Local News for Friday 6th October 2017

New threat to Black Pudding brand
Brexit is creating a new threat to the protected name status of Scottish food products including Stornoway Black Pudding, according to Western Isles MSP Alasdair Allan, who is demanding that the UK government protect Scottish produce in all future trade deals. He’s responding to news that UK Government negotiations left out Scottish products from the EU-Canada trade deal and from EU trade deals with Japan and Mexico. Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Connectivity Fergus Ewing has written to Michael Gove to seek assurances, although he did not receive an answer to a similar letter to Mr Gove’s predecessor, Andrea Leadsom, on the same issue. Dr Allan said: “Throughout the entire Brexit process, the UK Government has repeatedly failed to stand up for Scotland’s interests. Here in the Western Isles, we produce some iconic food and drink brands which are consumed across the world. They must recognise the importance, and the reach across the globe, that these iconic brands gives places like the Western Isles.”

Screen Machine double accolade
The Screen Machine, which brings mobile cinema to communities from Barra to Tarbert, has been shortlisted for two awards following its major refurbishment earlier this year. The big blue mobile screen is shortlisted as cinema of the year in the national screen awards, and is also a finalist in the Great Scot awards. It’s currently in Gairloch touring with films including Victoria and Abdul.

Check insulation offers first
Offers of free heating or insulation should always be checked out before being accepted, Trading Standards Officers said yesterday. Home Energy Scotland can give free and impartial advice concerning free heating, insulation or other similar offers. A Trading Standards spokesman said: "We are aware that there are several companies currently in the islands who are offering free heating and insulation, and we would always recommend that consumers firstly take independent advice from the home energy experts at Home Energy Scotland. Home Energy Scotland is a Scottish Government programme managed by the Energy Saving Trust. We would also advise residents to be careful when being asked for personal details in response to marketing literature, telephone cold calls or similar information requested by doorstep callers." Home Energy Scotland free phone number is 0808 808 2282.

War Memorial revealed again
Restoration works to the Lewis War Memorial have been completed on time and within budget, after the Comhairle secured a grant of £132k from the War Memorial Trusts, First World War Memorials Programme – the largest award given by from this programme. Work started on site in May with external scaffolding covering the whole memorial. The work’s included pointing stonework, replacing windows and roofing, and fitting a new lightning conductor. Internal steel spiral stairs were also refurbished and the main door was repainted in a shade of poppy red paint.