just published, Audit Scotland has highlighted the College's under-recruitment of further education students against targets during 2015/16.

The report clearly states that the College is not in immediate financial difficulty and the accounts have been given a clean bill of health.

Notice is hereby given that Urras Sgire Oighreachd Bharabhais Community Company has applied to the Scottish Land Court for an Order authorising resumption of 0.03 hectares of the common grazings of the township of Brue.  The purpose of the resumption is to sell the said area to Mr Iain MacRitchie, 7 Merlin Crescent, Inverness, IV2 3TE, to regularise the position whereby the said area is being used as garden and amenity ground for the dwellinghouse 19B Brue.

On 22nd March 2017 the Court appointed this intimation by newspaper advertisement and ordered the Applicant to send to the Clerk to the Grazings Committee copies of the Application, associated productions and the Court’s Practice Note No. 4 (which emphasises the need for crofters to protect their own rights).  The Court ordered any shareholder or other person having a legal interest who opposes the Application or who wishes to claim compensation or a share in value of the land to be resumed, to lodge Answers, including details of any such claim, with the Principal Clerk, George House, 126 George Street, Edinburgh, EH2 4HH within fifteen days from the end of the period covered by this edition of Events.  Copies of the Application, productions and Practice Note have been sent to Mr Kenneth A. Matheson, Seabhal, 19 Brue, Isle of Lewis, HS2 0QW and these documents may be inspected either there, at the Court’s offices in Edinburgh, or at the offices of the Agents.  Copies of the Practice Note may also be obtained from the Principal Clerk (Tel:  0131 271 4360). It should be noted that any further Orders of the Court, including the Final Order, will be intimated to those persons who have lodged answers to this advertisement and to the Clerk to the Common Grazings Committee.  Copies of any further Orders may be obtained from the Principal Clerk upon request.

 

Messrs Anderson MacArthur Solicitors
Old Bank of Scotland Buildings
Stornoway, Isle of Lewis HS1 2BG
(Agents for Urras Sgire Oighreachd
Bharabhais Community Company)
of which intimation is hereby made.

Political parties in the Western Isles are working round the clock to source candidates for the General Election on Thursday June 8.

And, it would appear, some are having more success than others.

The deadline for nominations is Thursday May 11 – one week after the local government elections on Thursday May 4.

So what’s the latest from the parties expected to field candidates here in the Western Isles?

Simon Wetherell, Co-op Director of Facilities Management; Divisional Managing Director John McNeill; Chrisetta Mitchell, The Leanne Fund; Macaulay Road Store Manager, Steven Cooper and Cromwell Street Store Manager Steven Macphail

The Leanne Fund wishes to extend a huge THANK YOU to Co-op customers in Stornoway who have helped raise more than £12,000 for the charity.

As the foremost Cystic Fibrosis (CF) charity in Scotland, The Leanne Fund works with individuals affected by CF and their families across the Highlands, Islands and Grampian to provide vital social, practical, emotional and financial assistance.

The Co-op’s Local Community Fund has allowed Co-op members to support the charity while doing the weekly shop with 1% of spend on Co-op branded products going to the charity, along with money raised from carrier bag sales.

Chrisetta Mitchell, Development Manager for The Leanne Fund said: “We are so grateful to the Co-op and its Members who have raised such a phenomenal amount of money which will make such a difference to the lives of young people with CF.”

Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MP Angus Brendan MacNeil has written to Greg Clark MP, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, to ask for an urgent update on the future support for island renewables. 

The UK government’s consultation on whether Remote Island Wind projects should be subsidised ended on 31st January.  Following yesterday’s announcement that a General Election will be held on 8th June, concerns have been raised as to what this will mean for island renewables.

As part of MG ALBA’s strategy to provide training and support for Gaelic writers, the Gaelic Media Service (MG ALBA) is offering talented Gaelic writers the opportunity to apply for its coveted scholarship to study television fiction writing at Glasgow Caledonian University.

The MA Television Fiction Writing course is the only dedicated one year postgraduate programme of its type in the UK, providing aspiring screenwriters with the tools to embark upon or strengthen their career in television fiction writing, and MG ALBA are supporting a placement on the course for one Gaelic speaker.  

An option to undertake the course on a part-time basis over two years is also available.

Isles FM presenter Kathleen Maciver accepts a cheque for £2,000 from Simon Pearson, from Lewis Electronics

Isles FM is back on air, and volunteer presenters are delighted to get back to work after a tense wait for funding was finally ended last week.

A £2,000 donation from Lewis Electronic Trade Services Ltd tipped the scale on the funding, with generous donors responding through Justgiving to hit a target of £8,000.

Museum nan Eilean is preparing an exhibition marking the passing of one hundred years since the tragic sinking of the Iolaire on January 1, 1919.

The exhibition will run from late 2018 until early 2019 in the new museum at Lews Castle and is part of a larger series of events by a number of organisations recognising the centenary of the disaster and its impact on the people of the Outer Hebrides.

Commenting on today’s announcement by the Prime Minister that she intends to seek a General Election on June 8th, Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MP Angus MacNeil said: “It is a great privilege to serve the people of Na h-Eileanan an Iar in Parliament and I would hope to be re-elected if a snap General Election takes place on June 8th.

“This is a panicked announcement by Theresa May, she knows she isn’t going to get a deal on trade with Europe which means for our crofters, any exports of lambs to Europe will incur a 20% tariff and any fish and shellfish will see a 12% tariff.

“She is doing this so she doesn’t have to face the public after Brexit negotiations when she has nothing, so she is cutting and running now.

