Local News for Friday 23rd June 2017

New lottery for Western Isles
A new lottery meant to benefit every area of the Western Isles is to be launched on Saturday 8th July, offering prizes totalling 20% of all weekly ticket sales. Tickets are priced at £1, 60p from each ticket going directly to the area in which the ticket was purchased, using a postcode system. Six community groups have agreed to manage the funds in their own areas - Stornoway Amenity Trust will manage Broadbay, Harris Voluntary Services the Isle of Harris and Barra and Vatersay Community Limited have signed up to manage their own local funds. The project has been set up by the newly formed Western Isles Community Society, currently awaiting charity registration status. Tickets will be available from July 8th, with an official launch event in Stornoway that day. Tony Robson, Chair of Western Isles Community Society said: “This Lottery has been set up help to regenerate and upgrade the Western Isles. It will help to raise money for projects and services which aim to improve the aesthetics and lifestyle of the islands in challenging financial times.”

MacNeil is rural affairs spokesman
Na h-Eileanan an Iar MP Angus Brendan MacNeil has been appointed the SNP Spokesperson at Westminster on Environment and Rural Affairs. SNP Westminster Leader Ian Blackford this week announced the new SNP leadership team, pledged to hold the UK government to account, and represent the SNP in its role as the third party in the UK Parliament, and the largest party in Scotland. Mr MacNeil said: “As MP for Na h-Eilean an Iar and an active crofter, I am delighted to have been appointed as the SNP Spokesperson on Environment and Rural Affairs. Scottish agriculture and rural communities are particularly reliant on the EU for investment, labour and financial support and with the commencement of the Brexit negotiations the UK Government must deliver more transparency around this process. The SNP will be the strong and effective opposition to this weak Tory government – using our influence to further Scotland’s interests and to make our country the best it can be."

Stornoway councillor welcomes road safety review
Stornoway North councillor Gordon Murray has welcomed the commitment from the Comhairle’s education committee to review road safety and traffic issues around Stornoway Primary School. Cllr Murray said : "Representations have been made to me about concerns parents had regarding children safety issues around the Stornoway Primary. Having raised the issue at the council on behalf of parents, it was encouraging to see the council pledge a comprehensive review."

HebCelt on home run
With less than a month to go until HebCelt 2017, the festival is swinging into final preparations to get the big show on the road. The festival box office will open on Monday, at 79 Cromwell Street, beside the Royal Hotel. It'll be open Monday - Saturday, 10am - 5pm through until festival week, with local festival-goers especially encouraged to pick up tickets early, browse the new season merchandise or pick up a programme with all the information on this year's festival. If you have not bought tickets yet you can do so by calling 01851 702333. Some shows are selling really well and available ticket numbers are now getting low. When collecting tickets, you need to take your order ID, printed on your receipt, or the Paypal invoice number. This will be a four digit number that will allow us to find your order on our system. As reported yesterday, accommodation is once again at a premium and the festival organisers are putting out an appeal for any spare accommodation in and around Stornoway. If you have space you want to let out or are still looking then please contact Stornoway Visit Scotland on 01851 703088.

Lewis Camanachd have had a productive week so far, with Katie Drain from the Camanachd Association running 'come and try' sessions for ladies and girls and a referee qualification course. On Saturday the senior team are up against Marine Harvest North Division 2 league leaders Glengarry at Shawbost. Throw up is at 2:30pm and local support is welcome.