Local News for Wednesday 28th March 2018

Shiants project up for award
A conservation project which rid the Shiant islands of rats has been shortlisted for an international environmental award. The Shiant Isles Recovery project has been listed as one of seven finalists in the conservation category of the European Commission’s Natura 2000 awards for 2018. The RSPB, Scottish Natural Heritage and the owners of the Shiants, the Nicolson family, worked with volunteers over six months of winter to eradicate the rats, which had colonised the islands and threatened the future of numerous ground-nesting seabirds. The project has been described by the European Commission as: ‘a resounding success’. They said: “There have been no signs of rats on the island for 18 months. This project is an excellent example of meticulously planned conservation intervention, allowing an impressive conservation gain: the successful and sustainable recovery of the breeding populations of over 150,000 pairs of seabirds, including some 63,000 pairs of puffins.” Winners are being selected by public vote, and you can vote by following the link on our Facebook page before April 22nd. The winners of the award will be announced at a ceremony in Brussels in May. http://natura2000award-application.eu/finalist/3172

Read more: Local News for Wednesday 28th March 2018

Local News for Tuesday 27th March 2018

Emergency ferry drill in Tarbert today
The CalMac ferry MV Hebrides will be the centre of a buzz of intense activity in Tarbert harbour today, as CalMac tests emergency planning drills. The drill, codenamed Exercise Tarris, will involve police, coastguard, ambulance and fire services and will focus on an incident involving the ferry, which has been deployed specifically for the drill and will not be carrying any passengers during the exercise. There will be no disruption to the normal timetabled service. CalMac's Director of of Safety, Environment and Security, Louis de Wolff said: “An exercise of this kind allows us to put into practice our emergency plans in as real a life situation as we can possibly get. It allows us to identify any weaknesses we may have and gives us the chance to tighten up how we respond to an emergency, making an already very safe service even safer.” Publicity regarding the exercise is being posted on vessels and in both ports to keep passengers informed of what is happening.

Read more: Local News for Tuesday 27th March 2018

Local News for Monday 26th March 2018

Trust vote tomorrow
Stornoway Trust offices open at 8am tomorrow for people to vote in person at the Stornoway Trust election. 22 candidates are standing for five of the 10 Trustee positions, with contentious issues including Sunday opening of the Golf course, and issues around wind farms, driving a burst of interest in the available positions. The ballot is a postal ballot, but it is now too late to post voting slips, which will be counted at the London centre of Electoral Reform Services. Instead, votes can be cast in person between 8am and 8pm tomorrow at the Trust’s offices on Perceval Square.

Read more: Local News for Monday 26th March 2018

Local News for Friday 23rd March 2018

Respond quickly in Stornoway Trust vote
Residents of the Stornoway Trust area are being urged to vote as quickly as possible, when ballot packs in the forthcoming Trust election arrive today. The ballot papers are arriving by post, and are running late due to the unprecedented level of interest shown by candidates. 22 people are standing for just five available positions as trustee, with fiercely debated issues such as wind power and Sunday golf boosting the number of candidates. The most densely populated areas of Lewis are within the Stornoway Trust area, with all residents in Stornoway, Point, Broad Bay and parts of Lochs entitled to participate in the postal vote. The deadline to receive votes is on Tuesday March 27th, but with the unexpected interest in the positions, ballot papers took longer than usual to get printed. The packs arriving in the post today include all candidate statements, which the Stornoway Trust has printed and included in the envelope, although they are not legally obliged to do so. Trust factor Iain Maciver urged voters to read, vote and return the packs as soon as possible. If posted by Saturday, the votes should reach the Electoral Reform Services count centre in London in time. You can also vote in person at the Trust’s office in Perceval square between 8am and 8pm on Tuesday.

Read more: Local News for Friday 23rd March 2018

Local News for Thursday 22nd March 2018

Respond quickly in Stornoway Trust vote
Residents of the Stornoway Trust area are being urged to vote as quickly as possible, when ballot packs in the forthcoming Trust election arrive today. The ballot papers are arriving by post, and are running late due to the unprecedented level of interest shown by candidates. 22 people are standing for just five available positions as trustee, with fiercely debated issues such as wind power and Sunday golf boosting the number of candidates. The most densely populated areas of Lewis are within the Stornoway Trust area, with all residents in Stornoway, Point, Broad Bay and parts of Lochs entitled to participate in the postal vote. The deadline to receive votes is on Tuesday March 27th, but with the unexpected interest in the positions, ballot papers took longer than usual to get printed. The packs arriving in the post today include all candidate statements, which the Stornoway Trust has printed and included in the envelope, although they are not legally obliged to do so. Trust factor Iain Maciver urged voters to read, vote and return the packs as soon as possible. If posted by Saturday, the votes should reach the Electoral Reform Services count centre in London in time. You can also vote in person at the Trust’s office in Perceval square between 8am and 8pm on Tuesday.

Read more: Local News for Thursday 22nd March 2018