Highlands and Islands Tory MSPs should 'stop acting as mere mouthpieces for the UK Government', and show the courage to oppose the Tory Government’s 'shocking and inhumane rape clause'.  

This was stated today by Western Isles MSP, Alasdair Allan. 

The hugely controversial 'rape clause' limits tax credits to only two children per family – unless the mother can prove that a third child was conceived as a result of rape.

Ballot papers for postal voters in the Western Isles have started arriving on doormats, ready for the Comhairle nan Eilean Siar election on Thursday 4 May.

Malcolm Burr, Returning Officer for Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, is reminding postal voters: “For this election you must vote using numbers. You will need to number the candidates in order of preference using 1, 2, 3 and so on – you can make as many or as few choices as you wish.

Stornoway firm ‘Wee Studio’ is to open a brand new recording studio in Benbecula.

The new studio is called ‘Wee Studio’s Bunker’ and is to be housed within the East Trust's nuclear bunker. 

The studio will be directly connected to Wee Studio in Stornoway via internet connection.

St Peter's Episcopal Church on Francis Street was broken into over the Easter weekend.

A small padlock was removed from the donation box inside the porch entrance, and money was taken.

Taking a quick..ish scoot around the Western Isles will take on a whole new meaning after a new exploit by grandmother Dinah Bosomworth.

For the 52 years old plans to do just that, travel the Western Isles – not to mention Isles of Skye and Mull as well - on a two-wheeled scooter!

Starting on Thursday (April 20) the grandmother-of-four, together with a bright orange kick-scooter nicknamed Nerys will depart from Oban before making her way from Vatersay to the Butt of Lewis on The Hebridean Way.

As part of their 10-year celebrations, UOG are running a series of monthly evening talks in partnership with University of the Highlands and Islands. 

The next talk for April will be by Catriona Murray on the topic "UHI Talk: The Gaelic Community and the Other World: Folklore and Customs". In this talk Catriona will be exploring the connections between the Gaelic community and the supernatural world, through the religion, folklore and customs of the area. 

It will take place at UOG Business Centre, South Galson, on Tuesday 25th April, 7:30pm. 

All welcome.Free admission, no booking necessary. Tea & coffee provided.

There are jobs on offer from businesses and enterprises in many fields in Stornoway at the moment – all advertised on http://www.welovestornoway.com/index.php/jobs

For instance, there’s a need for a Quality Controller at the Scottish Salmon Company in Marybank. 

Hebridean hen and stag parties are being taken to another level, thanks to the launch this week of a new dancing venture – ‘Hitched and Highlands’.

Run by professional dancer Alexandra Jones and Anna Macaulay, Hitched and Highlands offer bespoke dancing packages for clients – so for instance, if a hen party wanted to recreate scenes from ‘Grease’, Alexandra and Anna will provide a tailor-made routine.

Work has finally begun to extensively restore the Lewis War Memorial.

The £230,000 project had been due to start this time last year, but was put on hold after the company who were awarded the tender went bankrupt.

Another company has now been contracted to undertake the works.

A memorial service will take place in Stornoway this afternoon for one of the victims of the 'Louisa' fishing boat tragedy. 

Paul Alliston, who was 42 and was also known as Paul Macmillan, was lost when the shellfish vessel sank off Mingulay on Saturday April 9, 2016. 

The bitter spat over renewable energy developments in the Western Isles took a new turn last night (Thursday April 13) as Executive Director of Point and Sandwick Power, Calum Macdonald, hit back at comments from council leader Angus Campbell of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar.
“Mr Campbell makes the strange claim that Point and Sandwick Power was not invited to the meeting with the Secretary of State, Greg Clark, on Monday. 
“He is misinformed.  In fact, we were in receipt of an official invitation from the Secretary of State’s office and did not need an invite from the Council. 
“Perhaps Mr Campbell can explain why the Council did not want any representatives of the local community energy sector at the meeting, despite the local branch of Community Energy Scotland making repeated requests to the Council to be included. 

Ballot papers for postal voters in the Western Isles will be arriving on doormats over the next few days, ready for the Comhairle nan Eilean Siar election on Thursday 4 May.

Malcolm Burr, Returning Officer for Comhairle nan Eilean Siar advises postal voters: “When you receive your postal voting pack, make sure you read and follow the instructions carefully before completing your ballot paper. Don’t forget to include your date of birth and signature on the postal voting statement.  Follow the instructions in the pack to make sure your vote counts.

At loggerheads - Comhairle Leader Angus Campbell and Calum Macdonald, of Point and Sandwick Power

A bitter row has today broken out between Comhairle nan Eilean Siar and community energy company Point and Sandwick Power. 

Earlier this week, Executive Director of Point and Sandwick Power, Calum Macdonald, said that the Comhairle urgently needed to revise its energy strategy to allow for a dramatically-increased community stake in local renewable developments. 

But Comhairle Leader Angus Campbell today hit out: “It is a shame that Mr Macdonald and Point and Sandwick Power seem intent on working against the best interests of the wider community and the local economy.”

Ken MacBrayne

A Tory candidate for election to Comhairle nan Eilean Siar has been suspended by his party after posting on social media that Nicola Sturgeon was a ‘silly cow’ who should be kidnapped, adding: “Why can’t someone stick a cattle prod up her nether region?”

Retired seaman Ken MacBrayne (72), is one of eight candidates battling it out for three seats in the Beinn na Foghla agus Uibhist a’ Tuath ward. 

A massive increase in passenger numbers over the Easter holidays has led to operator Citylink laying on more buses between Ullapool and Inverness. 

