Local News for Thursday 13th July 2017

Three album deal for Lewis singer
Lewis singer-songwriter Colin Macleod is today signing a three album recording contract with the international music giant BMG, who also have Blondie, Nickelback and the Charlatans among the artists on their books. Now Colin, from Swordale in Point, is set to see his own career soar from the island life he treasures. Tomorrow sees the release of a new single and EP, Old Fire, which takes inspiration from island landscapes. Colin, who records as C Macleod, said: “The Old Fire EP and the album are all songs from home, taking stories I’d heard over the years from the island and turning them into new songs, from a modern perspective.” Despite the big deal, Colin’s not going to abandon his roots, his band includes fellow islanders Murdo Mackenzie on drums, Scott Macleod on guitar and Colin’s brother Callum on bass. And he’s also home next week in and around the Hebridean Celtic Festival, where he’ll be playing alongside other Lewis music-makers.

New island leaders confirm future plans
The new leaders of the three Scottish island councils have reaffirmed their commitment to a proposed Islands Bill now passing through the Scottish Parliament. Orkney’s James Stockan, Shetland leader Cecil Smith and Cllr Roddie Mackay, leader of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, got together for the first time in Stornoway this week at a meeting of the Islands Strategic Group chaired by Humza Yousaf, Minister for Transport and the Islands. Cllr MacKay, said: "The discussions marked the continuation of productive political engagement between the Councils and the Scottish Government. We are committed to fully utilizing our islands' resources and to see the islands thrive and contribute to national wellbeing throughout the 21st century in Scotland. The measures in the Islands Bill underpin this aim.”

Buenos Aires choir aims for Mod
A Gaelic choir from Buenos Aires is asking for support as they aim to take part in the Royal National Mod in Dunoon in 2018. The 10 singers, most of Scottish descent, sing Gaelic songs old and new as a way of keeping Gaelic language and music traditions alive in South America. Their leader, Roberto Dominguez, said: “We are the only Gaelic choir in Latin America, and after 15 years sharing our music locally, it would be a great pleasure for us to be able to travel to Scotland and share our music with you, especially when our founder's family came to Argentina from Rothesay. As you can imagine, we will have to face high travel expenses and so we would be really grateful if some people could help us providing for lodging and/or local transport expenses for 10 people. In return, we would be willing to sing at any other venues you see fit while we are staying there.” Anyone who can help out the choir can find out more about them and get in touch via their website, a link is on the Isles FM Facebook page. ww.coroceolraidh.com.ar

New call for foster carers
Comhairle nan Eilean Siar have made a renewed appeal for foster carers, willing to support children and young people who are unable to remain in the care of their birth families. Children from babies to teenagers need places to stay, whether for short weekend breaks or a more permanent home. Foster carers can come from all walks of life and backgrounds including people who have children and those who don't. Anyone can be a foster carer as long as they have the qualities, skills and experience required to look after children in care. A Comhairle spokesman said: “We know that the main motivation for becoming a foster carer is not about the pay, but we recognise the valuable contribution that foster carers make and we reflect this in how we pay and support our carers. If you are looking for a job that will give you satisfaction and competitive professional fees and allowances, then fostering with us could be for you." To find out more you can call the fostering and adoption team on 01851 822748 or visit the Comhairle’s website and look for fostering.