Local News for Tuesday 6th September 2016
Emergency Tug decision ‘will not rest’
The Maritime and Coastguard Agency has ruled out a second emergency towing vessel based in Scotland, it was announced yesterday. The decision’s been greeted with dismay in the Western Isles, after a 1500 signature petition was presented and politicians of all parties emphasised the role a second tug would have in protecting West Coast waters. Na h-Eileanan an Iar MSP Alasdair Allan said: "If the oil rig going aground in Lewis does not illustrate to the UK government the dangers of not having any emergency towing vessel available on the west coast, I don’t know what will. It is deeply disappointing that reports are that the MCA have again ruled out reinstating this vessel. However inexplicable, it seems they are content with the idea that one vessel can answer incidents anywhere on Scotland’s vast coastline. This matter will not rest".
College staff strike
Members of the union UNISON will be on strike today at Lews Castle College, as part of a nationwide further education strike for fair pay. The union said that courses would cease, nurseries be closed and students be turned away from colleges, although the extent of the action in Stornoway was not clear. Chris Greenshields, Chair of UNISON Scotland’s further education committee, said: “UNISON members in further education will reluctantly withdraw their labour, fed up being treated as second class citizens and the value of their contribution to the sector demeaned. We have been offered an annual pay rise which is about half that which the same employers thought fair and reasonable, and affordable, for teaching staff. We are simply asking for fair pay.”
St Kilda swimmer ‘superhero’
St Kilda swimmer Colin Macleod and his family had a superhero’s weekend, after he was named as the TalkTalk superhero for Stornoway in their 2016 staff awards. Colin was invited to join other company superheroes for a VIP staff night at London’s Kensington Roof Gardens – dining with directors and enjoying the evening as honoured guests. To add to the weekend’s excitement, Colin later met up with his wife Donna and daughter Ciara at TalkTalk’s annual great getaway in Derbyshire, where Ciara’s painting won the prize in her age-group, and the overall best in show award – beating crafts, baking and art in all age groups. Ciara received her prizes from Great British Bake-Off presenter Mel Giedroyc.