Citylink were contacted by Highlands and Islands Labour MSP, Rhoda Grant, who also liaised with CalMac over the issue.

The Executive Director of Point and Sandwick Power, Calum MacDonald, has called for greatly increased community involvement in the proposed Lewis Windpower projects following the visit by the UK Secretary of State for Business and Energy, Greg Clark MP to Stornoway on Monday 10th April.

Mr MacDonald, the former MP for the Western Isles, attended the Scottish Islands Renewable Delivery Forum meeting at the Caberfeidh Hotel at the personal invitation of the Secretary of State, and said afterwards: “Right from the start of the meeting, Greg Clark made clear that his primary interest was the degree of community involvement, ownership and benefit in the three island projects and that maximising the community role was the best hope, indeed the only hope, of getting any of the inter-connector projects funded.

Left to right: - Catherine Ann Macleod (Women’s Football Team Manager), Ann-Louise Stewart (Women’s Football), Iain GG Campbell (General Team Manager), Alan Brown (SSC), Hamish Budge (Athletics Coach), Eric Macleod (Men’s Football Team Manager), Norrie MacDonald (WIIGA Chair), Sian Macdonald (Athletics), Isla Budge (Swimming), Matthew Hanlon (Swimming)

The Western Isles Island Games Association (WIIGA) sponsored by The Scottish Salmon Company have finalised selection for the NatWest Island Games in Sweden this summer.

The week-long International event is this year being hosted by Gotland, one of the 24 member islands, between 24th June and 30th June. WIIGA will take a squad of 90 covering 8 sports to the Games, which includes athletes, coaches, management and medical team. The squad will be accompanied by a small number of family members and supporters.

The SNP has launched a manifesto for the Western Isles which lays out key commitments for an SNP-led Comhairle nan Eilean Siar.

Nine candidates are standing for the SNP in next month’s elections and the party hopes to create an administration which will lead the Comhairle with a clear strategy.

Donald Manford, SNP Group leader and candidate for Barraigh, Bhatarsaigh, Eiriosgaigh agus Uibhist a Deas, said: "To be in the driving seat of our own destiny and to shape our own future is a natural desire. It is what the SNP believes is right for Scotland.   It is what your local SNP Group believes is right for the Hebrides.

Stornoway South SNP candidate Rae Mackenzie says he will fight for a feasibility study to consider reopening Sandwickhill School if he is re-elected to Comhairle nan Eilean on 4th May.

Mr Mackenzie said:  "Sandwick School should never have closed because it was obvious that Stornoway was going to expand in that direction. Well over 100 houses, many with young families, are on schedule to be built in the Mackenzie Park area near the former school. 

“This means there will be over 300 houses in Parkend, Holm and the Mackenzie Park Estate without taking into account East Street, North Street, and Lower Sandwick.  Potentially pupils may also come from Steinish, Plasterfield and Melbost/Branahuie.”

The University of the Highlands and Islands is inviting applications for 26 fully funded PhD studentships.

The studentships, which are being funded by the European Social Fund and Scottish Funding Council, offer opportunities in a range of research areas.

Topics include the use of digital technologies in healthcare, the history of distilling and whisky production, eco-tourism, salmon farming in Scotland and the impact of the nuclear industry on British communities.

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Scotland and Northern Ireland, Lord Dunlop

Building economic activity and providing high quality employment opportunities are two key factors to the Western Isles' future, says Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Scotland and Northern Ireland, Lord Dunlop.

The Conservative politician spoke today (Monday, April 10th) as he visited Lewis with Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Greg Clark MP, who co-chaired the fifth meeting of the Scottish Islands Renewables Delivery Forum in Stornoway.

Discussions included focus on the UK Government's recent consultation for wind projects on the Western Isles, Orkney and Shetland. The development of proposed major projects would trigger initial investment of £2.5billion.

1st January 1919 will make 100 years since the Iolaire disaster

The anniversary of the Iolaire disaster on 1st January 2019 will be the final formal event in the official, national four-year programme commemorating the Centenary of The Great War.  

An Lanntair arts centre, with financial assistance from Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, commissioned three of the most senior and respected visual artists in Scotland to prepare a range of designs for a bronze sea or land sculpture located on or near the site where the vessel was wrecked – creating a significant memorial that will give the tragedy the national profile and place in history it merits, and create a legacy for the community and those visiting the islands.

And all are invited are invited to join at the arts centre next Monday (Easter Monday, April 17th), 7.30pm, for the opportunity to hear from each artist about the philosophy and intention behind their proposed designs, to comment on them, and ask questions of the designers.

The UK Government must stop stalling and back island renewables now, according to Isles' MP Angus MacNeil.

Mr MacNeil took part in a meeting with Greg Clark MP, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy in Stornoway this morning (Monday) and urged him to make the right decision on future support for island renewables.

Mr MacNeil said the final decision to be made by Mr Clark on this matter will have repercussions for the island economy for many years to come.

Simon Nicol, Fairport Convention, presented the award to Josie Duncan and Pablo Lafuente

Stornoway songstress Josie Duncan has scooped the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk 2017 award along with musical partner Pablo Lafuente.

The Radio 2 Folk Awards 2017 were announced in a ceremony last week (April 5th) held at the Royal Albert Hall.

Now in their 18th year, the Awards are a key highlight of the folk music calendar and serve to raise the profile of folk music.

And helping raise her own profile within folk music, Josie – who is currently studying a BA in Scottish Music at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland – was delighted with the award, saying on her Facebook page: “Delighted to be chosen from such an amazing set of acts.”

