Local News for Monday 30th October 2017

Fallen walker lifted to safety
Dramatic rescue footage was released by UK Coastguard at the weekend of the rescue on Saturday of an injured rock climber from underneath Neist Point Lighthouse on the Isle of Skye. The Stornoway search and rescue helicopter filmed the rescue of the woman, a rock climber in her early 20s, who fell and injured her leg. Portree, Dunvegan and Kyle Coastguard Rescue Teams, Leverburgh All Weather Lifeboat and the Stornoway Coastguard helicopter were all sent to the scene and the young climber was winched into the helicopter and taken to Stornoway Airport where she was met by the Scottish Ambulance Service for onward transfer to the Western Isles Hospital.

Roddy is community hero
Stornoway paramedic Roddy Macdonald has been named Flybe’s first Community Hero, after a public vote handed him the accolade. Votes for Roddy named his work as a member of Scottish Ambulance teams, his training and mentoring for First Responders in various parts of the islands, and his role as deputy station officer for Stornoway Coastguard Rescue Team, who said: “Everyone at Stornoway Coastguard Rescue Team are both delighted and proud that Roddy has been unveiled as Flybe's Stornoway Community Hero. This comes as no surprise to any of our team members due to his dedication and support to the Rescue Team and his tireless work throughout the community.” Roddy himself said he was ‘gobsmacked’ at the announcement.

Public apology after vote mistake
A public apology has been issued from Back Football and Recreation Club after bad feeling arose during a recent open vote for funding. The M&S community energy fund had two island contenders – Back FRC and Taigh Dhonnchaidh in Ness. Project leader at Back James Macarthur said at the weekend: “I would like to take this opportunity to apologise to all other project entries and especially Taigh Dhonnchaidh from Ness. In an earlier note where I highlighted that the voting process may be flawed and was open to irregular voting patterns and abuse, some project leaders took this as a direct accusation against their individual projects. It was never my intention to create or generate offence especially to Taigh Dhonnchaidh with regards to this statement. Whilst I have caused this unpleasant experience, I am able to see where I went wrong and again can only apologise.”

Flybe and Eastern Airways merge
Yesterday saw Eastern Airways’ scheduled flights begin operating under the Flybe brand at the start of a new five-year franchise partnership. All of Eastern Airways’ routes – including services from Stornoway – will now operate with Flybe’s BE flight codes. Eastern Airways celebrates its 20th anniversary this year and has been operating flights from Stornoway Airport to Aberdeen since 2006. The service has come under renewed criticism this week because of timetabling issues which affect workers travelling offshore from Stornoway via Aberdeen.


Eco-lighting up for award
A project to install low energy lighting in homes across Point has been named as a finalist in this year’s Climate Challenge Fund awards. The LED Energy Communities project, run jointly by Point and Sandwick Development Trust and Tighean Innse Gall, involves installing energy-saving LED lights in homes in the Point and Sandwick area, as well as further measures to help save energy. It was shortlisted in the Awards Panel Choice category of the prestigious awards. The winners will be announced at a ceremony at Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh on Wednesday. Under the project, Point and Sandwick residents are eligible for 14 free LED lightbulbs, and for energy performance surveys which could lead to further energy-saving measures such as wall insulation installed in their homes.

Angus Macleod memorial lecture goes tech
This year’s Angus Macleod memorial lecture is going high-tech, with the live event simultaneously streamed to local venues around the islands. The talk, by BBC Scotland director Donalda MacKinnon, will look at the role of the BBC in an ever-changing global communications industry. The main event is being held at e-Sgoil on Francis Street, Stornoway, at 7.30pm on Thursday and will be broadcast live to Sgoil na Pàirc, Callanish Visitor Centre, Sgoil Lìonail and Sabhal Mòr Ostaig in Skye. There’s also to be a livestream so that people can tune in to the lecture at home from their own computer. Donalda MacKinnon said: “It’s a real honour to be invited to give this year’s Angus Macleod memorial lecture. In what feels like rapidly shifting times, the environment in which BBC Scotland exists has fundamentally altered on all fronts - social, political, and technological. That presents a media marketplace with a mix of challenges and opportunities and it will be a genuine privilege to be in Stornoway to share more of our vision for the coming months.”

Call to talk on dental services
A new model for dental care in the Uists will be discussed at three public engagement events during November, with a proposal to close existing clinics in Lochmaddy and Liniclate. The clinic in Lochboisdale has already closed because of concerns about the quality of the building. All dental staff would be brought into a central hub within Uist and Barra Hospital but Ron Culley, Chief Officer of the Integrated Joint Board, said that an outreach service to disabled people and frail older people would also give a more responsive arrangement by providing home visits. He said: "We believe that there are numerous additional benefits to this model, and we want to use this engagement process to describe those to the public.” The meetings will be in Eriskay on November 21st, Benbecula on the afternoon of the 23rd and North Uist in the evening of the same day.

Football Times cup denied
Lewis and Harris Football Club were denied the chance to bring home the Football Times cup, after a spirited match against Orkney on Saturday at King George V Park. Orkney left it late into the game for their first score at 70 minutes, before which there had been chances and excellent saves at both ends. A second goal in injury time clinched it for Orkney, with the final score 2-nil to the northern team.