Local News for Thursday 26th July 2018

CULTURE MINISTER LEADS PRAISE FOR HEBCELT
The culture minister has led a chorus of praise for the record-breaking Hebridean Celtic Festival which ended at the weekend after its most successful year.
Fiona Hylsop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, said: “HebCelt is a marvellous example of how a well-organised event, supported by its community, can be an international success economically, culturally and socially. It is not only a great success story for Stornoway and the Hebrides, but also for Scotland, as it promotes our wonderful traditional music and culture across the world.”
Festival director Caroline MacLennan said: ‘This year’s festival has been an amazing experience and the most successful in our 23-year history’.

Artists performing at the festival also paid tribute to another successful event. Dougie Vipond, TV Presenter and drummer with Deacon Blue, said: ‘That was an amazing experience. It’s the first time we’ve been, as a band, to the Hebrides and from the moment we walked on stage the audience reaction was extraordinary’.
Jon Fratelli, frontman of The Fratellis, said: ‘We really had a great time. It was kind of awesome. It makes our job so much easier when you have a crowd like that - that’s when you love your job and I really loved my job tonight’.
And Norrie MacIver, lead singer with Skipinnish*, said: ‘We had the best gig of the year’
A number of initiatives were introduced to the festival this year as part of the Year of Young People. A series of concerts were held involving young musicians from Lewis, Harris, the Uists and Barra and they also performed a specially-commissioned new Gaelic song. HebCelt also enhanced its green credentials by banning single-use plastic from the main arena, having previously outlawed plastic straws from the site.

ADVICE FOR PRIVATE WATER SUPPLY USERS
There are approximately 55 private water supplies in the Comhairle’s area.
During times of prolonged dry weather or severe cold weather many of these private supplies from springs, surface water or wells may become depleted or fail. It is important that you plan ahead to ensure that you don’t run out of water during such times.
You should formulate a water management plan which addresses issues such as potential supply failure, water treatment problems and ongoing maintenance to ensure, where possible, water is always supplied to your premises.
During prolonged dry spells, Use water wisely, such as shower instead of bath; use full loads in washing machines and dishwashers; use a watering can in the garden instead of a hose; use a cistern displacement device.
Until further notice, Scottish Water will provide emergency supplies for domestic use, where they are able to on a priority basis, at no cost to the Local Authority or users of the supply. However Scottish Water must be contacted by the local authority, they will not accept direct requests.
Please contact the Comhairle on 01851 822 694 if you require this service

CARBON MONOXIDE BARBECUE DANGER
As the Islands scorching temperatures continue through July, new research from the CO Be Alarmed! campaign reveals that many of us could be at risk this summer because three quarters of us don’t know that barbecues can lead to CO poisoning when not used correctly.
In addition, the research also shows that, worryingly, most people would fail to identify the symptoms of CO poisoning.
Nearly half of us are planning to have a barbecue this summer but, despite the potentially fatal consequences of CO poisoning, most people are more aware of other risks such as burns, food poisoning and accidents with barbeque implements.
CO Be Alarmed! has come up with these easy to follow steps on how to stay CO Safe this summer:

1. Don’t bring your barbeque into an enclosed space – for example inside a tent or your home. Even when extinguished it will still produce fumes for some time.
2. Always make sure you are in a well-ventilated area when using a barbecue or a gas stove and follow the manufacturers’ safety instructions.
3. If camping, make sure you have an audible carbon monoxide alarm which you can get from DIY stores, local shops and online.
4. Carbon monoxide is known as the ‘silent killer’ because you can’t see it, smell it or taste it, so make sure you know the symptoms – headaches, dizziness, nausea.

Abbie Sampson, CO Be Alarmed! spokesperson, said: “It is very simple to stay safe from carbon monoxide this summer. Just make sure you use the barbecue in a well-ventilated area and never take it inside your house or tent - even when it is extinguished it could still produce fumes.”