Local News for Wednesday 30th March 2016

Emergency communication centres plan
Better communication between emergency co-ordinators and the public is the aim of a new agreement to use Fire Stations as communication hubs during emergencies. Fire stations in the Western Isles will open their doors during power and communication outages, with the Western Isles emergency co-ordinating group using it as a base to provide emergency communications, information to the community, and a location for welfare vehicles. Local Senior Officer for the Western Isles, Billy Wilson, said: “This plan formalises already close working relationships within our communities and it is hoped that this additional tool for response will prove useful in decision-making when faced with challenging situations.” The plan’s been welcomed by SSEPD and other agencies, who will all be involved in future emergencies such as experienced during the storms of winter 2014 to 15.

Read more: Local News for Wednesday 30th March 2016

Local News for Tuesday 29th March 2016

Horse rescued from bog
A horse which escaped from its field in Tong on Sunday afternoon had to be rescued from a bog by fire and rescue teams. Stornoway Coastguard Rescue Team were called to Tong to provide safety cover and advice for people searching for a missing horse near an area of sinking sands. After the horse was located in a bog, they remained while Scottish Fire and Rescue recovered the animal, which was described yesterday by police as ‘home, safe and well’.  Coastguard teams stood down once the horse was safely extracted and people had dispersed.

Read more: Local News for Tuesday 29th March 2016

Local News for Monday 28th March 2016

Police appeal on attack
Police in Stornoway are appealing for information following a serious assault that happened in the Kenneth Street area at around 2:30am on Sunday. The assault happened outside the An Lanntair arts centre, where a 23-year-old man was assaulted by three men. One of the men was wearing a blue top. The victim suffered cuts to his face and was taken to Western Isles hospital where he was released after treatment. Anyone who witnessed the assault or who has information that could help police with enquiries is asked to call 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 if you wish to remain anonymous.

Read more: Local News for Monday 28th March 2016

Local News for Friday 25th March 2016

Inspection report shows work needed
Services for older people in the Western Isles need ‘significant improvement’ according to a report published this week by the Care Inspectorate and Healthcare Improvement Scotland. A joint inspection in April and June last year looked at how well the health and social work services partnership between NHS Western Isles and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar were working. This week’s report from the inspectors listed some positives, but also outlined crucial areas for improvement. Of nine key areas, inspectors rated only one as ‘good’ and five as ‘adequate’. Three indicators were evaluated as weak and the report contains twelve recommendations for improvement. The report comes just a few days ahead of new working arrangements under an Integrated Joint Board, which takes over the reins on health and social care from April 1st. They’ll be faced with addressing what the report called "important weaknesses” including delayed discharge from hospital and long waits for home care support or a place at a care home. Early diagnosis of dementia and support to carers also needed to be improved, but the report said front-line health and social work staff were well motivated and worked well together.

Read more: Local News for Friday 25th March 2016

Local News for Thursday 24th March 2016

Police advice on terrorism – be vigilant
Police Scotland has issued a general warning to travellers throughout Scotland, following terrorist attacks in Belgium this week. Assistant Chief Constable Ruaraidh Nicolson said: “Police Scotland is committed to ensuring all communities across the country are as safe as they can be and I would ask the public, especially around crowded places and transport hubs, to remain vigilant and alert, but not alarmed. If you suspect something is wrong, then report it to the police. There is no specific information which suggests Scotland is at risk of attack. However, the UK threat level remains at Severe and our communities are not immune from the threat posed by terrorists. I encourage people to go about their business as normal but remain vigilant.”

Read more: Local News for Thursday 24th March 2016