Local News Update for Friday 12th May 2017

Candidates announced for General Election
Five candidates will contest the na h-Eileanan an Iar constituency in next month’s General Election, with the full list announced soon after the nomination deadline closed yesterday evening. In addition to Scottish Labour candidate Ealasaid MacDonald and SNP candidate Angus Brendan MacNeil, both already announced, it’s now known that there will be Scottish Conservative and Unionist, Scottish Christian Party and Scottish Liberal Democrat candidates contesting the constituency. Scottish Christian candidate John Cormack, chair of the party, will be fighting his third election in the Western Isles. Mr Cormack, who is based in Glasgow, says that 10% of church attenders voted for him at the last contest in 2015, and that Christians needed to examine their conscience to be sure what they were endorsing when casting a vote. Standing for the Scottish Conservatives and Unionists is Daniel McCroskrie of Ayr, who works as an office manager to Highlands and Islands MSP Donald Cameron. He was previously Scottish Head of Ground Campaign for Vote Leave during the EU referendum, and says that if he is elected, he will ensure that Western Isles voters are not ‘sold short’ during the Brexit process. The Scottish Liberal Democrat candidate is James Paterson of Edinburgh.

Medevac from French Trawler
A 43-year-old crew member was evacuated from a French trawler at Stornoway harbour this morning, after he was injured on board the vessel. The Mariette Le Roche was 15 miles north-west of the Butt of Lewis when she contacted Stornoway Coastguard at 1am this morning to ask advice. The crewman had suffered a cut to the back of his leg. After linking the crew with medical advisers by radio, Stornoway Coastguard arranged for an ambulance and Coastguard volunteers to meet the vessel, which reached Stornoway under her own steam, and the man was transferred to Western Isles Hospital.
Trading standards warning
Trading Standards officers from Comhairle nan Eilean Siar are warning that doorstep sellers are currently in Lewis offering home improvement services. They remind residents to say "No" to unwanted sellers at the door, and that signage from the Doorstoppers Campaign can be printed off from the Comhairle's website.  Doorstep sellers ignoring the displayed signage may be committing an offence. To report Doorstep sellers contact Trading Standards on 01851 822 694, Police Scotland on 101 or Faire on 701702
Troops build bridges in Harris
A party of soldiers from the 9th Parachute Squadron of the Royal Engineers are working with North Harris Trust this week, constructing bridges at Langadale and Stuladale on the Bowglass to Miavaig footpath. The group, under command of Major Jack Crossley, are based at Scalpay community centre and are carrying out the work as part of their training, with their services provided free to the Trust. Materials, including 600 kilo steel beams to form the bridge structures, have been paid for by the Agri-Environment Climate Scheme, and the troops are putting in long hours to get the work done by June 26th.  North Harris Trust land manager Gordon Cumming said: “They’re certainly getting plenty of experience on this job, which is physically very demanding. We’ve been wanting to make our network of paths safer, but had the problem of how to get the materials needed out to remote locations, so we’re very grateful to them.”
Scalpay girl’s Feis trek
A 10-year-old Scalpay schoolgirl is setting out next month to raise funds for Fèis Eilean na Hearadh, after the Scalpay net-store fire last month destroyed musical instruments stored there. Phoebe’s Big Cycle will cover 25 miles of hilly Harris terrain between Leverburgh and Tarbert, and the money she raises will be split equally between the Feis instrument appeal and a new youth development cycling programme.  All donations are welcome on her JustGiving page - there’s a link on the Isles FM Facebook page - and Phoebe also welcomes supporters at the finish in Tarbert at around 12noon on the 17th June.
Tomorrow there’s a charity car wash at Leverburgh Fire Station to raise funds for the Feis instrument appeal. You can get your car washed between 9.30am and 4.30pm, and half of the money raised there will go to the Fire Service Benevolent Fund.
Cruise ship Saturday
The cruise ship National Geographic Explorer will be at Pier no 3 in Stornoway tomorrow. Described as ‘the world’s ultimate expedition ship’, she cruises the length of the Atlantic with up to 148 passengers in luxurious accommodation, which includes a spa and sauna, and with high-tech viewing options including a remotely-operated vehicle which transmits video images from underwater into her lounges. She’s due in early tomorrow and departs for Orkney at lunchtime.
First round football matches in the Highland Amateur Cup are to be played tonight, Westside crossing the Braighe to Garrabost to meet Point, and Carloway hosting Lochs, kick-offs at 7pm. Tomorrow teams are travelling from the Southern Isles to Lewis, Iochdar Saints at Goathill against Stornoway United and Southend making the long journey to Ness. On Wednesday night Point had their first league win of the season, 3-nil against Ness, the three points lifting them off the bottom of the Lewis and Harris league table, which is topped by Westside with an unbroken run of four wins. Aths beat back 3-2 on Wednesday, also in the league. Our football information is supported by Westside Football Club.