Local News for Thursday 21st June 2018

Water shortage plea
Scottish Water is asking customers in the greater Stornoway area to use their water wisely. Prolonged dry weather has caused lower than normal water levels in Loch Mor an Stairr, which supplies Stornoway Water Treatment Works (WTW). The works supplies drinking water to the whole of Stornoway and Point and to Broadbay as far as Coll. Water from nearby Loch Scarabhat Mhor is being used to boost the available supply, but Scottish Water is asking customers to take simple water efficiency measures to help maintain continued supplies to homes and businesses. Steps you can take include turning off the tap when brushing teeth and shaving, taking a shorter shower and using a bucket of water instead of a hose to wash your car. Businesses are also being asked to cut their water use. Peter Farrer, Scottish Water’s chief operating officer, said: “We are encouraging everyone to take simple steps to use water wisely. By doing so, we can significantly reduce water usage which ensures that we continue to provide clear, fresh water to customers in the area.” Scottish Water has put together a free water saving pack which has some gadgets, such as tap aerators and shower timers, to save water in the kitchen, bathroom and garden.

Harris Gin nominated in awards
The Isle of Harris Distillery has received three nominations for the upcoming
Scottish Gin Awards, one of 46 companies and 80 gins in the finals of the national competition, which celebrates Scotland’s booming gin industry. Isle of Harris Distillers has been nominated as Scottish gin distillery of the year and Scottish gin destination of the year, while the gin itself is nominated in the category of London dry gins in the taste category. Experts assessed taste and business performance during two sessions earlier this month by one of the most experienced gin tasting panels ever assembled in the UK. 22 tasters including master distillers blind tasted and graded every sample under strict technical conditions. The winners will be announced on 20th September at an event in Glasgow.

CalMac MD confirmed in post
The Board of David MacBrayne Ltd this week confirmed the appointment of Robbie Drummond as Managing Director of CalMac Ferries Ltd. He has been acting as interim managing director since February, during which time he’s had to handle a crisis in ferry timetabling as ferries went through their annual drydock at the same time as breakdowns on older vessels. David McGibbon, chairman of CalMac's parent company, said: “Robbie's performance as interim managing director has been excellent during one of the most challenging periods in the company's recent history.” The announcement was welcomed by the Comhairle, with Cllr Uisdean Robertson, chair of transportation and infrastructure, saying: "This provides greater certainty and continuity going forward. The importance of local knowledge is key to effective decision-making and providing accurate information in the event of planned and unplanned service interruptions and we know that Mr Drummond recognises the importance of locally based operations staff. Fairer vessel deployment is of key importance to island communities for which ferries are a lifeline service. The lifeline nature of ferry services to and within the islands is recognised but the location of such posts to the islands would provide significant and more sustainable benefits to the fragile economies of the communities that are served by CalMac".

Cruise ships
The Variety Voyager, Corinthian and Marco Polo are all due into Stornoway harbour today and tomorrow, as the cruise season reaches its peak. Corinthian and Variety Voyager will be increasingly familiar sights in the harbour, with visits also planned next week and the week after.