Local News for Monday 28th May 2018

‘Utter dismay’ at Westminster inaction on fishing
Western Isles MP Angus Brendan MacNeil has expressed ‘utter dismay’ after leaving the Home Office with no good news for the West coast fishing industry last week. He met with UK Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes MP to urge reintroduction of a scheme which allows non-European workers to fill labour gaps in the fishing fleet, as fishing vessels are left tied up for lack of crew. After the meeting Mr MacNeil said the Home Office seemed ‘impervious to any concern’ and would soon be left with only EU fishing boats in the North West of Scotland. He said: “Having met our sixth Immigration Minister in eight years, it is like talking to a brick wall at the Home Office. We’re back to making the case which we made to five previous ministers. This is despite having Michael Gove, the DEFRA Cabinet Secretary on side. I will be contacting him again to ask for his intervention in this matter. Channel 4 News covered this story showing the difficulty and the acute near-emergency we have in fishing in the Hebrides. Everyone on the West Coast wants to see people come from the Philippines and Ghana to work on our fishing boats. They are decent and hard-working people who are constantly in touch with fishing processors and skippers to see if they can come back. This summer we will not have any help on our fishing boats, the Conservative-run Home Office are certainly not choosing the economy as we will know to our cost and peril on the West Coast of Scotland.

Read more: Local News for Monday 28th May 2018

Local News for Friday 25th May 2018

Heatwave forecast for Western Isles
Temperatures are set to build from tomorrow, with a long period of sunny weather forecast to take temperatures into the 20s at least until Tuesday. The Met Office says it will be dry with long sunny spells through the coming days and becoming very warm or hot, especially in the west.

Read more: Local News for Friday 25th May 2018

Local News for Thursday 24th May 2018

Leverburgh’s farewell to Lifeboat
Leverburgh’s first full-time lifeboat left the pier for the last time yesterday, to a fond farewell from the volunteer crew. The Royal Thames, RNLB 12-36, was allocated to Leverburgh RNLI lifeboat station after they began permanent service in April 2013, following a trial period of 11 months. The Mersey class vessel has now been replaced by a purpose-built Shannon class lifeboat, RNLB Stella and Humfrey Berkeley, which came into service on May 2nd. The Royal Thames sailed away from Leverburgh pier yesterday morning and the team posted: “A bit of a sad day here in Leverburgh … 12-36 has served us well here in Leverburgh and has taken our crew back safely every time from some pretty nasty shouts.”

Read more: Local News for Thursday 24th May 2018

Local News for Wednesday 23rd May 2018

Barra unites in quiet remembrance
The island of Barra was united in quiet remembrance of 14-year-old Eilidh Macleod yesterday. Eilidh died one year ago in the Manchester bombing, which was commemorated in Manchester at a service attended by Eilidh’s parents, Roddy and Marion Macleod. Laura’s friend Laura Macintyre was seriously injured and continues to recover from her injuries. Former Castlebay School head Annag Maclean told BBC news that the support of other islands had helped the people of Barra, adding: “As for our own community, we did what Barra always does, we pulled together around the families involved."

Read more: Local News for Wednesday 23rd May 2018

Local News for Tuesday 22nd May 2018

Bike counter starts tally
A Danish-style digital cycle counter installed in Stornoway last week is generating social media debate, with many lamenting the ‘waste of money’ while others comment on its accuracy. The counter, fixed on Bayhead to count cycles as they leave the town centre via that route, is described as the first of its kind and has been installed by Sustrans with grant funding from the Scottish Government. The high-visibility digital display will allow people to see the total number of cyclists that have passed the counter on that day and over the course of the past year. There are 14 across Scotland, which relay information to a master display displaying the counts outside the Scottish Government's Victoria Quay office in Leith, Edinburgh. The network is part of a cycling action plan which is aimed at encouraging people to make 10% of all trips by bike by 2020. Sustrans Scotland has worked with Comhairle nan Eilean Siar to install the cycle counter in Stornoway. Danish cycle counter experts, Falco, supplied and oversaw their installation.

Read more: Local News for Tuesday 22nd May 2018