Local News for Tuesday 17th January 2017

Linda was no spy – Norgroves
The parents of charity aid worker Linda Norgrove have reportedly hit back at ‘ludicrous’ claims that their daughter was an MI6 agent working in Afghanistan, after an American website reported that was the real reason for her presence in the country. Linda died in October 2010 after an attempt to liberate her from kidnappers. She was working in the country as an aid-worker with the US agency DAI. Linda’s parents, John and Lorna Norgrove, who live in Uig, run a charity dedicated to her memory which raises funds for education and training, especially for women, in Afghanistan. Several national media sources have reported last week’s claims by the US website, in response to which John and Linda Norgrove issued a statement describing their daughter as ‘highly-principled’ and as someone who worked tirelessly to improve the lives of others. They said the claims of her involvement with MI6 were ‘ludicrous and hurtful’.

Charity walker reaches Lewis
Charity walker Alex Ellis-Roswell has reached Lewis on his marathon trek north and south through the Western Isles – and says he is bowled over by the landscape and by the generosity and support of island people. Alex set off from Castlebay on January 3rd, and is midway through his self-imposed challenge to walk the entire coastline of the British Isles and Ireland, to raise funds for the RNLI. At the weekend, Alex crossed the Clisham and met Stornoway coastguard volunteers waiting for him at the top with coffee and sandwiches. Yesterday he got to Leurbost, and he now heads off towards Callanish and up the Westside, before returning via the infamous ‘bog slog’ between Ness and Tolsta, hoping to reach Stornoway early next week. Alex said: “I've never walked somewhere so remote and yet felt so safe and surrounded by good people. Thanks everyone”.
Devolve Crown Estate powers – Comhairle
Comhairle nan Eilean Siar wants the Scottish Government to devolve Crown Estate powers to local authorities, and wants islanders to lend their support to the case. as set out in the recommendations of the Smith Commission. In June 2014 Scottish Government committed to pass on 100% of net revenues from Crown Estate assets to island areas. But Comhairle leader Cllr Angius Campbell said: “For us, the management of our local marine assets is as important as revenues, as our goal is to utilise our natural resources, develop our economy and stem the flow of young people from our areas. The seabed around our islands is as much ours as the land on which we live. Across all parties we hear of the need to empower communities and have decision making closer to the people. Further devolution of Crown Estate fits these principles perfectly and indeed is a perfect signal as to how serious we are as a country to get on with that agenda. I would encourage all islanders to respond to the consultation and give a clear message that they want and expect these rights." The Scottish Government's consultation on Crown Estate proposals which ends on 29th March. The Consultation can be found on the Scottish Government website and a link on the Isles FM Facebook page.  https://consult.scotland.gov.uk/crown-estate-strategy-unit/long-term-management-of-the-crown-estate