Local News for Monday 25th April 2016

Upper Coll Grazings committee ‘sacked’
Members of a Lewis grazings committee have reportedly been ‘sacked’ by the Crofting Commission, in an unusual and extreme move. All eight crofters on the Upper Coll Grazings Committee have been relieved of their position after a long dispute over the management of communal moorland areas. The commission said the move came in response to complaints from shareholders in the Upper Coll Grazings. Interested parties will hear more from the Commission by letter, and there’s to be a meeting soon for shareholders to consider what the Commission called ‘a number of options’.

Election timetable gathers pace
Postal ballot papers for late-registering postal voters will be going out this week, with the latest date by which you should have received your pack this Thursday, April 28th . The final deadline for people seeking a proxy vote if they are unable to vote in person comes tomorrow, Tuesday April 26th at 5pm, although in genuine emergencies proxies can be applied for right up to the close of poll on Polling Day, next Thursday May 5th.
Police news
Police were called to Carinish in North Uist early on Saturday morning, where a 21-year-old man was detained and charged with domestic assault. He’s to appear in court from custody today.
Staff at Western Isles Hospital A&E department asked for Police help on Sunday at 1am, when a 37-year-old man was arrested and charged with a contravention of the Emergency Services Workers Act. He was released from custody when sober and is to be reported to the Procurator Fiscal.
A 20-year-old man was taken to Benbecula police station at 1am on Sunday after a complaint was received about his conduct from Slighe Ruaraidh Chaluim Rhuaraidh in South Uist. He was released when sober and will be reported to the Procurator Fiscal.
And Police are following a positive line of enquiry over an incident at Lochganvich in Lewis, where a man and a woman were assaulted around 1pm on Sunday.
Barra ferry back to normal
Ferry services between Oban and Castlebay are expected to be back to timetable today as the MV Isle of Lewis returns to service. Barra councillor Donald Manford described technical difficulties over recent weeks as ‘disappointing’.   Cllr Manford said: “The enormous service improvement brought about by the arrival of the MV Isle of Lewis in Castlebay was hugely welcomed; the first ever daily direct sailings with the ferry based on the island. While we accept that faults are sometimes inevitable, this will be the third season in succession that breakdowns have seriously hampered the island's ferry. In looking forward to the vessel’s imminent return I applaud the hard work of everyone involved and sincerely hope we can have a sustained period of trouble free sailing.”

There was another agonisingly close match for Lewis Camanachd away on the mainland on Saturday, where they dominated the pitch against Inverness in everything but goals. Inverness’s first half goal was matched in the 62nd minute by Paul Duke, but the score remained at 1 all for only two minutes, as nifty footwork took a second goal into the net for Inverness. Final score 2-1 to the hosts. Lewis now have a much-needed week’s rest before the first home game of the season in two weeks, with a youth team event early on the same day, Saturday May 7th.

North met South in Co-Op Cup football matches on Saturday, with Lewis teams taking the honours in three out of four matches. The exception was the match between Benbecula and Ness, which was 3-3 at full time, with Benbecula winning 5-4 on penalties. Elsewhere Barra lost home advantage and the match to Westside 1-4, Back beat Eriskay 3-1 and Lochs v North Uist was also all square at full time, 1-1, with Lochs getting the result 5-4 on penalties. Tonight’s matches in the league kick off at 6.30pm, Westside v Carloway and Aths v Lochs.

An Islands Select team featuring athletes from the Western Isles, Orkney and Shetland were in Dundee at the weekend, competing in the UK athletics young athletes league. Island Select under 17 combined team took an amazing top spot , beating Inverness into second place in the eight-team league. The under 13 and under 15 teams also had very close second places behind Inverness, where the next fixture will take place in a month’s time. 
The Scalpay 10k race returned on Saturday, with 26 runners in the field for the road race. First male veteran in was Stornoway’s Alastair Dunlop and the first woman Joanna Gillies, also of Stornoway. Overall winner was Angus Murray in a time of 41 minutes and 53 seconds.

Veteran Lewis runner Tony Robson completed his 40th marathon this weekend, finishing the London Marathon in a time of six hours, 12 minutes and 48 seconds, wearing Stornoway colours. There were five representatives of Stornoway Running and Athletics Club in the event, the fastest finisher Andy McMahon in 3:15:51 and also competing Hilary Heggie, Louise Henderson and John Munro.
And medals were also won by members of the Swim Western Isles team, who were in Inverness on Saturday, at the Inverness Swimming Club C Grade meet.