Local News for Monday 7th August 2017

Weekend of celebration in Stornoway
Saturday’s Lewis Carnival has been hailed ‘the best for years’ by happy islanders who spent a sunny day enjoying a buzzing atmosphere in Stornoway town centre. The Carnival, organised as always by Stornoway Round Table, was this year held in tandem with Stornoway Harbour Day, meaning streets and quays humming with music, stalls, games and activity as well as boat trips and sailing on still waters in and around the harbour. The funfair and European market were also beside the harbour, and crowds found plenty to do on an extended carnival day out. The all-important Carnival Parade was bigger than ever, led off by Lewis Pipe Band and followed by Carnival costume competitors, RNLI fundraisers and a parade of floats on DR Macleod trucks. Floats included those themed on Strictly Come Dancing, Women’s Suffrage and a new TrumPutin ferry alliance and were followed by bikers in superhero and super-villain costume, Scottish Fire and Rescue and a cavalcade of dog-walkers. The Lewis Carnival Facebook page has links to hundreds of pictures, and to comments from people who attended such as this: “Today was the best Carnival day in years, the weather helped but having it all so brilliantly organised and laid out with things going on from 11am all round the town, very well planned and organised so hats off to the committee.”

Euro-money boosts fishing industry
Sea fisheries, aquaculture and processing businesses in the Highlands and Islands will receive a share of £5.2 million in European funding, to boost growth and protect jobs, it’s been announced today. The latest round of the European and Maritime Fisheries Fund (EMFF) will deliver 39 projects across the Western Isles, Highlands, Shetlands and Orkney which will help businesses to upgrade or modernise their equipment. They include grants of nearly £3,000 to owners of the fishing vessel Girl Rona in Scalpay to provide her with a new engine and individual grants to Western Isles vessels to upgrade safety equipment, while Barratlantic Limited in Barra will receive nearly £273,000 funding to upgrade its factory. Scottish Government minister Fergus Ewing said: “Our rural economy plays a crucial role supporting communities.This support will help processing businesses to expand and enhance their work and make the day to day routines of fishermen easier and safer.“

MP blasts ‘naïve’ Minister
Meanwhile Western Isles MP Angus MacNeil has blasted the ‘staggering naivety’ of UK Minister Michael Gove, after he reportedly told the Danish fishing industry that boats from EU countries will still be able to operate in UK waters after Brexit. Mr MacNeil is the SNP Shadow spokesperson for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. He said: "The naivety displayed by Michael Gove is quite staggering. He has given away Scottish fishing rights before the negotiations have even started. Scottish fisherman will have been as surprised as his Danish hosts were at the very different tone used in Scotland to that in Copenhagen."

It’s a big night for Lewis and Harris football teams tonight as crux matches are played to establish what could be the end of season places in the league table. League leaders Carloway will seal their position if they beat Point tonight, while second-placed Westside have three more matches, including tonight’s fixture at Lochs, during which they could, technically, claw back the points they need. Tonight’s matches also see Ness against Back at Fivepenny, and Aths versus United at Goathill – all kick-offs are at 7pm. On Friday a Lewis Select team met visiting players from Ross County in a charity match in aid of Bethesda, which ended in a 4-1 win for the visitors, Innes Iain Morrison of Westside FC scoring the island team’s only goal.