Local News for Thursday 10th November 2016
Lewis descendant is US President-elect
Islanders woke up yesterday to news that a Lewis descendant is to be the next President of the United States, as Republican candidate Donald Trump convincingly defeated his Democrat opponent, Hillary Clinton, in the race for the White House. Mr Trump is the son of a Lewis emigrant, Mary Anne Macleod Trump, who left the village of Tong to work in the United States. Yesterday’s news repeatedly focused on Mr Trump’s Scottish connections, including not only his Western Isles heritage but business interests in mainland Scotland. Mr Trump visited Lewis in 2008, posing for pictures outside the family home in Tong. His sister, senior circuit judge Maryanne Trump Barry, has been a major benefactor to the Bethesda Hospice and Care Home. In 2015, the Stornoway Gazette reported Mr Trump’s first moves towards the presidency under the headline ‘Lewis linked tycoon could be next US president’.
UK government ‘buries bad news’ for islands
Islands MP Angus MacNeil has accused the UK Government of ‘burying bad news’ by choosing yesterday to announce that Remote Island Wind will not be included in the next round negotiations on Contracts for Difference. The so-called CfDs help to level out price differences in transporting energy from remote locations to the mainland grid, and leaving islands wind energy out of the negotiations was described as an 'epic kick in the teeth’ for the Scottish islands, denying support to island renewables. Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Greg Clark MP, chose the turmoil yesterday to announce news that, although the UK Government had provisional approval from the European Union for the scheme, they had never pursued formal approval despite repeated requests from Scotland's islands and the Scottish Government. Mr MacNeil said: “I am staggered by this mis-governance from the UK Government which is a real kick in the teeth to the Scottish Islands. Renewable energy from the Scottish Islands would be cheaper than offshore, the UK Government has not chosen the best value for money option and will instead procure more expensive energy sources. The only glimmer of hope is that Greg Clark promised me that he will visit the Outer Hebrides and will launch an inquiry into the feasibility of Remote Island Wind. I hope this will not just be a calming exercise to dissipate people’s righteous indignation, on what is a perfect day for burying bad news.”
Loch Seaforth back on Minch route
The MV Loch Seaforth is due to return to service after her annual refit on Merseyside, with normal timetables due to be resumed today. The service between Stornoway and Ullapool has been shared by MV Isle of Lewis and MV Hebridean Isles, which has taken the freight sailings, while the Loch Seaforth has been away.