Local News for Friday 13th May 2016

Allan sworn in
Isles MSP Alasdair Allan was sworn in for his third term representing the Western Isles at Holyrood yesterday, taking the oath, as before, in Gaelic. Along with his SNP colleagues, Dr Allan wore the white rose of Scotland, worn by SNP members as they are sworn in at Holyrood since the Scottish Parliament was reconvened in 1999. Dr Allan said: “It’s good to be back at work again, and there is no shortage of things to do in my in tray. I am looking forward to getting back to work representing the isles in Holyrood and helping to take forward the SNP’s ambitious manifesto for a fairer and more equal Scotland.” Dr Allan was one of several MSPs to take the oath in Gaelic – there were also oaths taken in Scots, Doric and Urdu, which Dr Allan said reflected the diversity of the Parliament and of Scotland itself.

Lewis musician album accolade
Lewis musician Iain Morrison has received new praise for his ground-breaking compositions, as his latest album joins the long-list for the Scottish Album of the Year award. Iain, of Back, released the album Eas in July last year, and yesterday it joined a list of 20 albums to be considered for the prestigious award, alongside work by Lau, Rachel Sermanni, Chvrches and Jarlath Henderson. Eas, released on Iain’s own Peat Fire Smoke label is an album of new songs and music inspired by piobaireachd (the classical music of the pipes, also known as ceol mor).  This was the music of Iain’s upbringing, having been taught by his father, Pipe Major Iain Morrison, who is one of the leading voices in the world of piobaireachd.
Salar go to the shows
The re-launched Salar Smokehouse, which produces smoked salmon from Loch Carnan in South Uist, has booked its place at gourmet food shows after a successful first phase of getting under way. The smokehouse was re-opened by former employees after going out of business, and has since been named runner-up in the Rural Enterprise Awards announced in March. Salar will be at the Fine Food Show in Harrogate in June, and on May 28th at the Highland and Moray Food and Drink Festival in Inverness.
Cycle challenge date announced
The date of this year’s Hebridean Cycle Challenge has been confirmed as Saturday 18th June, when cyclists and walkers get together to raise money for the Andrew Macleod Memorial Fund. The event includes a competitive road cycle, mountain bike and running race, and a non-competitive charity cycle for casual cyclists. For safety reasons numbers of participants have to be confirmed well before the race day, so there’s a deadline of June 6th for entries to be completed. Find out more by going to www.hebrideancyclechallenge.co.uk