Local News for Monday 30th April 2018
Mosque to open May 11th
Stornoway’s new Mosque will officially open for Friday prayers on May 11th, becoming the fastest-built place of worship ever in the Western Isles. The formerly derelict store building on James Street was granted planning permission for conversion to a Mosque in September last year, but work was delayed as the small Muslim community, resident in the islands since 1945, did not have the resources to get the project under way. After a call from a friend in Lewis, Leeds businessman Aihtsham Rashid launched a crowd-funding appeal just one month ago, appealing for £50,000 to get the building fitted out and prepared for use. Donations are now approaching £90,000 and the appeal also led to volunteer workmen, materials and other donations both locally and internationally. Mr Rashid said “Humbled is not the word any more. I am speechless at the support from around the world.” Just four weeks after starting, the finishing touches now being put to the new building, which provides space for children’s activities, prayer and socialising including at weddings and funerals. The building will be opened to the public on Friday May 11th with food and celebrations after prayers, and in good time for the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan on the evening of May 15th.
Read more: Local News for Monday 30th April 2018
Local News for Friday 27th April 2018
Ferry problems ‘kicked into long grass’ - Comhairle
The Chairman of the Comhairle's Transportation and Infrastructure Committee has called for government intervention in the crisis over ferry services to the islands, claiming that Transport Scotland and CalMac Ferries Ltd have "kicked complaints into the long grass" in the hope that they may just go away. Cllr Uisdean Robertson referred Islands and Transport Minister Humza Yousaf MSP to a period of unprecedented disruption to ferry services across the Clyde and Hebrides network, with services cancelled and a warning from CalMac that more trouble will recur throughout the summer. The call comes as CalMac admitted the troubled vessel MV Clansman will have to return to dry dock for more technical repairs in June. CalMac were trying to reassure customers that, despite unavoidable disruption, passengers could trust their ferry journey to all 26 island destinations to run. Cllr Uisdean Robertson said, "I have personally been inundated over the last several weeks by a huge amount of complaints regarding the levels of service, the extent of disruption and the lack of effective communications by CalMac. The non-availability of a single vessel, the MV Clansman, has had wide ranging implications across the network. The lack of resilience and spare capacity in the fleet is unacceptable and must be dealt with by the Minister as a matter of urgency.”
Read more: Local News for Friday 27th April 2018