Local News for Monday 5th November 2018

SNP MSP Alasdair Allan recently joined Minister for Children and Young People Maree Todd MSP on a visit to Pairc Playgroup in South Lochs.

Pairc Playgroup have been operating an extended hours project in partnership with HIE and Muaitheabhal Trust offering wrap around childcare.

The Playgroup have been awarded an ‘Excellent’ grading by the Care Inspectorate for their care of the children and awarded a ‘Green Flag’ from Keep Scotland Beautiful for their Eco work with children.

Commenting, Alasdair Allan MSP said: ‘Thanks to the staff at Pairc Playgroup and to the children for letting us interrupt their play time!

‘It was really useful to hear about the impact extending childcare hours in South Lochs has had, and learning about how this has enabled parents to go either to work or into further education. It underlines the potential of the Scottish Government’s pledge to double the number of hours of free early years education and childcare to 30 hours a week for vulnerable 2 year olds and all 3 and 4 year olds by 2021.’

Read more: Local News for Monday 5th November 2018

Local News for Friday 2nd November 2018

The Western Isles Lifestyle Lottery have announced funding raised up until end December 2018 by Supporters in the Ness & Westside Area will be awarded to the Committee of Airidhantuim Community Council to upgrade a local tourist attraction.

Sited in the village of Ballantrushal on the west side of the Island, Clach an Trushal, or the "Stone of Compassion", is said to be the tallest standing stone in Scotland.

The 5,000 year old stone, a popular Tourist attraction for coach tours, stands approximately 19 ft tall, and is approx. 6.0 ft wide.

A parking area is situated close by for the many coach tours that visit However, the stone itself and its surrounding area are in need of a facelift.
Airidhantuim Community Council aim to have a descriptive plaque made for the stone and improve the surrounding area as well as upgrading the pathway leading to it.

Residents in the Ness & Westside Area can find out more information about this project online at www.westernisleslottery.co.uk

Read more: Local News for Friday 2nd November 2018

Local News for Thursday 1st November 2018

Na h-Eileanan an Iar MP Angus MacNeil attended the parliamentary launch of CSW’s toolkit on freedom of religion or belief (FoRB) recently.
The event saw the launch of humans rights organisation CSW’s toolkit on FoRB.

The newly-published toolkit recognises the important role of MPs and Peers in advocating for FoRB in the global context where more than three-quarters of the world’s population live in countries with severe restrictions on their religious freedom.

Mr MacNeil said: ‘I was pleased to attend CSW’s event and collect a copy of their toolkit on FoRB alongside receiving up to date briefings on the situation of FoRB around the world from CSW’s expert advocates.

‘I am committed to standing up for this fundamental human right, and urge the UK Government to do all it can to promote, protect and enable the enjoyment of FoRB for every religious community around the world without discrimination’.

Read more: Local News for Thursday 1st November 2018

Local News for Wednesday 31st October 2018

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar is hosting Community Engagement Events throughout November focussing on a radical programme of Service Redesign.
Comhairle Leader, Roddie Mackay, said:
‘Since 2010 the Comhairle’s funding has been cut by 17% (the highest of any council in Scotland) and around 250 local authority jobs have been lost in our community.
‘We have committed to making savings of nearly £10m through service redesign but the fact is that even more may be required. I and other Members do not believe that we can just cut services. We believe we have to take a more imaginative approach.
‘Officers and members have discussed a process of community engagement and empowerment aimed at identifying those issues that are important to local communities, in addition to investigating ways that could reduce the demand for some services, identify other services that could be more efficiently provided by communities, and agree which services could be changed.
The Comhairle’s website has a dedicated page with detailed information on Service Redesign - https://www.cne-siar.gov.uk/conversation
Also the Community Engagement Event dates and venues are shown on Isles FM Facebook page.

Read more: Local News for Wednesday 31st October 2018

Local News for Tuesday 30th October 2018

Police Scotland is developing an initiative to recruit more Special Constables in the Highland and Islands.
It is being set up to make it easier for people from remote and rural areas to apply and train to become Special Constables.

Training would be delivered locally both face to face with officers and online, allowing students to access materials related to their role as Special Constables.

Deputy Chief Constable Will Kerr, of local policing, said: ‘Volunteering has an extremely positive impact on people and we know the benefits this can bring between local officers and local communities.
‘Very often travelling to the Scottish Police College in Fife for training is simply not practical or appealing for an applicant in areas such as Skye or Stornoway’.

Each area commander will be responsible for the recruitment in their area with the assistance of the Highland and Islands Special Constables coordinator.

All new N Division recruits will be recruited and trained via the new local approach late 2018/early 2019.

Read more: Local News for Tuesday 30th October 2018