Local News for Monday 9th May 2016

‘Reinstate grazings committee’ call
There’s been a call for the Crofting Commission to reinstate all members of the Mangersta grazings committee, after the former tenant whose activities led to the disbandment of the committee withdrew all of his financial claims. The un-named individual had sought a share of grants paid to the village  while he was an absentee tenant between 1994 and 2012. This weekend he wrote to the former Grazings Clerk, saying that he was withdrawing  “any and all claims … with immediate effect”. The former committee’s legal adviser, Brian Inkster, has now written to the Crofting Commission informing them of the development and asking them to reinstate the Grazings Committee and clerk without delay.  The committee themselves issued a statement saying: “We welcome the withdrawal of these demands and sincerely hope it will bring all of this to an end. We repeat our call for an inquiry into the workings of the Crofting Commission and particularly the guidance they have sent out, in response to events in Mangersta and Upper Coll, on financial management by Grazings Committees”.

Police news
Police are asking for information after a man was assaulted at a property on Gibson Gardens in Stornoway at 2pm on Saturday. The 57-year-old man was taken to hospital and treated for facial injuries. Police ask anyone who saw or heard anything, or who knows anything about the assault, to get in touch using the non-emergency number 101.
Five drivers were charged with speeding offences over the weekend, during a series of speed-checks set up as part of a national anti-speed campaign. Speed-checks in Coll, Point and Stornoway over the weekend led to two drivers being issued with fixed penalties and three being reported to the Procurator Fiscal.
Search for missing fisherman
Volunteer crews renewed the search this weekend for Paul Alliston, skipper of the FV Louisa, which sank off Mingulay last month. The Barra RNLI lifeboat crew and Coastguard volunteer teams from Barra, Lochboisdale, Griminish and Benbecula searched coastal areas of Barra and South Uist throughout Saturday and Sunday. Paul Alliston was one of four crew aboard the Louisa when she sank, while at anchor, in the early hours of April 9th. Two men died in the incident and there was one survivor, but Paul Alliston has been missing since the sinking.

Fire crews at road accident
Firefighters used hydraulic cutting equipment to free a man from a car on Thursday afternoon, following a collision on the A857 near Galson. Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) crews from Ness, Shawbost and Stornoway fire stations responded to the emergency call and helped to free the man, who was then taken to hospital by ambulance. The accident happened around 5:40pm on Thursday. All the firefighters were members of the retained duty system (RDS), ‘on call’ in the communities where they live and work. SFRS is currently recruiting retained firefighters and anyone who is interested in providing this vital emergency service is encouraged to apply.

Fundraising concert
A concert aimed at raising funds for Bethesda Care Home and Hospice brings a new meaning to the term ‘big band’ this week. The Open Day Rotation fundraiser will see up to 15 artists on stage at once, led by Willie Campbell, at An Lanntair on Friday 13th May. Modelled this time on their sell-out Hogmanay night, the concert will feature covers of popular classics as well as original material by Willie and friends. A brass and strings section expands the band, and musicians including fiddler Jane Hepburn, Mòd gold medallists Duncan Mackinnon and Ceitlin Smith, and local talent Spanish and Eleanor Nicolson will all make it a night to remember. Tickets cost £15, with all profits going to Bethesda, and are available now from the An Lanntair box office.

Shinty festival
Camanachd Leòdhais saw their first home action of the season on Saturday, with opponents Kilmallie coming away with a nil-5 win. The youth festival that preceded the game saw more than twenty juniors take part in a morning of shinty activity and over £200 was raised for the MFV Louisa Crew family appeal. Lewis' next game will take place at Shawbost on Saturday 21st May against Caberfeidh. Lewis Ladies, meanwhile, lie 6th in the Women’s Development league of nine teams,  only league leaders Lochaber have won more games. The next development day sees Lewis blones hosting the mainland teams in June.
League football matches on Friday evening saw Point and Westside continue winning form, Point beating Carloway on their own turf, 1-3 and Westside coming away from Stornoway United with the honours, nil-7. Ness also had an away win, 1-3 at Lochs and Back and Aths kept the honours even with a 2-all draw. Tonight’s league games see Aths hosting Point, Westside away to Ness, Lochs at home to United and Carloway at Back, all kick-offs at 7pm.
And Stornoway Rugby Club were saved from relegation on Saturday when Ross Sutherland met Lochaber, the result set to decide Stornoway’s fate. The cliffhanger game eventually saw Ross Sutherland deny Lochaber the points by the tightest margin, 21-20, meaning Lochaber go down and Stornoway stay up in the BT Caledonia North Division two for next season, goal difference deciding the outcome.