Local News for Monday 15th May 2017

‘Business as usual’ in Isles health services
The international crisis of computer software which affected NHS Western Isles, along with hundreds of other organisations nationwide, will not have any effect on patient services today, a spokesman has said. Services at Western Isles Hospital and with GP practices through the islands will be operating as usual today, and it’s not anticipated that there will be any changes to clinics or appointments. The malicious software, which locked down computers in 12 out of 14 Scottish health boards, has been isolated, according to Scottish health secretary Shona Robison. An NHS Western Isles spokesman said: “The only problem we experienced was in transferring x-rays images to other hospitals, but this did not affect the delivery of our services here. Everything is running as we would expect and it will be business as usual on Monday.”

Read more: Local News for Monday 15th May 2017

Local News Update for Friday 12th May 2017

Candidates announced for General Election
Five candidates will contest the na h-Eileanan an Iar constituency in next month’s General Election, with the full list announced soon after the nomination deadline closed yesterday evening. In addition to Scottish Labour candidate Ealasaid MacDonald and SNP candidate Angus Brendan MacNeil, both already announced, it’s now known that there will be Scottish Conservative and Unionist, Scottish Christian Party and Scottish Liberal Democrat candidates contesting the constituency. Scottish Christian candidate John Cormack, chair of the party, will be fighting his third election in the Western Isles. Mr Cormack, who is based in Glasgow, says that 10% of church attenders voted for him at the last contest in 2015, and that Christians needed to examine their conscience to be sure what they were endorsing when casting a vote. Standing for the Scottish Conservatives and Unionists is Daniel McCroskrie of Ayr, who works as an office manager to Highlands and Islands MSP Donald Cameron. He was previously Scottish Head of Ground Campaign for Vote Leave during the EU referendum, and says that if he is elected, he will ensure that Western Isles voters are not ‘sold short’ during the Brexit process. The Scottish Liberal Democrat candidate is James Paterson of Edinburgh.

Read more: Local News Update for Friday 12th May 2017

Local News for Friday 12th May 2017

Rising star for HebCelt
A rising young Scottish star has been confirmed as the latest artist to take the stage at this summer’s Hebridean Celtic Festival. Singer songwriter Tamzene, from Cromarty in the Black Isles, was one of the winners of the 2017 CalMac Culture Music contest, run by the ferry company, who are once again major sponsors of HebCelt this year. Like other entrants, Tamzene submitted a YouTube video to the competition website with the chance to win a performance slot at one of Scotland’s summer festivals She will now play at HebCelt along with headliners like The Waterboys, Imelda May, Dougie MacLean and Lucy Spraggan. Tamzene said: “I’m really looking forward to seeing Stornoway, and being part of another great Scottish festival. I hope to be playing to some familiar faces too.” Last month her debut single, ‘Lullaby’, was released by Belladrum Records. Tamzene was the first artist signed to the label, set up by the Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival. Caroline Maclennan, HebCelt’s director, said: “Tamzene is a real talent and someone we are very excited about bringing to HebCelt. Providing a platform for young musicians like Tamzene fits well with our philosophy to encourage and promote emerging artists.”

Read more: Local News for Friday 12th May 2017

Local News for Thursday 11th May 2017

Lecturers’ third day of strike
College lecturers at Lews Castle College will be on the picket line from 7.30am until 12.30pm today, as part of a national dispute between the EIS Further Education Lecturers Association and employers’ association Colleges Scotland. This is the third separate day of strike action, with an escalation to two days a week possible if the dispute is not resolved by next week. Further Education Lecturers in colleges across Scotland are currently embarking on strike action over the refusal of College Management to honour a deal on pay and conditions that was reached in March 2016. Lecturers are taking strike action following a 96% vote in favour in a recent ballot. Up to 30 people have been at the Lews Castle College picket line during previous days of action, and the next projected days of action are next Tuesday and Wednesday.

Read more: Local News for Thursday 11th May 2017

Local News for Wednesday 10th May 2017

Charlie Barleys latest in award finals
After the success of North Harbour Bistro in the weekend’s Scottish Food Awards, yesterday brought news that Charles Macleod of Stornoway has been named as one of eight Scottish finalists in a new award scheme launched by foodie magazine Delicious. Charlie Barley’s Stornoway black pudding is named alongside grass-fed beef from Fife and raspberry gin from Kirriemuir as a possible Scottish winner, with regional and national finalists to be judged in London in July by some of the top names in the food industry.  Delicious magazine’s editor Karen Barnes said: “We want to celebrate producers and artisans who are committed to quality and heritage. We aim to give a voice to the quiet heroes of the food world“.

Read more: Local News for Wednesday 10th May 2017