Local News for Thursday 1st June 2017

SNP will not campaign in Uist and Barra
Election posters have been taken down in Uist and Barra, after the local SNP branch decided to end campaigning for the rest of the pre-election period. SNP candidate Angus MacNeil is a Barra native, and closely connected with the families of Eilidh Macleod, who died following last week's bomb atrocity in Manchester, and her friend Laura Macintyre, who remains seriously ill in hospital. The Convener of the Uist and Barra branch of the SNP, Michael A MacLeod, said that the branch had decided to permanently discontinue General Election campaigning, 'In light of the recent tragic events in Manchester, following consultation with local activists and other political parties.'

Also announced yesterday was the postponement of the Comhairle's apprenticeship scheme, for which advertising was due to start this week There were also to be community meetings throughout the Western Isles beginning the week of the 5 June 2017. Yesterday a Comhairle spokesman said: "Given recent events it has been decided to postpone both the recruitment and the meetings until further notice."

Lights off in Scalpay
The whole island of Scalpay suffered a power outage yesterday, as a transformer at Kyles Scalpay failed. Over 225 homes were without power from just after 7am, and although Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks were able to identify the fault quickly, a test period meant that some homes were later switched off again. All power was restored by 5pm yesterday afternoon.

Get behind fishermen – Conservative candidate
Scottish Conservative and Unionist candidate for Na h-Eileanan an Iar Daniel McCroskrie has signed the Scottish Fishing Federation's Brexit pledge ahead of the General Election on June 8th. The pledge, which all General Election candidates have been asked to sign, asks that candidates support the declaration which notes that Brexit offers a 'Sea of Opportunity' for the fishing industry and pledges to "avoid any policy, practice, regulation or treaty which could return (the industry) to the Common Fisheries Policy". Candidate Daniel McCroskrie said: “I am delighted to attach my name to the Scottish Fishing Federation's Brexit pledge so that our important fishing industry can thrive outwith the EU. Having worked for Vote Leave and campaigned for Brexit, I want to see us get the best deal possible from the EU negotiations, but I will absolutely oppose any deal that sees us remain in the Common Fisheries Policy.”

Also standing for the Western Isles constituency are John Cormack, for the Scottish Christian Party, Ealasaid MacDonald for Scottish Labour, the SNP candidate Angus MacNeil and Liberal Democrat Jamie Paterson.

Five take up a seven-fold challenge
Five fearless friends are taking on their biggest challenge yet in aid of The Leanne Fund. The team from Lewis are training to climb seven Munros in under 24 hours – The Magnificent 7 on July 7th. In 2013 the same team walked 100 miles each, and they are now ready for another epic journey to mark the seventh birthday of the growing charity. Chrisetta Mitchell, Jimina MacLeod, Chrisell MacLeod, Mina Nicolson and Donna Barden have begun by training on local routes including the Clisham horseshoe and the Postie’s Walk from Rhenigadale to Urgha in Harris. Horshader Community Development sponsorship will cover the costs of the challenge and CalMac are also sponsoring the return ferry journey. Team member Chrisetta Mitchell said: “We are so grateful to Horshader Community Development for their extremely generous contribution which means the challenge can go ahead. All funds we raise through sponsorship will go directly to the Fund to support young people with Cystic Fibrosis.” To support this mighty challenge, follow the link on the Isles FM Facebook page. https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Jimina-Macleod

LED lights make the difference
Galson and Carloway community estate trusts are the latest to get on the energy-saving trail, joining forces with Tighean Innse Gall and the Climate Challenge Fund to switch households over from standard lightbulbs to LEDs. The LED bulbs given out can cut bills by more than £100 a year. The aim is to supply the bulbs to a total of 220 homes — 110 homes in each estate — and to give advice on other energy-saving and money-saving measures too. Anyone interested in taking part can contact Tighean Innse Gall on 01851 706121 and ask for Finlay MacLennan or Amy Kapherr-Diament, who are the project officers. Three launch events are being held next week at Galson Business Centre on Tuesday from 6pm to 8pm, and on Thursday, from 2pm to 4pm at Carloway Old School Annex and 5pm to 7pm in Breasclete Community Centre.