Local News for Wednesday 14th June 2017

Scaled-back water main for Huisinis
Scottish Water has announced a revised plan for a new water main to serve Huisinis, after local alarm at an apparent cancellation of plans for a new main. The company say the planned works, costing about £2.5 million, will upgrade its treatment works at Gobhaig and lay 5km of new water main to connect it with Huisinis, where the existing treatment works would no longer be required.  Investment is also planned to add a new balancing tank at Miabhaig; while a further water treatment works at Cliasmol would be retained. Scottish Water Director of Capital Investment Mark Dickson said: “It is crucially important that we deliver value for money. We recognise that the proposal for North Harris is a reduced level of investment compared with the longer water main from Tarbert that was previously proposed.  However, we believe that the new scheme can meet the current and future needs of our customers by making use of the existing good quality water resources in the area.  There is significant capacity to accommodate planned development and new connections.” Plans for a new water treatment works at Lochmaddy have also been given the green light, alongside a new water main between Lochmaddy and Bayhead to give a single, improved water supply for North Uist at an estimated cost of around £15 million.

Labour candidate thanks electorate
Labour candidate Ealasaid MacDonald is the latest to offer her thanks to those who voted for her in last week’s General Election. In a public letter, she said: “I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the people of the Western Isles for the way they responded to my bid to seek election. I started the campaign with very little recognition and I am proud to say that by the end people were approaching me in the supermarket to discuss the issues facing our islands. The campaign was short and very difficult. The worst of humanity hit our islands which showed the very best of our islands. I don't think any of us will forget this. I promised you that if you gave me your vote then I would fight for the islands. I was not elected, but I will carry on fighting. Please continue to come and chat in the supermarket, or anywhere else, because I am going to do everything I can to ensure our islands have a viable future.”
Army cadets on parade for memorial
Western Isles Army Cadets will be on parade in Benbecula tomorrow, to commemorate the role played by islanders at a pivotal battle of the Second World War. Cadets from Western Isles Company, 1st Battalion The Highlanders, will be led to the Griminish War Memorial on Thursday at 8pm by pipes and drums, with all islanders welcome to join the parade.. The event commemorates the Battle for St Valéry-en-Caux in June 1940, where soldiers from the 51st Highland Division, despite overwhelming odds, held back the German advance long enough to allow those on the Dunkirk beaches to escape back to Britain. Many fell during the fighting, while others became prisoners of war. Major Norman MacLeod (Officer Commanding, Western Isles Company) will deliver an open address followed by prayers and readings in Gàidhlig and English, after which wreaths will be laid at the memorial.
Island artists show the works
The annual Grinneas, Open Arts exhibition opens on Saturday, showcasing arts and crafts by people from across the Western Isles – professional and amateur. Grinneas dates back to the 1970s and gives the opportunity for practicing artists who are residents or from the Western Isles to be displayed at a major public gallery. Hundreds of works include painting, printmaking, sculpture, photography, ceramics, and textiles. It is no exaggeration to say that there is something for everyone.The overall impact is impressive and viewing is described as ‘a treasure hunt’, with visitors scan the panorama of art for that special work. The exhibition has its formal opening on Saturday and runs until July 29th.