Local News for Monday 27th August 2018

The parents who successfully campaigned against the reorganisation of junior Gaelic Medium classes at Stornoway Primary have thanked everyone who helped their cause.
It was a stressful summer for the parents, who were unhappy and angry at the plan from Comhairle nan Eilean Siar’s Education department to split year groups and create composite classes where previously they had run as straight year groups.
The problem focused on the class going into GM2 (primary 2). This class, of 22 children, had been hailed as a great result for Gaelic Medium Education as it was the first GME intake for Stornoway Primary that was big enough to stand alone, without being combined with the class above.

In a bid to get the Comhairle to change its mind, the parents enlisted the help of MSP Alasdair Allan, Bòrd na Gàidhlig chief executive Shona MacLennan and Magaidh Wentworth of Comann nam Parant, the national organisation representing the interests of parents whose children are in Gaelic Medium Education.
In a statement, the parents said: “We were delighted that common sense prevailed in this matter. It really was an amazing result and although it was primarily a victory for parent power we also want to thank all those who helped us.
“We couldn’t have done it without strong support from MSP Alasdair Allan, Magaidh Wentworth of Comann nam Parant and Shona MacLennan from Bòrd na Gàidhlig. We are also very grateful to Council Leader Roddie Mackay for his intervention.

The Scottish Crofting Federation (SCF) has emphasised in its response to the government ‘Stability and Simplicity’ consultation that change is urgently needed in the agricultural and rural development payments regime in order to get a fair deal for crofters.
“Certainty is more important than stability,” said Russell Smith, Chair of the Scottish Crofting Federation (SCF). Why emphasise stability when we can take the opportunity to improve the system? Many of the issues raised in this consultation are relevant whether there is a transition period or not, but are imperative due to the uncertainties about the UK E.U. withdrawal.
Mr Smith went on, “The current system urgently needs revision. It was announced only recently that the New Entrants Capital Grants Scheme has been extremely successful – yet is to be discontinued. New entrants are the life-blood of crofting and farming and we want to see the reinstatement of a Crofting New Entrants Scheme, a workable arrangement to tackle land abandonment by getting unused crofts working again under new entrants.