Local News for Thursday 24th November 2016

Gravir deaths ‘tragic accident’
Police have issued a new statement after concluding investigations into the deaths of a couple in Gravir, South Lochs last Friday. They say that their full investigation into the circumstances confirms that Morag MacMillan, aged 67 and Donald MacMillan, aged 73, were tragic, but not suspicious. Detective Inspector Richard Baird said: "The tragic and untimely deaths of Mr and Mrs MacMillan have understandably shaken the local and wider communities of the Western Isles and our sympathies extend to everyone who knew the popular and highly respected couple. Officers would like to thank members of the local community for their support and co-operation during the investigation."  Reports have been submitted to the Procurator Fiscal.

New routes follow Loganair flight from Flybe
Loganair have followed up an announcement that they will be taking back control of their flights instead of operating on behalf of Flybe, with the launch of new and additional routes serving the islands from next year. On Monday the company unveiled a new livery together with news that it will operate flights in its own right from September next year, after 24 years of operating under franchise agreements with other airlines. Yesterday they added additional flight news, including more seats between Stornoway and Glasgow, thanks to introduction of a larger plane to service the route, and new flights between Stornoway and Manchester, where customers stay on the same plane as they currently do when travelling to Edinburgh via Inverness. Managing Director Jonathan Hinkles said:  “Our summer schedule is a statement of intent as we announce our transition from the Flybe franchise arrangements to become an independent operator from 1st September.   As Scotland’s Airline, Loganair is strengthening its network and adding more seats and more flights than ever before.”
Frustration on ‘remote island wind’
Frustration was expressed at a meeting in the Scottish Parliament this week, as Western Isles MSP Alasdair Allan and Comhairle leader Angus Campbell discussed the UK government’s plans for wind power in the islands with Minister Paul Wheelhouse MSP. The UK Government recently announced it’s to exclude “Remote Island Wind” from its immediate plans on renewable energy. Dr Allan said the meeting was a good opportunity to discuss the frustration shared by all over the UK Government’s treatment of the islands’ wind potential. He said: “I was utterly disappointed when the Secretary of State for Energy announced his decision a few weeks ago to renege on previous commitments the UK Government had given to the islands. The Western Isles have the potential to be the renewable-sector powerhouse for the entire country, helping us to meet our climate change obligations and removing the need for much more dirty and expensive sources of power.  There are hundreds of millions of pounds worth of investment waiting to be unlocked from renewables projects across the isles. However, the UK Government appears to be ignoring all the evidence put to them on this subject.”