Local News for Monday 9th January 2017

High winds and ferries
Forecast high winds today and later this week are set to cause disruption to the ferry network, although wind speeds are not predicted to reach the strength of the Christmas storms. Services between Oban and Castlebay are cancelled today, as are afternoon services between Tarbert, Lochmaddy and Uig, and between Mallaig, Oban and Lochboisdale, while other routes remain subject to disruption. There’ll be updates later today on possible additional sailings for Barra and South Uist tomorrow, with more wild weather promised for later in the week. We will update on all routes this morning as we receive notification from CalMac.

Bus links under fire
Meanwhile bus links for foot passengers travelling to Ullapool are once again under fire, with Highlands and Islands MSP Rhoda Grant saying she’s had no answer from Transport Minister Humza Yousaf, about the chaos people in Stornoway face getting connecting buses to and from Ullapool. Mrs Grant said “This matter is raised with me time and again and is always exacerbated at holiday time.  More services need to be put on, particularly during these periods, to give people access to and from the islands.  People today are pleading on Western Isles Noticeboard for lifts in cars.  This is totally unacceptable and the Transport Minister, who is also the Islands Minister, needs to sort this out. He has not yet responded to my last plea on this and I will be contacting him again.It is just not good enough.”
New voluntary sector jobs
Three new posts have been created in suppost of the voluntary sector in Lewis, following recent announcements on grants. The jobs, which are all full-time, are based at Staran CIC – where there’s a role for a substance misuse support worker – and at Volunteering Hebrides, where two project co-ordinators are needed for Befriending Lewis. Application for all the posts closes on January 16th and details can be had through the JobCentre, or from Staran or Befriending Lewis.
Edinburgh runners
A squad of junior and senior runners from Stornoway Running and Athletics Club were in Edinburgh at the weekend, joining the North of Scotland team for the inter-district cross-country championships, with races run at all ages and levels, including internationals. After an excellent work-out against top-notch competition, runners now look to the second in the winter series of island Cross-Country races, which is open to all ages next Saturday, with entry forms available through schools and at Lewis Sports Centre this week.