Local News for Wednesday 29th August 2018

A name synonymous with all things related to Highland bagpipes will be centre of attraction on the first day of this September’s Blas festival.
The music of the late great piper, Pipe Major Donald Macleod MBE, from the Isle of Lewis will be showcased in ‘Crossing the Minch,’ a project dreamt up by The Big Music Society, led by world class pipers Calum MacCrimmon (Breabach and Tryst) and John Mulhearn (Tryst).
Crossing the Minch will commemorate the outstanding music of Donald Macleod, who was arguably the most influential piper and composer of the 20th century.
The two-night tour, which will visit An Lanntair in Stornoway on 7th September and Ullapool Village Hall on 8th September, will wow audiences with a unique showcase of Donald Macleod’s music featuring special guests including James Duncan Mackenzie (Breabach), Innes White (Assynt), Fiona MacAskill (Kinnaris Quintet) and the Glenfinnan Cèilidh Band. With a concert performance in the first half and a cèilidh dance in the second half, bringing your dancing shoes is highly recommended!

Alasdair Allan, SNP MSP for Na h-Eileanan an Iar has backed a Toilet Twinning initiative, run by Tearfund. The programme seeks to support those living in poverty, by working to give communities access to a proper latrine, clean water and vital information around sanitation. Dr Allan’s Stornoway Parliamentary Office toilet has been twinned with a newly built one in Malawi.
Commenting, the Isles MSP said: “I’m very happy to back such a simple, yet life changing programme. Hearing of Toilet Twinning’s work, I was really keen to Twin my constituency office toilet with one in a community which doesn’t have access to something that we all take for granted.
According to the World Health Organisation, 2.3 billion people don’t have a proper the toilet. That’s one in three people across the world. Almost 1,000 children die every day from preventable diseases linked to dirty water and unsafe toilets. Anyone can support this great scheme by donating £60 to twin your toilet, and I would encourage anyone who can to do so.”

Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) has responded to Scottish Power’s announcement that it will increase dual fuel energy prices for those on its standard variable tariff by 3.7%. This is Scottish Power's second price rise this year, with dual fuel prices rising by 5.5% on 1 June. It follows Ofgem's decision to increase the level of their Safeguard tariff.

CAS Energy Policy Officer Craig Salter said: ‘We’re seeing another price hike that will hit the least well off the hardest. This is Scottish Power’s second increase this year, and for those who are struggling it will make it even harder to make ends meet. If we are to see ongoing price increases across the board that are unaffordable for households, there is a clear problem with affordability in the energy market that needs to be addressed. With over a quarter of Scottish households still in fuel poverty, it is unacceptable that consumers continue to be failed by the market in this way.”