Local News for Tuesday 21st July 2018

Hebridean Men’s Cancer Support Group 10th anniversary
Hebridean Men’s Cancer Support Group or HMCSG, is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. The support group based at Lewis retirement in Stornoway operates to provide relief and sociable gatherings to its members who meet each Friday at 2pm. All the members have been affected by Cancer in some way in their lifetime.
The HMCSG also supports each new cancer diagnosis in the Islands, supplying a welcome pack containing introductory leaflets about the HMCSG, and information about the benefits available from Macmillan Cancer Support. Men newly-diagnosed with cancer also receive a cheque for a sum of money by way of practical help to the sufferer and their family who may have a sudden increase in expenses upon confirmation of a serious illness. HMCSG sends 90 plus packs to newly diagnosed men on the Western Isles each year
Chairman of the HMCSG is the well-known and respected Angus McCormack who said: “We are a very active and vibrant group with a regular turnout of over 30, which is unusual for men as you would usually associate that with a football match or something.”

Mr McCormack added: “The group is really for men to come along and chat with one another. We can reassure others.”
Hebridean Mens Cancer Support Group welcome any men with any issues associated with cancer to come along at 2pm on a Friday afternoon to the retirement centre in Stornoway.

VOICE YOUR OPINION ON FUTURE OF ISLAND BANKING SERVICES
Isles MP Angus MacNeil has given his input to the Review which will determine the future of banking services on Barra and is urging local communities to also make their voices heard. Johnston Carmichael has been appointed to carry out an independent review of the branch and will make a recommendation to RBS on whether the bank should remain open or not. Mr MacNeil said input from the local community was crucial at this time to keep banking services on Barra.
Speaking after his own interview with the firm, he said: “I was very heartened after my phone call with Johnston Carmichael. They have the power, frankly, to keep the bank open, and this makes it important that everybody who has a case to keep it open makes sure that case is heard by Johnston Carmichael. They will be visiting Barra on Monday August 6th and I would encourage people to get in touch with them to make an appointment or to submit feedback by email or letter. I would encourage everyone who has an interest, whether large or small – from the point of view of annual crofters cheques from lamb sales; to daily businesses; or any charities, please get involved. Your voice is very important at this stage to keep banking services on Barra.”
The review team will be at the RBS branch in Castlebay on Monday August 6th. To book an appointment please phone 01224 259 353. To give your views to Johnston Carmichael, you can email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; fill in an online questionnaire at www.jcca.co.uk/rbsbranchreview; or by writing to: The RBS Review Team, Johnston Carmichael LLP, 29 Albyn Place, Aberdeen, AB10 1YL.
The deadline for submission of views is 5pm on Tuesday August 14th.

HIGH LEVELS OF SHELLFISH TOXIN
Monitoring work undertaken on behalf of Food Standards Scotland has identified raised levels of shellfish toxins in Loch Leurbost in Lewis. Eating shellfish such as mussels, cockles, or razor fish from these areas may pose a risk to human health and notices to warn the public and casual gatherers have been posted at various locations on the shore. Commercial shellfish harvesters in these areas have been contacted by the Comhairle and steps taken to postpone harvesting until algae levels subside.
It is a sensible precaution to avoid eating shellfish from these areas until further notice.
The Comhairle is monitoring the situation and will remove warning notices when it improves.