Local News for Wednesday 4th January 2017

Robson Green names Luskentyre the tops
Actor Robson Green is the latest celebrity to have been bowled over by the Western Isles, visiting for his new series, Tales from the Coast, which begins on ITV later this month. Green’s experiences included landing and taking off from the beach airstrip at Barra, having a try at weaving, and tackling a local strongman at the ancient sport of ‘lazy stick’. He also listened to Isles FM in the car, and fell in love with Luskentyre beach, which he described as ‘just extraordinary’.

Barra flag
A national flag for the Isle of Barra could become a reality, after a meeting saw local support and recognition from a national authority on flags. Islanders in Barra have already been using the flag – which shows a white cross on a green background – to identify local products, as bunting at local events and on car stickers. Now flag expert Phillip Tibbetts of the Flag Institiute says the design enjoys enough local support to make an approach for official recognition the next step. To become official, the flag has to be approved by the Lyon Court, which is the Scottish authority on heraldry, coats of arms and flags. Isles MSP Alasdair Allan, who hosted the Barra meeting, said: "Ultimately, it's up to the people of Barra themselves what they want to do next. The feeling at the meeting was that recognition of the flag would help boost the island's marketing efforts as well as celebrate its unique identity."
Crown Estate devolution moves closer
A 12-week consultation on devolved management of the Crown Estate in Scotland was announced today by Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Roseanna Cunningham. Last year the Scotland Act 2016 introduced a new era for the management of Crown assets in Scotland, valued at £271.8 million and generating £14 million revenue last financial year. An interim management corporation, Crown Estate Scotland (Interim Management) will take on management of the Crown Estate from April this year. Ms Cunningham said: “Control over the management and resources of the Crown Estate in Scotland should rest with the people of Scotland and this is a genuine opportunity to change the fabric of Scottish Society. Good management of our land, marine environment and other natural resources is essential for Scotland’s future prosperity.” The Scottish Government is taking a phased approach on devolution of the management of the Crown Estate. The consultation launched today will inform the second phase of devolution and will run until 29 March Details can be found on the Scottish Government website.