Local News for Friday 17th August 2018

The Comhairle has met with Baroness Sugg, UK Government Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport, when she visited the Western Isles this week

Cllr Uisdean Robertson, Chairman of the Comhairle’s Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said,
“We were pleased to be able to meet with Baroness Sugg as we were able to raise our concerns regarding Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd’s (HIAL) proposals for air traffic management arrangements for the region”.

‘We have ongoing concerns regarding the impact that their centralisation strategy will have on the local economy of the Western Isles – with a total of 17 highly paid jobs being lost from Stornoway and Benbecula airports, this will undoubtedly have a disproportionate impact for our community compared to mainland airports. We have been raising this as a major concern with the Scottish Government and HIAL since June 2017 and it appears that insufficient notice is being taken of the negative impact.

‘Also, we remain unconvinced that such a centralised monitoring system can be safely delivered given the significant shortcomings in the reliability, resilience and security of existing communications infrastructure to the islands. and we look to the UK Government and the Civil Aviation Authority to be completely satisfied that passenger safety and that the resilience of these lifeline services are not at any level of risk’.

“We look forward to further engagement by the UK and Scottish Governments and HIAL in this matter, particularly in the context of the principle of “islands proofing” which has been incorporated in the recently enacted Islands (Scotland) Act 2018”.

Following the recent announcement that Scottish and Southern Electricity Network - SSE - are submitting a needs case for the western Isles Transmission link, Lewis wind Power’s Project Manager, Will Collins commentated:
“Lewis Wind Power’s Uisenis and Stornoway projects make up just under 90% of the consented wind farm capacity in development on Lewis and - as SSE has highlighted - their success is fundamental to the business case for the proposed new interconnector with the mainland.
“The submission of the needs case is an important step in the development of renewable energy in the Western Isles. We hope that the energy regulator Ofgem will see the clear merit in SSE’s proposals for a 600MW cable, which would accommodate the three consented projects on Lewis and also give communities across the Western Isles the chance to take forward additional development in the future.”

Local arts Centre – An Lanntair continues its Purvai Festival and would seem to be the hot ticket in town this evening at 8.30pm as a special summer evening extended concert is held and audiences will be immersed in the deep well of mesmerising music and instruments of Indian Classical Music.
Deepa Nair Rasiya, one of the most acclaimed female Indian vocalists in the UK today, will be joined by a host of talented musicians in this multi-instrumental extended evening concert. The evening will also include a very special dance solo of the captivating Kathak Indian Classical dance.
Contrasting captivating vocals alongside the beguiling string accompaniment of the Sarangi and Santoor, dazzling dance footwork and virtuosic Tabla, they hope to bring all attending an evening of the finest of Indian Classical music.