Local News for Friday 16th December 2016

Contractors challenge Trading Standards warning
A Trading Standards warning about doorstep sellers issued by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar has drawn a robust response from the company mentioned in the release. The company, Union Technical Services, was mentioned by name with warnings about poor quality workmanship installing new heating systems. In response, UTS director Owen Coyle said: “Much of the facts stated by Trading Standards are unfounded and the matter has been passed over to lawyers. We are proud of our work on the Isle of Lewis and have not received any customer complaint against Union Technical Services (UTS) staff or any work carried out by our highly qualified engineers. From January 2017 we will be using local labour to ensure as much benefit is drawn into the local area as possible. Anyone who is unsure of the scheme or would like more information should get in touch or come to our meet and greet day which is being organised for the second week in January in Stornoway.”

Helicopter hits the 500 milestone
The HM Coastguard search and rescue (SAR) helicopter based in Stornoway and operated by Bristow Helicopters Ltd has passed the milestone of 500 missions flown. Bristow took over running the service on behalf of HM Coastguard in 2013, having previously operated from 1983 until 2007. Chief pilot Captain Ben Clarke said: “Completing over 500 missions over the past three years is a great honour and thinking about what has been involved in many of those is humbling. We fully understand the responsibility of our life saving role here and take immense pride in the service we provide. There are 30 people employed at Stornoway SAR including pilots, technical crewmen, engineers and support staff and it’s the entire team that makes each tasking possible. We’re all very happy to call this beautiful island home and look forward to being of continued value to the people of the north west of Scotland in the years to come.”

Carloway on a mission for community
The community of Carloway is making a bid to put new heart into the village, after a study concluded that the closure of the school in 2013 ‘took the heart out’ of their community. The consultation identified what services and facilities local residents and business felt were missing in Carloway, with the old school now set to be developed into a shop and cafe where folk can meet and socialise. This need was particularly voiced by the elderly who suffer isolation. The Comhairle are selling the school to the Carloway Community Association , to be transformed into a valuable community resource. As part of the plan the Community Association are advertising a post for a project delivery manager, to start work early in the new year on the transformation of existing buildings into an exciting blend of retail, catering, cultural and historical resources to draw visitors and residents alike into Carloway. To find out more about the job and the plans, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Swimmers make their mark with challenge
Swimmers at Lewis Sports Centre have made their mark with a charity challenge set up to support Aspire, the national charity that provides practical help to people who have been paralysed by Spinal Cord Injury. This year’s fundraiser was a Channel Swim Challenge where individuals signed up to swim 22 miles over 12 weeks – the width of the English Channel. A lifeguard team from Lewis Sports Centre and 15 individual swimmers signed up and between them made it to second place on the leader board out of all the UK swimming centres, for the overall distance they swam. They also came 20th for the amount raised for the charity and Lewis lifeguard Grant Macleod finished seventh overall for his overall distance.