Josie and Pablo were presented their award by guitarist, singer, record-producer, and founding member of British folk group Fairport Convention.

Mr. Malcolm Burr, Chief Executive of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, has been appointed to the Scottish Government’s Standing Council on Europe.

This is an advisory panel comprising a group of experts set up to advise the Scottish government in the aftermath of the Brexit vote with the aim of protecting Scotland’s interests – legal, financial and diplomatic.

Mr Burr has been appointed particularly because of his expertise in local government and rural communities.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:

With only one week to go until the deadline to register to vote in the council elections, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar is urging residents to make sure they are registered in time.

On Thursday 4 May voters in the Western Isles will go to the polls for Comhairle nan Eilean Siar Local Government elections.  The deadline to register to vote is Monday 17 April.

Anyone not registered to vote at their current address can register online here

With passenger numbers at Stornoway Airport growing and a whole range of new air services available, craftspeople in Lewis and Harris are being encouraged to contact the airport shop to discuss ways they could sell products through the shop.

Donald Martin, who runs the shop and café services in the departures lounge and in the main terminal itself, said: “We are looking to work with local crafts people, in particular those involved in Harris Tweed.  All small craft items will be considered for display and sale.”

He said the arrangements with suppliers could be on a sale or return or a commission basis.   He added: “That is how we would envisage operating , however, depending on the type of business , there are other possibilities."

Donald wants as wide a range as possible to be available to tempt travellers to browse the displays.   He asks craft producers “Please visit the airport café with samples where we will have the opportunity to discuss aspects further.”

Sundays newspapers are available from a handful of outlets in Stornoway this afternoon (Sunday April 9).

As part of the return to airborne delivery for morning newspapers - which started last Monday - Sunday editions were available from around 1.15/1.30pm at the Stornoway Airport shop (see photograph below); Engebret Ltd on Sandwick Road; and the Blackhouse Bakery in Plasterfield.

Each of these outlets normally closes for the day at or shortly after 4pm on a Sunday so there is only a a relatively short time for news addicts to avail themselves of this unusual opportunity.

 

Sandwick Community Council

NOTICE OF ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

Monday, 10th April

at 7.30pm

at the

Sandwick Community Room

Carhire Hebrides – one of the fastest growing enterprises on the Western Isles – has established a new base in the Stornoway Ferry Terminal, making its cars, vans and personnel far more accessible to customers both at home and away. 

The new base deals with walk-in customers as well as telephone and on-line bookings similar to their established base at Stornoway Airport. 

Co-owner John Cunningham said the venture – which has taken over the space formerly occupied by the Ferry Terminal café – was a logical extension of the standards of customer service they had always aimed for.

The Western Isles Island Games Association aim to take around 100 islanders to Gotland, Sweden, for the 2017 competition in June

As the Western Isles Island Games Association (WIIGA) get set to reveal its final squad next week, the Scottish Salmon Company have confirmed they will continue as main team sponsor.

The week long international event, the NatWest Island Games are this year hosted by Gotland, one of the 24 member islands, in Sweden this summer, June 24th – June 30th.

Craig Anderson, Chief Executive Officer of The Scottish Salmon Company, said: “We are proud to be sponsoring WIIGA for the third consecutive year and supporting the Western Isles team as they prepare for this summer’s event.

Shawbost-based Harris Tweed Hebrides has featured this week in a glittering showcase of British and Italian fashion, held in Florence under royal patronage.

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall toured the event which was organised by the British Embassy in Rome and the Campaign for Wool.  Prince Charles is patron of the campaign and all the garments featured were, like Harris Tweed, made from pure wool.

An elite selection of leading British and Italian brands were invited to exhibit at the event which was held in the Sala Bianca of the Palazzo Pitti in Florence. The spectacular room is described as 'the birthplace of Italian fashion', catwalk shows held there in the 1950s having set the tone for classic Italian brands to flourish.

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar candidates have thrown their hats in the ring and will be busy canvassing until council election day on Thursday, May 4th.

In order to have your say on the 4th of May, and vote for the candidates you wish to represent you and your ward in the Comhairle, there are some simple steps to make sure you're ready to vote.

Make sure you are registered to vote – if you are not registered, you cannot vote. For further advice, contact the Electoral Registration Officer, 42 Point Street, Stornoway, 01851 706262, or log on to www.aboutmyvote.co.uk. Registration forms must be completed and returned by Monday, April 17th to allow voting in the May 4th election.

Voting by post – voting by post is an easy and convenient way of voting and your postal vote can be sent to your home address or any other address you give. To register for a postal vote, contact the Electoral Registration Officer.  And applications for postal votes must be returned to the Electoral Registration Officer by 5pm on Tuesday, April 18th. 

Voting by proxy – if you are unable to attend a polling station you can appoint a proxy who will be someone you trust to vote on your behalf. Again, to register for a prosy vote, contact the Electoral Registration Officer. And the deadline for applying for a proxy vote is Tuesday, April 25th.

Thursday morning - April 6th at 9.30am - marks the start of the closing down sale for three major departments at Murdo Maclean's store in Cromwell Street, Stornoway.

Lews Castle is a final competitor in the title for Great British Buildings Restoration of the Year competition, organised by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and featured on Channel 4 television.

With stiff competition from projects across the UK, Lews Castle was named joint winner of the Victorian category, along side Mount Stewart in Northern Ireland.

The RICS judges were 'blown away' by the impressive restoration of the Gothic revival style Castle, saying: “It was such a difficult building that had been out of use for decades so finding a new use was going to be a major achievement.

