Local News for Tuesday 17th October 2017

‘Puncture’ may have caused plane swerve
A punctured tyre could have been the cause of an incident at Stornoway airport on Sunday, when a Glasgow-bound Flybe flight swerved off the runway and onto the grass before listing to one side. Fire crews rushed to the site, but nobody was hurt and the plane was later removed from the runway. The aircraft was yesterday awaiting engineers’ inspection. 29 passengers and three crew were on-board the Eastern Airways plane and were offered alternative flights and accommodation for those who needed it.

No change to constituency boundary
The parliamentary constituency of Na h-Eileanan an Iar will, as expected, remain unchanged under new proposals for boundary changes published by the Boundary Commission for Scotland today. The Western Isles, and the other Scottish island constituency of Orkney and Shetland, are the only two to be unaffected by revised proposals for United Kingdom Parliament constituencies. An eight-week public consultation process starts today. The UK Parliament has decided to reduce the number of constituencies from 650 to 600. In Scotland this means that 59 constituencies will be reduced to 53. Na h-Eileanan an Iar and Orkney and Shetland) are defined in the legislation and will not be subject to change.

Back to normal after weather
Ferry services are returning to normal timetable today after a day of delay and disruption yesterday as gales affected the islands. The impacts of ex-hurricane Ophelia skirted the islands, with the strongest winds felt across Barra and Uist.

Mòd successes
Yesterday’s Mòd competitions began well for the islands, with the earliest results announced showing island youngsters doing well. Yesterday there were 30 competitions across poetry, drama, song and music, for young Gaels aged 5-19. In the 11-12-year-olds’ solo singing Talia Graham of the Nicolson Institute won the gold badge, the Ronald MacEachen Memorial Cup and the Dunoon Observer & Argyllshire Standard Medal, with Doireann Marks of Berneray coming second and also awarded the Dunoon Observer & Argyllshire Standard Medal. Point’s Mary Morrison shared the bronze badge position in the poetry recitation class for 9-10-year-olds. Today’s competitions see traditional and solo singing, story-telling and choral singing in the younger age-groups. The full programme and results are available by following the link on the Isles FM Facebook page

Crofters urged to have their say
Scottish Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing is urging crofters to get engaged in a current consultation on future legislation for crofting. Mr Ewing said yesterday: “Crofting delivers valuable local benefits and a successful crofting sector helps our rural communities thrive. It is therefore vital the law that governs it is fit for purpose. I am conscious that not everyone will have had the chance to attend one of the meetings or had the opportunity to read and possibly respond to the consultation. Further public meetings are therefore planned across the crofting areas and I would encourage those with an interest to attend. More generally, I would strongly encourage anyone with an interest in the future of crofting to take part in this consultation before it closes on 20th November, and help us improve future crofting legislation.”

Shinty celebration
On Saturday, the all-weather pitch on Smith Avenue was the venue for the 8th annual Craig Morrison Sixes tournament. The tournament has been a permanent fixture in the club’s calendar since the tragic passing of former player Craig back in 2009. This year, three Lewis teams (the whites, blues and blacks) were joined by two teams from the mainland. Glenurquhart sent a team that included brothers Duncan and Ewen Fraser as well as James ‘Frosty’ MacPherson a high scorer in the Premiership this year. Glenurquhart were the deserved winners on the day, defeating the Lewis Blacks in the final. At the club’s awards ceremony later Scott MacLeod won the junior player of the year, Ronan Sinclair was the recipient of the Captain's player of the year and Ally Lamont was the big winner, taking home the manager's player of the year and player's player of the year awards. Paul Duke, Daniel Gallagher, Conor MacDonald, Donald Lamont and Paddy Sinclair were all presented with a token from Vice-Captain Peter Gomez for being named in the senior squad at least 100 times. This year's AGM will take place in Stornoway Primary on Thursday 26th October at 5:30pm. The club is always looking for more volunteers and warmly invites anyone who wishes to be involved in the running of the club in any capacity to come along.

Darts to look forward to
Stornoway Sea Angling Club is to host the biggest darts exhibition ever to reach the Island, with Eric Bristow and Bobby George coming to Stornoway on Friday 27th October. It will be a first visit to Stornoway for the five-time World Champion, the Crafty Cockney Eric Bristow. Bobby George (The King of Bling) makes his fourth visit to Stornoway. His biggest win was the News of the World title in 1976, and he is widely recognised as one of the game’s biggest personalities, with his flamboyant entrances on stage bedecked in jewellery and wearing a crown and cloak. Tickets are on sale in the Sea Angling and there will be an auction on the night for a chance for four members of the audience to play the legends. There are also qualifying competitions in the Sea Angling on the Saturday before, and on Wednesday 25th Oct at 7pm there is a women’s and under-18 competition to decide 10 local players to play these darts greats.