Local News for Wednesday 11th May 2016

Calling all pipers
The deadline for pipers wishing to compete in October’s Royal National Mòd is closer than you think, on Friday 8th July. The Mòd’s to be held in the Western Isles for the sixth time this year, and junior and senior piping competitions will take place at Sgoil Lionacleit in Benbecula on Saturday 15th October. Pauline Craib, secretary for the Uist and Barra Piping group said, “Uist has a proud piping history and there is a wealth of talented young pipers throughout the islands, so it is fitting that the Mòd 2016 piping competitions return here.” Both senior and juniors entries for any piping competitions must be submitted to An Comunn Gàidhealach by Friday 8th July 2016 and entries can be submitted online at: www.ancomunn.co.uk An entry form can also be downloaded from the website and entered by post.

Grant news from Comhairle
Comhairle nan Eilean Siar has announced grants totalling £281,500 from its Community Capital Grant Fund (CCGF) to support four community economic development projects. The grants will go to Great Bernera Community Development Trust, Keose Glebe Estate, North Harris Trust and Urras na Tursachan. At Huisinish in the Isle of Harris, the funding will help redevelop toilets, changing facilities and showers for campers and an indoor viewing area with interpretation, from which the North Harris Trust will base its outdoor activities. Great Bernera Community Development Trust proposed the installation of a pontoon for visiting yachts and local boats. At Keose Glebe in Lochs, the funding will enable the community to purchase the crofting estate and foreshore on behalf of the community and Urras na Tursachan in Calanais hopes to redevelop and extend the Calanais Visitor Centre, to include a larger 'Story of the Stones' exhibition and higher standard facilities.

Crofters’ ‘no confidence’ in Commission
Crofters from deposed grazings committees and other areas passed a vote of no confidence in the Crofting Commission at a recent meeting in Ullapool, and want to speak to the new crofting minister whenever he or she is appointed. The Scottish Crofting Federation said the behaviour of the Commission was causing ‘widespread resentment and bewilderment in the crofting communities’. Two Lewis grazings committees have been dismissed by the Crofting Commission, and the SCF believes there may be other sacked grazings committees.