The Western Isles Association for Mental Health (WIAMH) have received £2,500 from community wind farm charity Point and Sandwick Trust.
The charity can spend the money as they see fit.  In the case of WIAMH, it will help them run activities at their Catch-23 drop-in service and retain their three support workers.
Del Gunn, WIAMH manager, said: “The timing is fantastic, at the end of the financial year, and the ‘no catch’ is great.  It gives us a level of flexibility.  If we have got a new idea then we can run with it straight away instead of having to chase the money to do so. 
“It’s an absolute godsend because we can plan now.  It enables us to retain staff who are in recovery themselves from mental health issues.”
Western Isles Association for Mental Health is the largest service user group of its kind in the Outer Hebrides and recently celebrated its 20 year anniversary.

Citylink have added extra buses to the Ullapool Inverness bus service from today.

Peter Knight of Citylink said “We have put the following additional seats onto the system today (all additional 49-seaters) -

04 April - 09:50         961         Ullapool – Inverness
04 April - 15:00         961         Inverness – Ullapool
05 April - 09:50         961         Ullapool – Inverness
06 April - 15:00         961         Inverness – Ullapool
07 April - 15:00         961         Inverness – Ullapool
10 April - 15:00         961         Inverness - Ullapool

Na h-Eileanan an Iar MSP Alasdair Allan has called on BT to improve their services to the local island communities, after a catalogue of complaints made to his constituency office in Stornoway in the past few months.

In a letter to BT’s head of service in Scotland, Brendan Dick, Dr Allan has called for improvements across the islands, and for BT to address the issues that islanders have been facing, ranging from persistent installation delays to intermittent network service.

It was back to the future for morning newspaper deliveries in Lewis and Harris today as they arrived at 8am by air for the first time in four years.

For the next fortnight, newspapers are expected to arrive first thing via Loganair ending the newspaper drought which has affected trade and customer patterns in Stornoway and other communities.

An artist's impression of life in a fresh water lake around 360 million years ago.   Credit: Mark Witton

Islanders can find out how life on earth began this month with as an exciting touring exhibition – 'Fossil Hunters' – set to be displayed at both Museum nan Eilean Lews Castle and Museum nan Eilean Uibhist agus Barraigh premises.

Brought to the Hebrides in partnership with National Museums Scotland, 'Fossil Hunters' provides a glimpse of life around 360 million years ago when Scotland lay shout of the equator, and reveals the 'missing link' between amphibians and reptiles.

Funds are now in place and there have been three "Lucky to be here" Defibrillators ordered for the Lower Shader to Brue area.

A training night has been booked in the Barvas Hall on Wed 5th April at 7.30pm. Training will be given by the Lucky 2B Here Team and will cover basic life support and the use of a defibrillator.

Anyone who is interested in attending the training should get in touch by calling 01851 840450 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For those that cannot attend this night there will be other training nights in the future. 

 

 

Gaelic books are being represented this week for the first time at the Bologna Children's Book Fair in Italy, the main global trade fair for children's books. Pictured below are Rosemary Ward (right) of Gaelic Books Council, Margaret Anne MacLeod (middle), Acair Books (Stornoway) and Agnes Rennie (left), Acair Books, with signs displayed in Gaelic and English! Cranachan Publishing (Lewis) and Little Door Books (Oban) will also be appearing at the Fair from Tuesday 4th April.  XpoNorth (Writing and Publishing), HIE's trade development network in the creative industries, is very proud to have partnered Publishing Scotland and Jenny Brown Associates in making this happen. 

 

The Easter Fayre Craft Market will be held at Carloway Community Centre between 10am and 4pm on Saturday 15th April, where there will be a range of stalls including local Arts and Crafts for sale. Meanwhile a Soup and Pudding Lunch is being held at Carloway School Annex from 12 noon until 2pm.

Combine the two for a day out of shopping and lunch on the Westside.

A fisherman was airlifted from his fishing vessel after suffering a hand injury off the coast of Stornoway.

The UK Coastguard received a satellite call from the vessel, situated 89 nautical miles from Stornoway, just after 2.30pm yesterday (Sunday, April 2nd) requesting medical assistance.

Stornoway Coastguard Operations Centre undertook a link call with the Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, where the doctor advised that the casualty should be airlifted as soon as possible.

The Coastguard search and rescue helicopter based at Stornoway was sent to the vessel and airlifted the casualty to Glasgow Airport, where he was met by waiting ambulance and transferred to Glasgow Royal Infirmary.

 

The Fisherman and the Seal

Delightful puppet show from Yugen Puppet Theatre, suitable for all ages.  Living in a small Scottish village by the sea a lonely fisherman looks for love, but things don’t quite go according to plan.  Sometimes true love can be found in the most unlikely of places...and with the most unlikely of soul mates!  Using hand crafted puppets and striking shadow silhouettes with music from the past, Yugen Puppet Company puts its own twist on this usually tragic Scottish fairy tale. Touring as part of Puppet Animation Scotland.

Saturday 8th April at 7pm, Breasclete Community Hall.

 

At an undisclosed location on the Isle of Barra there is a small pinery that has been growing pineapple plants for more than two years.

Today, the first two pineapples to be produced on Barra ever will be auctioned off in Buth Bharraigh, the Castlebay community shop,  at 12 noon. 


This is a massive achievement for the crofter who has diversified into pineapples, says the local producers group, Beairteas Bharraigh which translates as the Wealth of Barra.

As yet the undisclosed crofter is not sure how many he will be able to produce in a year but is hoping that it will add significantly to his crofting income. 



