Local News for Wednesday 8th November 2017

Living wage call backed by builders
Lewis Builders have become the latest Western Isles company to sign up for the Scottish living wage rate of £8.75 per hour. They were visited this week by Isles MSP Alasdair Allan, who congratulated them on their commitment to the living wage. The Scottish Living Wage, calculated to meet the cost of living, is reviewed every year based on living standards. Dr Allan said: “I would like to thank Lewis Builders and their staff for today’s very informative visit, as well as their commitment to fair pay and showing leadership on this issue within the local business community. I would encourage all organisations in the Isles, regardless of size or sector to recognise the benefits of paying ensuring all staff receive a fair level of pay.” Ewen MacLean from Lewis Builders commented: “It was great having Dr Allan in to our office today. He took a very keen interest in what we had to say and the commitment we are making to our staff.”

Eoropie loos a step closer
New loos at Eoropie play park are a step closer to reality, with the local committee on a mission to fundraise for this essential amenity at the popular park, ready for next summer. Thousands of local families and visitors use the four-acre park every year, enjoying play equipment and trails for children of all ages. An online survey this summer showed that toilet facilities are much in demand, but the committee need support from the local community to bring the plan to fruition. They have been chosen as the first project in the Ness/Westside area to benefit from funds from the Western Isles Lifestyle Lottery launched three months ago and are also shortlisted in the current Aviva Community Fund which is open to public votes. A committee spokesman said: "We have secured funding over the years for more play equipment, a kiosk, wages for kiosk workers, a maintenance man and project manager. We have noticed a huge surge in the popularity of our park over the past few years, from the constant stream of tourists and locals. With this comes along the demand for toilets. The closest toilets are in a sports centre, almost a mile away. Throughout the year we run events such as duck races, barbeques, Easter egg hunts and six volunteer days a year to help with park maintenance. We recently ran a survey on our Facebook page and the overwhelming response from it was that toilets were required at our play park. We are a registered charity so all our money comes from fundraising." The Committee hope to have toilets in place by next summer

CalMac chief steps down
CalMac managing director Martin Dorchester is to step down, it was announced yesterday. Mr Dorchester is also chief executive of David MacBrayne Ltd, who made the announcement that he will be leaving to take up a new role as Chief Executive of Includem, - a specialist Scottish charity supporting some of the most vulnerable young people and their families across Scotland. David McGibbon, Chairman of DML, said:"On behalf of everyone at David MacBrayne Ltd, I thank Martin for the commitment and drive he has shown in leading and developing the organisation and in building such an exceptional team. His tremendous leadership and knowledge have brought considerable success to David MacBrayne as well as significant benefits to the Scottish economy. Martin will leave with our sincere thanks and our good wishes for every success in his new appointment." Martin Dorchester, said: "Although saddened to leave David MacBrayne, I leave an organisation in good shape, with an excellent executive team and two long term contracts in place. It has been my honour to lead David MacBrayne through some difficult and challenging times."

Care needed with social media selling
Trading standards officers at Comhairle nan Eilean Siar are asking the administrators of local social media selling sites to be aware of sellers who pop up regularly on their pages. A spokesperson said:
"There may be situations where individuals who appear to be consumers could be either traders or acting on behalf of traders. Consumers have less protection in law should goods fail or not perform correctly when they buy from private sellers. Traders who conceal their identity in order to avoid their legal responsibilities may be in breach of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008." By advertising sales on behalf of traders, the administrators of buying and selling sites may themselves become subject to consumer protection legislation.