Local News for Wednesday 11th October 2017

Cold-call tax scam warning
A cold calling scam, claiming to be calling from the tax office, could be fooling residents, according to Trading Standards officers. The caller claims to be from the HMRC and warns that you have underpaid Income tax by £900, with two notifications already sent by post. Imminent court action is threatened and in some cases the caller has asked for payment to be made by money transfer or by purchasing gift cards. A Trading Standards spokesperson said: "Clearly we are concerned that this scam can cause distress and anxiety for elderly or vulnerable residents as the caller sounds official and depicts the matter as serious and urgent. As with all cold calls we warn that you should not give personal details or banking information over the phone to unverified callers.

Read more: Local News for Wednesday 11th October 2017

Local News for Tuesday 10th October 2017

Big swim triumph for Colin
Stornoway open water swimmer Colin S Macleod has completed his latest, and toughest, sea challenge, coming ashore at Ullapool at 7.30pm on Sunday to the sound of pipes and cheers from supporters. Colin and Norman Todd from Ullapool swam from Achlochan by Achiltibuie to Ullapool – 14 miles of cold Highland seas including the length of Loch Broom – a swim that hasn't been done before in autumn cold seas. The swim was meant to highlight the potential for wild swimming and to support the Living Seas Project, which carries out beach cleans and conserves and promotes north west Highlands sealife. The duo, who admitted they had ‘never been so cold’, came ashore in the dark but were greeted by a good crowd on the beach at Ullapool. Colin later had to get aboard the freight crossing on the MV Loch Seaforth to be back in Stornoway in time for work at 9am yesterday. They’ve raised more than three times the amount they aimed for, with £2,865 given via JustGiving, all of which will be donated to highland 'Dolphin Snorkellers' – a project that teaches kids how to snorkel and takes them out into the sea to see marine life first-hand.

Read more: Local News for Tuesday 10th October 2017

Local News for Monday 9th October 2017

Lifeboat launched to creel-tangled vessel
Stornoway RNLI lifeboat was launched at 3 o’clock on Saturday afternoon to the aid of the locally-registered fishing vessel Siarach III, which had called in for help after becoming tangled in creels off the Lochs shore. The Siarach was about 10 miles south of Stornoway and was towed back in by the RNLI crew, who were back on station by 6pm.

Read more: Local News for Monday 9th October 2017

Local News for Friday 6th October 2017

New threat to Black Pudding brand
Brexit is creating a new threat to the protected name status of Scottish food products including Stornoway Black Pudding, according to Western Isles MSP Alasdair Allan, who is demanding that the UK government protect Scottish produce in all future trade deals. He’s responding to news that UK Government negotiations left out Scottish products from the EU-Canada trade deal and from EU trade deals with Japan and Mexico. Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Connectivity Fergus Ewing has written to Michael Gove to seek assurances, although he did not receive an answer to a similar letter to Mr Gove’s predecessor, Andrea Leadsom, on the same issue. Dr Allan said: “Throughout the entire Brexit process, the UK Government has repeatedly failed to stand up for Scotland’s interests. Here in the Western Isles, we produce some iconic food and drink brands which are consumed across the world. They must recognise the importance, and the reach across the globe, that these iconic brands gives places like the Western Isles.”

Read more: Local News for Friday 6th October 2017

Local News for Thursday 5th October 2017

Comhairle wants more women
Comhairle nan Eilean Siar wants to see more women involved in decision making processes, and have set out steps to address gender inequality. The move follows the last Local Government election, when the islands became the only area in Scotland to have no women elected. This week the Policy and Resources Committee agreed to appoint women onto Human Resources Panels, and female representatives to each of the Comhairle's Member/Officer Working Groups. Comhairle Leader, Roddie Mackay, said: "These steps will go some way to ensuring that there is increased female representation in the Comhairle's HR and decision making processes." The Committee also decided to continue to look at how political representation of women and young people can be increased.

Read more: Local News for Thursday 5th October 2017