Local News for Monday 22nd May 2017

Aline woodland vandalism – call for information
Trustees of the Aline Community Woodland in Lewis are asking for information from anyone who saw anything suspicious at the site over the past week, after finding the children’s playpark cabin vandalised. The woodland in South Lochs is maintained and run by volunteers, with 636 hectares of woods and lochs, threaded through with walkways and a woodland playpark. Volunteers found at the weekend that the walls of the playpark cabin had been kicked and damaged. A spokesman said:  “This is a public amenity created through the hard work of a small voluntary group for the benefit of children and their parents. If you saw anyone acting suspiciously please let us know so that we can track down the culprits.”

Carloway school belongs to the community
The community of Carloway are now the official owners of their former school, following news that the contract was completed, and keys handed over last week. Villages from Tolsta Chaolais to Dalmore are now proud owners of the school building, closed very much against their wishes in 2013.  Legal custodians Carloway Community Association now have great plans to develop and transform it into a valuable community resource. Don Mackay, Chairman of Carloway Community Association, said ' The community of Carloway can look forward with confidence to the school being  developed into a valuable community resource which will serve all sections of the community well in the years ahead. Our business plan to develop and transform the school site into the Rural Life Centre will offer social and business opportunities for young and old.”
College strikes end with agreement
There will be no further strike action at Lews Castle College, after college lecturers were told on Friday that their union, the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) and employers’ body Colleges Scotland had reached a breakthrough in the dispute. As a result, the EIS suspended planned strike action, which would have seen the college picketed again for three days this week. The strikes were in support of a call to employers to implement an agreed pay deal, and the action has been hailed a success in the Western Isles, where students supported their lecturers in Stornoway, and a picket line was formed at the Benbecula campus for the first time ever.

Put FIFA scam in the bin – Comhairle
Trading Standards officers are warning residents that an International FIFA World Cup lottery scam letter is currently circulating in the Islands, telling people they have won a lump sum of money. To claim the money people are asked to phone a telephone number and a further letter is then sent claiming the prize money is on hold until a clearance charge is paid to release the funds. Trading Standards advise residents not to respond to these letters and to put them in the bin.
Last chance to register for vote
Today is the deadline for anyone who has moved house or is not registered to vote to get their name on the Electoral Register. Anyone who wishes to vote must be signed up to the register by midnight tonight. You can find out how by going to the website aboutmyvote.gov.uk
Candidates do battle on renewables
Parliamentary candidates for the Western Isles constituency battled it out over the weekend, choosing renewable energy as the topic of the moment. In his first statement to island voters, Scottish Conservative and Unionist candidate Dan McCroskrie welcomed the Conservative manifesto pledge to support renewable energy developments in the remote islands of Scotland. Mr McCroskrie said: "The Conservatives have shown that they are not only committed to investing in Scotland, but they are committed to renewable projects which will boost jobs and support communities across the Western Isles. If I am elected in June, I will campaign for a subsea interconnector for the Western Isles and Theresa May has given a clear indication that this will happen." Labour candidate Ealasaid MacDonald also welcomed the Conservative manifesto commitment and promised to work "across party lines" to see it delivered. Mrs MacDonald said: "The key phrase 'directly benefits communities' underpins the vital role the community energy movement must have in delivering this going forward.” SNP candidate Angus Brendan MacNeil criticised the Conservative manifesto for ‘lack of clarity’, reminding voters of a pre-Election consultation on Contract for Difference, which he said was ‘a vital source of support to make wind projects in the islands viable’. Mr MacNeil said: "Island wind projects needs to be considered as a distinct category open for CfDs and it should clearly say this in the manifesto, but it does not.”
Also standing for the Na h-Eileanan an Iar constituency on June 8th are Scottish Liberal Democrat candidate Jamie Paterson, and Scottish Christian Party candidate John Cormack.
Stornoway United had a 4-1 win over Aths at Goathill on Friday night, while Carloway inflicted a 2-nil defeat on Point at Garrabost. Also in the Lewis and Harris League, Ness got their first league win of the season, 2-1 away to Back, but Westside and Lochs were still without goals at full time at Barvas. There’s cup action tonight in the Eilean an Fhraoich cup, with first leg matches between Lochs and Ness at Creagan Dubh, Westside and Back at Barvas and between Point and Harris at Garrabost.