Carpet World said goodbye to one of its founding directors yesterday (Friday) as Willie Morrison took retirement after 30 years with the company.

“I'll be sad to leave the place, but life goes on,” said Willie. “And I wish the company all the best for the future. I've seen it go from strength to strength, it employs 15 of a staff now, and the future is bright for the shop with the next generation of salesmen ready to take care of our loyal customers.”

Amidst protests from various parts of the crofting world, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar is to invite the Crofting Commission to a meeting of Crofting Joint Consultative Committee "to discuss the wider implications raised by the current discussions within the sector".

Comhairle Leader Angus Campbell said “We are aware of the current issues between the Crofting Commission and Grazings Committees and whilst not wishing to be drawn into the specifics of those discussions, there are wider implications for the whole of the crofting industry that these matters raise.  Principally around the roles and responsibilities of Grazings Committees and their enforcement. With that in mind, we are inviting representatives of the Commission to a meeting of the JCC so that these matters can be discussed in full.”

It is hoped that the JCC meeting will take place during the second week of May.

She's making her musical return to Lewis – and bringing her debut EP 'Peat Bog' with her.

Now living in Glasgow, songstress Miss Irenie Rose has been busy since moving to the mainland, and is delighted to bring the fruits of her hard work to Stornoway with a gig in the Woodlands Centre on Saturday, May 14th.  She is also scheduled to perform at this year's Hebridean Celtic Festival in July.

“I'm really looking forward to playing a gig at home, I've missed it so much!” she said. “It'll be lovely to see everyone.”

The Convener of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, Mr Norman A Macdonald, has paid tribute to Murdo Macdonald, former Councillor for the Coll ward.

 

 

Mr Macdonald served two terms on the Comhairle from 1978 to 1986. He was on several Committees including Education, Housing, Social Work and Environmental Services. He served as Vice-chair of Development Services and was also on the Licensing Board and the Fisheries JCC.

 

 

The Convener said: “Our thoughts are with the friends and family of Mr Macdonald at this sad time.  As is our custom the Comhairle flag is flying at half mast as a mark of respect for a former Councillor”

 

STORNOWAY PORT AUTHORITY

STAKEHOLDER PUBLIC MEETING   

Thursday 2nd June 2016 at 7.30 pm, Auditorium, An Lanntair, Kenneth Street, Stornoway

Stornoway Port Authority invites all stakeholders and interested parties to attend our 2016 Stakeholder Public  Meeting.

This year will see the first ever Carnival Midsummer Charity Ball, which will take place on Friday June 10th. The tickets were a sell-out, with people desperate to put on their fanciest clothes and enjoy a night of fine dining, entertainment and cocktails. 

But the night is not just about eating and drinking, and the Carnival Committee would like to encourage everyone to nominate someone for Carnival King and Queen!

Come and join in today for the annual Point 5k and help raise funds for The Leanne Fund.

Setting off from Point Free Church in Bayble at 12pm, the popular family event is open to runners and walkers alike and organisers are hoping this year will see the biggest entry ever!

You can still register online to save time on the day or print off your registration form and take it along with you. Copies of registration forms will also be available at the start.

Majors Ray and Pat Brown, the first officers of The Salvation Army in the Hebrides are returning to lead celebrations to mark 30 years of worship and service to the community from Bayhead, Stornoway.

Majors Ray and Pat Brown will be leading worship at The Salvation Army church on Bayhead on Sunday 8th May at 11am. The current officers Lieutenants Callum and Emma Newton will be leading a celebration and fun evening on Saturday the 7th May at 6pm and want everybody to feel welcome to come to both the Saturday and Sunday. Lieutenant Callum says: ‘If you have had a previous connection to the Stornoway Corps, or indeed if you have never set foot in The Salvation Army, you are most welcome to come and join us in our celebration and worship.’ 

In 1983, the Browns were appointed by The Salvation Army to commence the work of the international church and charity in the Hebrides, forming Stornoway Corps. Initially The Salvation Army worked from various temporary buildings before opening its present church community building in Bayhead in 1986.

The Browns have very happy memories of their time living in Stornoway, particularly the friendliness of the Islanders to them. Major Ray says: ‘We are both delighted to have the opportunity to revisit a place and people that have always been dear to our hearts.’

Major Pat says: ‘I will never forget the wonderful community spirit on the island. We arrived with a new baby and our second daughter was born on the Island. I would often walk into town from our home in Seaforth Road pushing a pram and lost count of the number of times strangers would stop their cars and offer me a lift.'

The Browns moved from the Island in 1987 and since then have held appointments in New Zealand, Glasgow and Edinburgh, Nottingham and London. Their appointments included leading the Regent Hall Salvation Army Corps on Oxford Street, London, whose brass band are currently featured on the BBC television series ‘The Sally Army and Me' in which Paul O'Grady explores the work of The Salvation Army.

As well as being local church leaders the Majors have since served on Divisional, Territorial and International Headquarters. Major Ray has also spent time as the head of the Salvation Army's International Emergency Services, which took him round the world to support local relief efforts by The Salvation Army in natural and man-made disasters, including Iraq, India, Japan and the Philippines.

In June of this year, the couple will take up new appointments as leaders of the Central South Division of the Salvation Army based in High Wycombe. 

MG ALBA, the Gaelic media service, is to participate for the first time in an innovative apprenticeship scheme designed to nurture the next generation of broadcast media talent.
The partnership, run by Glasgow Kelvin College and BBC Scotland, is about to enter its sixth programme, with 11 students participating in the 2016/17 course.
For the first time, one student – with the support of MG ALBA - will have the opportunity to work across Gaelic platforms such as BBC ALBA and BBC Radio nan Gàidheal. 
In doing so, the candidate will have the chance to gain experience in many of the departments providing content to the channel, including children’s, news-gathering, factual and sport.

