Local News for Tuesday 22nd March 2016

Satellite the answer to slow broadband
A new UK government scheme has been announced which offers satellite connection to homes and businesses with poor broadband speeds. UK Minister Ed Vaizey announced the scheme yesterday, saying that up to 300,000 customers in remote areas of Scotland can get a discounted satellite broadband connection, if they are currently unable to obtain an affordable broadband service of at least two megabytes per second. To be eligible, you must live in Scotland, and must be unable to receive a broadband connection speed of more than 2Mbps from the BT Openreach network. The offer is only applicable if survey work has not already started to deliver fibre-based broadband to your property.  More information on the operation of the scheme in Scotland can be found on the broadband programme website by following the link on the Isles FM Facebook page.


 
Easter health planning
NHS 24 is reminding people to plan ahead for the Easter holiday weekend, when many GP surgeries will be closed in the Western Isles. Islanders are advised to check their local surgery’s opening hours, as well as those of pharmacies, and to make sure they have a supply of any medicines they need. The Easter holiday is one of the busiest times of the year for the NHS in Scotland and NHS 24’s Medical Director, Professor George Crooks said people should stay safe and be prepared. He said: “It’s an early Easter this year so there could still be winter colds and illnesses around. It is important that people are as prepared as possible if they want to make the most of the Easter break. Being prepared means having enough over-the-counter medication on hand if illness strikes. It is also important to plan ahead for any required repeat prescriptions over Easter, so please order only what you need and collect in good time.”
 
Goose cull extended
Licensed greylag goose shooting is to be extended until April 16th  in Lewis and Harris, the local goose management group has announced. The extension will help volunteer hunters to meet the agreed cull target for 2016. The pilot aims to reduce damage to crofts by reducing the size of the greylag goose population. The shooting period was due to finish on 31 March 2016, but Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) has licensed an extension after a request from volunteer hunters. The extension applies only for registered hunters, who carry a card that identifies them. Goose hunters will avoid areas where shooting may cause disturbance during lambing and no shooting will be allowed of geese on or near a nest, due to welfare considerations. The management pilot is now in its second year.
 
Shinty report
Lewis Camanachd were in action on Saturday as they visited Lochcarron in Marine Harvest North Division Two. An exciting affair saw Lochcarron eventually come out victorious by a score of 2-1. Lochcarron went into an early 2-0 lead, but Lewis roared back in the second half and a late goal from vice-captain Paul Duke narrowed the deficit and set up an exciting climax. Despite intense pressure and a strong penalty claim, Lochcarron defended firmly and held on for the win. Lewis will hope to build on that second half performance this Saturday as they take on Boleskine. There will be live updates of the game on Lewis Camanachd’s Twitter feed.