Local News for Friday 21st April 2017

Volunteers urged to step forward for community radio
Today’s 24-hour broadcast on Isles FM gives would-be volunteers an ideal opportunity to step forward and support the island’s community radio station, which is run entirely by volunteers. New presenters are always needed, especially for key shows such as Duisg! and Drivetime, but there’s also a need for behind-the-scenes support from people willing to answer phones, welcome visitors, and help with all the tasks which keep the station running. Anyone interested is welcome to call in at any time today at 50 Seaforth Road in Stornoway.
Today’s marathon broadcast starts with Duisg, and at 10am Crazy Carl will be with you for three hours of great music, chat and celebration giveaways. Between 1 and 2pm Uilleam Macleod brings you Friday Floor-fillers to get you in the mood for a great weekend, and later programmes include a special Gaelic hour with Maggie Smith at 6pm, the favourite Rock and Ceilidh show with Uilleam between 9pm and 1am and Iain Maciver and Stella presenting their Overnight Success from 1 to 4am. From 4am Allan Smithyman entertains and we round the clock with Carl at 7am to welcome in your Saturday.
MP questions Election blow to renewables
The snap General Election called by Prime Minister Theresa May could have an impact on progress for renewable energy from the islands, according to Western Isles MP Angus MacNeil. Mr MacNeil has written to Greg Clark MP, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, to ask for an urgent update following his visit to Stornoway just two weeks ago.  Mr MacNeil said: “At this meeting the Secretary of State was unable to confirm when a decision would be made as to whether the islands will be included in the next round of Contract for Difference allocations. I am concerned that this snap General Election on 8th June will further delay progress.  Many years have been spent on trying to move forward on island renewables and I have written to Mr Clark to ask him what the implications of the forthcoming General Election will have on island renewables.”

Leanne Fund thanks Co-op customers
The Leanne Fund has given a huge thank you to Co-op customers in Stornoway who have helped raise more than £12,000 for the charity. The island-based charity is the foremost Cystic Fibrosis (CF) charity in Scotland, working with individuals affected by CF and their families across the Highlands, Islands and Grampian. The Co-op’s Local Community Fund has allowed shoppers to support the charity while doing the weekly shop with 1% of what they spent on Co-op branded products going to the charity. The cash which will fund a brand new service – ‘On the Move’ – a programme to support young people with CF who are moving away to College or University or setting up home independently for the first time. Chrisetta Mitchell, Development Manager for The Leanne Fund said: “We are so grateful to the Co-op and its Members who have raised such a phenomenal amount of money which will make such a difference to the lives of young people with CF.” The Co-op Community Fund also helped other local charities, the Western Isles Association for Mental Health and the Bridge Community Centre. The three shared a total of more than £38,000. Steven Cooper, store manager of Co-op’s Macaulay Road store, said: “We’re a close knit community and our customers and members have relished the opportunity to support such a wide range of local causes whilst doing their everyday shopping.”
Gallipoli commemoration
A memorial service is to be held next week for the men of the Ross mountain battery, a Stornoway unit who fought and died on the Gallipoli peninsula in the First World War. The Ross mountain battery was one of the first units to land and one of the last to leave in the action, with huge loss of life. The service will be held at 7.30 in the evening of next Tuesday, the anniversary of the landing at Gallipoli, next to the dedicated memorial at the Drill Hall on Church Street. A new plaque will be unveiled by Colin Scott Mackenzie and all are most welcome to attend. If anyone requires more details speak to Sgt Tommy Stewart of the Army Reserves on 07759 100350.
MSP backs Iolaire memorial
Meanwhile plans to commemorate the centenary of the sinking of the First World War troop ship Iolaire on the rocks at Holm have won praise from Highlands and Islands MSP Rhoda Grant, who says she is wholeheartedly backing the initiative to commission a sculpture to commemorate the anniversary. Centenary commemorations announced this week include the sculpture commission, and a special exhibition at Museum nan Eilean across the New Year of 2018/19. Mrs Grant said “As I was growing up I can remember my grandfather, who like a lot of island men fought in both World Wars, talking about the tragic events and the devastation felt by many families throughout the Island. He would never talk about the war itself or look for praise, which is the Island way, but he held those involved very much dear to him and would openly speak about the events and the impact of that fateful night. It always catches my breath when the name of the Iolaire is mentioned as it brings such immediate sadness. It is so heart-warming to find that people have not forgotten about this and that they are as keen to mark the sacrifice made by those who were returning home on a New Year’s morning after fighting for our freedom.”