Scottish Fuels Regional Manager Donald Mackay and Stornoway Depot Manager Angus Maclennan were delighted to deliver a defibrillator machine to Rev Calum I Macleod and Church Officer Donald Stewart of Back Free Church on Thursday, April 28th.
The vital life-saving machine was donated by Scottish Fuels, who work with the Oliver King Foundation to provide defibrillators and training in a bid to raise awareness of Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome (SADS).

The Crofting Counties face "an astonishing assault on crofting by the crofting regulator itself, which recently launched a campaign against grazings committees resulting in the sacking at least two of them," says Patrick Krause, chief executive of the Scottish Crofting Federation.

Both incidents have taken place on Lewis but the implications are far reaching, he says.

In the Upper Coll case, "the commission made an unprecedented demand for five years of audited accounts, though there had been no indication of financial shenanigans. Whatever is actually behind their decision, it is a staggeringly clumsy exercise in public relations.

 

Alzheimer Scotland Lewis and Harris AGM

Tuesday 31st May 2016 at 7pm-9pm

Grianan Centre, Recreation Room, West View Grove, Stornoway. 

New members are currently needed and will be warmly welcomed. Please come along to support us with our work. We need you!!

(Tea/Coffee on Arrival at 7pm)

For more information please contact:

Lewis and Harris Dementia Resource Centre, 18 Bells Road, Stornoway.     01851 70 2123

Staff at CalMac's customer operations centre are on a crash learning course to reach out to more Gaelic speakers through social media.
Six volunteers from the customer team in Gourock are going through a Gaelic beginners course to enable them to start posting service update tweets bilingually.
The team, who are doing the course in their spare time, have reached the level of doing National 4 exams which, they are hoping to sit officially next year.
More than 90% of Scots Gaelic speakers live in the areas CalMac serves.

SNP candidate for Na h-Eileanan an Iar, Alasdair Allan, met on Friday with members of Upper Coll Common Grazings Committee to hear about their concerns over the recent decision of the Crofting Commission to remove the committee from office. 

Alasdair Allan has also met with members of the former Mangersta Grazings Committee regarding their removal from office by the Commission late last year.

Another Lewis crofting village has called for an inquiry into the Crofting Commission after rulings which, it says,  threaten the  "entire system of crofting agriculture".

The Mangersta grazings committee has been dismissed by the Crofting Commission -  for allegedly failing to make payments to a tenant who has claimed a personal share of grants secured by the village over a 15 year period.

In recent days there have been a series of protests about the dismissal of Upper Coll Grazings Committee - coming from the Scottish Crofting Federation and from local politicians.

Màiri Matheson with the Best Radio Sports 2016 award.

BBC Radio nan Gàidheal has been celebrating a double success after winning two awards at the Celtic Media Festival 2016 which was held in Dungarvan near Waterford and which came to a close last weekend.

BUSINESS GATEWAY WORKSHOPS & ONE TO ONE ADVICE SESSIONS

The following workshops have been arranged for May and June in Stornoway:

Understanding Pricing for Profit        Monday 9 May 1.30pm - 4.30pm Comhairle Offices
Implementing Pricing for Profit Tuesday 10 May 1.30pm - 4.30pm Comhairle Offices
Using Digital Photos for Business Promotion Thursday 12 May      9.30am - 12.30pm        Comhairle Offices
Digital Marketing with the Cloud Tuesday 17 May 1.30pm - 4.30pm Highlands & Islands Enterprise
Business Planning and Market Research Friday 27 May 9.30am - 12.30pm Comhairle Offices
Accounting and Record Keeping Monday 30 May 9.30am - 12.30pm Comhairle Offfices
Marketing for Business Friday 3 June 9.30am - 12.30pm Comhairle Offices
Branding, Packaging, Retail, Off Island Selling   Monday 13 June  9.30am - 12.30pm Highlands & Islands Enterprise

We will also be holding the following one-to-one advice sessions, which can be delivered via Skype
for those unable to attend in person:

Marketing & Cloud - Friday 20 May 
Accounts and Finance - Monday 30 May 
Word and Excel for Business - Wednesday 1 June 
HR and Management - Monday 6 June
 
To book a place on any of the workshops, or to arrange a one-to-one appointment, please contact the Business
Gateway office on 01851 822775 orThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Fiona Harvey, Cancer Research; Catherine Macleod; Joan Stewart; Kay Mackay; and Trudy Stammer, Cancer Research UK

Volunteers from the Cancer Research UK Isle of Lewis Committee visited the Beatson Institute for Cancer Research last weekend to see the world-class research that the money raised on the Isle of Lewis is funding.
With the support of the local community, the Isle of Lewis Committee raised over £75,000 for Cancer Research UK in 2015. Kay Mackay, Joan Stewart and Catherine Macleod all attended Cancer Research UK’s supporter day where they had the chance to meet some of the scientists behind the breakthroughs. They heard about groundbreaking work on new leukaemia treatments being carried out in Edinburgh and the recent advances in pancreatic cancer research in Glasgow.

 

Cherry Campbell has delighted viewers in her role as Katie Morag.

Already multi-award winning, including a few BAFTAS, the Cbeebies TV series Katie Morag has scooped another – this time from across the Atlantic – as it was announced yesterday (Tuesday, April 26th) as a recipient of a 2016 Peabody 30 Award.

