Local News for Friday 5th May 2017

Counting for councillors this morning
Votes are being counted at Lewis Sports Centre from 9am this morning in the local election, which will see 31 councillors elected as the new representatives on Comhairle nan Eilean Siar. For new councillors, training in the role begins on Tuesday next week, and the first round of committees and full council meetings, at which the new council leader and committee chairs will be elected, are the following week. We’ll carry the results of the election between 4.30pm and 5pm this afternoon as part of Behind the Headlines, with Annie Delin.

Psalmboat trip to Edinburgh
A group from Lochs are in Edinburgh today to give a presentation about the unique island tradition of the Psalmboat at Tradfest. Tradfest is a twelve-day showcase of traditional arts, this year celebrating Scotland’s Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology  with a focus on Local Cultures and The People’s Heritage. Film and live presentations will explain the Psalmboat project, which was first established in Lochs in 2008. The project focuses on the old custom of psalm singing on village boats, as members of the congregation returned to villages in Lochs across Loch Erisort after church services. Film shown today in Edinburgh will show psalm-singing re-enactments in Falmadair traditional boats under sail in Loch Leurbost in 2016 and Loch Erisort in 2014, together with poetry by DS Murray and artwork by Deidre Ni Mhathuna. The work is to be shown as part of the Luminate Festival in Harris and Uig later in the year. Among those travelling to Edinburgh is Don Alasdair Smith, who also features during this afternoon’s Behind the Headlines in an interview with Maggie Smith.
First call for Princess
The Hebridean Princess is due into Stornoway this afternoon, on her first call of the summer. The small luxury cruise ship is a regular visitor to the islands, and has provided a comfortable holiday around the Western Isles for the Royal Family in the past. She’s in Tarbert this morning and will stay overnight in Stornoway, setting off for Skye tomorrow lunchtime. She’s in the diary for five visits this summer.