Local News for Thursday 5th October 2017

Comhairle wants more women
Comhairle nan Eilean Siar wants to see more women involved in decision making processes, and have set out steps to address gender inequality. The move follows the last Local Government election, when the islands became the only area in Scotland to have no women elected. This week the Policy and Resources Committee agreed to appoint women onto Human Resources Panels, and female representatives to each of the Comhairle's Member/Officer Working Groups. Comhairle Leader, Roddie Mackay, said: "These steps will go some way to ensuring that there is increased female representation in the Comhairle's HR and decision making processes." The Committee also decided to continue to look at how political representation of women and young people can be increased.

New water safety group for Westside
A new group is to be set up to discuss maritime safety matters and how they affect the Westside of Lewis. The decision was reached at a recent public meeting hosted by Carloway Community Association, asking for views on a possible RNLI Lifeboat station for the district. Discussion was led by Angus Maciver, Stornoway Coastguard Operations Manager, Jill Hepburn, Area Lifesaving Manager for the RNLI and Kenny MacLeod, RNLI Coastal Safety Officer for the Hebrides, who described the range of services the RNLI provide from rescue lifeboats, to beach safety signage, and advice on all maritime safety issues. Don Mackay, Chairman of Carloway Community Association said: “This was a very productive meeting, where many maritime matters of real concern were aired. We look forward to the establishment of the West Side Water Safety Group where these, and other pressing maritime safety issues, can be carried forward with the RNLI.”

Police checks show road safety issues
Western Isles police detected 32 road safety offences during a week of action in which 70 vehicles were stopped on island roads. The majority of faults during last week’s checks related to vehicle condition, but goods vehicles were also issued with prohibitions for loading and weight offences. Police Scotland said that people in the Western Isles had highlighted road safety as a concern. Divisional Road Policing Inspector Gus Stewart said: "It is easy to ignore the risks when we are driving and pretend that bad things only happen to other people. It doesn't matter how long you've been driving, how safe you think your driving is, the reality is people are hurt every day in collisions. This is particularly relevant as the days become shorter and the temperatures drop with the notoriously unpredictable weather in the Highlands and Islands. Road users should ensure that their vehicles are given a winter check and are properly maintained. For cyclists, visibility is a key issue and they should ensure that they can be seen. Joggers and pedestrians are encouraged to wear high visibility garments and think carefully about the routes chosen.”

Stag on world stage
Stornoway-based Stag Bakeries are taking new ranges to the world's largest trade fair for food and beverages, in Cologne, Germany this weekend. It’s the company’s international debut at the trade fair Anuga and they intend to introduce the world to their award-winning range of savoury biscuits, in particular their acclaimed seaweed range. Stag will also be promoting their new Sprouting Grains biscuits which use carefully selected grains that are allowed to sprout before being milled into flour. This natural process changes the proteins within the grain making it highly nutritious and easier to digest. Head of Marketing Leanne Muldowney said, "Scottish provenance and the use of local ingredients will undoubtedly have great appeal to international buyers. Anuga will provide the perfect platform to introduce Stag to the rest of the world and we are looking forward to extending the brand internationally."