The American-based Peabody Awards were established in the 1940s as a radio equivalent to the Pulitzer Prize, and have since grown steadily to recognise excellence in a wide range of electronic media.

Only around 25 awards are presented each year from over 1,000 global entries, and to win a Peabody, a programme must receive the unanimous approval of all sixteen Peabody Board members.

Young fundraisers pictured with Karen MacDonald, community fundraiser for Alzheimer Scotland Lewis and Harris

A group of young pupils from The Nicolson Institute are busy raising funds for Alzheimer Scotland Lewis and Harris.  The group which includes Ishbel Macaulay, Jessica Macaulay, Rachael Smith, Katie Morrison, Andrew Macinnes, Angus Macphail and Jonny Henderson are planning to walk the West Highland Way, 96 miles from Milngavie to Fort William, during 5th-12th August this year and collect sponsors to raise money and awareness.

The group have already raised over £1300 with a recent bagpack and through their JustGiving page.  The group are raising money towards supporting community activities such as the Monthly Peer Support Walking Group who they spent time with last month. 

Katie said: “We are really looking forward to doing the walk and to raise money and awareness for such a great charity.  It is going to be a challenge for us but will be so worth it when we will be able to see the money helping people in our communities. 

“In March, we joined in with the Dementia walk and met some of the people that our money will be helping.  It was amazing to meet people that we will be helping and knowing that our help means so much to them.  Many thanks to everyone who has helped and supported us so far!"

Service Manager Marion MacInnes said: “We have been so impressed with this group of young people and their fundraising activities.  They are organised, mature and committed to their goals.  They are real credit to their parents and their school”.

To support the group's fundraising activities please follow the link.

 

 

 

Another cold night is in store, with temperatures on many roads across the Highlands and Islands falling below freezing, according to the Met Office.

Wintry showers will continue to feed in from the north, bringing an ice risk to any untreated surfaces across northern Scotland, especially over higher ground.

Higher routes in particular may also see some snow accumulating, with perhaps as much as 5-10 cm on the northern Grampians above 200m elevation but localised 1-3 cm even at low levels away from north-facing coasts.

SNP candidate for Na h-Eileanan an Iar, Alasdair Allan, has described the next Parliament as an opportunity for “legislation to pass real power to island communities”.

Commenting on the SNP’s manifesto commitment to an Islands Bill, Alasdair Allan said: “The Scottish Government has worked closely with the Comhairle and other island councils to ensure that, if re-elected, an SNP government can now legislate on this issue.

Politicians and crofting law experts have commented on the crofting conflict centred on Upper Coll.

Scottish Labour’s candidate for Na h-Eileanan an Iar, Rhoda Grant, has backed calls for a full inquiry into the workings of the Crofting Commission and the reinstatement of the local Grazings Committee.

In a letter to the Commission’s Chief Executive, Catriona MacLean, Mrs Grant states that the Commission’s actions in Upper Coll run counter to local democracy and adds: "It is my understanding that this committee has carried out the wishes and instructions of the Commission and complied with all requirements, so in my view they should not have been removed from post".

Regional airport operator HIAL has handled more passengers than ever but the number of passengers through Stornoway Airport plummeted, according to latest figures for the last financial year.

The airport group, which operates 11 airports, handled 1,437,625 passengers in 2015/16, up by more than 6000 on the previous year.

Inverness Airport, the busiest in the group, added more than 13,000 passengers during the year.  Smaller island airports such as Tiree and Barra – this year celebrating its 80th anniversary - enjoyed strong growth, with passenger numbers up 12% and 10.7% respectively.  Dundee, where Flybe is about to launch a new Amsterdam service, also performed well.

Scotland’s fishing industry is ‘at the mercy of a lottery of London priorities’, said Isles SNP MP Angus MacNeil this week, as a proposal to support skippers to crew their boats was rejected by the UK Fisheries Minister.

Mr MacNeil and other MPs met with James Brokenshire MP at the end of last year to press the case for Scottish fishing vessels facing crew shortages to be allowed to recruit workers from outside the European Economic Area (EEA).

The plan would allow employers in the Scottish and Northern Irish fishing industries to access, on a quota-limited basis, temporary labour from outside the EEA.

This year Scottish Rural Action is launching possibly the biggest ever conversation held in Scotland about the issues that matter most to rural communities.

The Scottish Rural Parliament’s Manifesto will be a statement of collective ambitions and the actions that are needed to ensure these ambitions are realised for rural communities. Events are taking place all over Scotland and you can get involved by attending an event, holding your own event or just by responding online.

Confirmed events in Harris and Lewis are taking place as follows:

Monday 2nd May 2016 from 6-8.30pm at Tarbert Community Hall, Pier Road.

Tuesday 26th May 2016 from 6-8.30pm at Bayhead Bridge Centre, Stornoway.

All events will start with an update from Scottish Rural Action on their activities since the 2014 event, a whistle-stop tour of how rural policy has changed and the chance to have a really good natter about the issues that you want to talk about.

 

For more information and to book please contact Vanessa Halhead This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Isle of Harris Mountain Festival: 3rd-10th September 

Lewis Carnival: 6th August

Lochs Agricultural Show: 23rd July

Hebridean Celtic Festival: 13th-16th July

Hebridean Maritime Festival: 12th-16th July

Harris Tweed Festival: 2nd July - 13th November

Ness Gala Day: 25th June

Point Show: 16th July

Uig Gala Day: 2nd July

This is a list if the dates we've confirmed so far! If you're organising a show, let us know the date and we'll add it to our list! Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.