Local News for Friday 14th September 2018

LABOUR MSP RHODA GRANT RAISES MV LOCH SEAFORTH FUNDING
Highlands and Islands Labour MSP, Rhoda Grant raised the question of the funding deal struck by the Government and CMAL for the MV Loch Seaforth directly with the newly appointed Minister for Energy, Connectivity and the Islands, Paul Wheelhouse in the Scottish Parliament recently.
Mrs Grant asked the Minister, " To ask the Scottish Government whether it plans to investigate the financing of the Calmac vessel, MV Loch Seaforth, which is now owned by Lloyds Banking Group, after a lease deal was agreed at a reported cost to the public purse of £53 million. The Minister responded by saying a “tender process for a lease was undertaken by that Caledonian Maritime Assests Ltd” he went on to say “Audit Scotland did not raise anything of concern regarding the procurement of the MV Loch Seaforth. The Scottish Government therefore has no plans to investigate the financing of the MV Loch Seaforth.”
The MSP concluded, ‘This fight is far from over as funding, late ferry replacement, capacity, lifeline services, tourism and ordinary island life is being treated with no consideration whatsoever by this Government as the ageing threadbare fleet of CMAL fails to cope.’

Read more: Local News for Friday 14th September 2018

Local News for Thursday 13th September 2018

RUGBY CLUBS SUPPORT SUICIDE PREVENTION
September is officially Suicide Prevention Awareness Month and Stornoway Rugby Club (SRC) has joined forces with NHS Western Isles to tackle the stigma associated with suicide and raise awareness of local and national support groups.
The Club – both male and female teams – intend to fundraise for local mental health charities at forthcoming September & October games.
Chris Adams, a Winger for SRC, who also works as a local Ambulance Technician, said:
"Both local rugby teams want to highlight the importance of talking to someone, be it a family member, a friend, the Samaritans, or even a stranger. We want to get across the message that suicide is preventable and we encourage everyone to come along to the matches to show their support."
Members of the public are encouraged to attend the upcoming rugby games where the Club will also be wearing armbands depicting the colour of the mental health charity it is fundraising for that week. Charity wristbands will also be available for sale, as well as useful information on how individuals can help to reduce the stigma associated to suicide prevention.

Read more: Local News for Thursday 13th September 2018

Local News for Tuesday 11th September 2018

HOSPITAL TO USE VIDEO-LINK APPOINTMENTS WITH CONSULTANTS
The NHS Western Isles (NHSWI) Patient Centred Care Programme team are delighted with the success of the first video conferencing (VC) haematology patient appointment which took place in the newly established NHS ‘Near Me’ dedicated VC room at Western Isles Hospital recently.
NHS ‘Near Me’ was first pioneered by NHS Highland and is now a collaborative programme between NHS Highland and NHS Western Isles. It uses the very popular and robust ‘Attend Anywhere’ video conferencing system which has a virtual waiting room environment, making it as close to a traditional consultation as possible.
The new NHSWI service has been developed to provide health care as close as possible to patients’ homes by offering appointments with consultants and other specialists via video link.

Read more: Local News for Tuesday 11th September 2018

Local News for Monday 10th September 2018

TICKETS FOR IOLAIRE REMEMBERANCE EVENT OUT TODAY
The Council has issued a reminder that the public are able to reserve free tickets for the Iolaire Community Remembrance Event from 9am today, Monday 10th September 2018.
The event, hosted by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, will take place at 9:30pm on Monday 31st December 2018 in the Lewis Sports Centre, and is the civic event to mark the centenary of the Iolaire tragedy, featuring military and school band performances, poetry readings and songs, drama in addition to spiritual elements.
Norman A MacDonald, Chairman of the Iolaire Working Group, said:

Read more: Local News for Monday 10th September 2018

Local News for Friday 7th September 2018

STORNOWAY AIRPORT STAFF TO DO 135KM CHARITY CYCLE
There will be a whole lot of pedal power on the roads tomorrow Saturday 8th September when 18 Stornoway Airport Staff leave behind their usual modes of transport and take part in the Lighthouse2lighthouse 135 Km Charity cycle.
The Airport Staff, comprised of workers from the Firefighting, Air Traffic, Security and Rescue Helicopter departments will be doning the lycra and helmet before they attempt to cycle from Eilean Glas Lighthouse in Scalpay to the Butt of Lewis Lighthouse in 10 hours or under to try and raise £1,500 for Macmillan Cancer Support and Western Isles Cancer Care Initiative.

Read more: Local News for Friday 7th September 2018