Local News for Thursday 6th September 2018

Accessibility on Scotland’s ferry networks may be further improved by a fourth round of Scottish Government funding, following an announcement from Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity Michael Matheson.
With around £170,000 remaining in the pot, port and ferry operators can, once again, apply for support from the Ferries Accessibility Fund to make improvements to existing vessels and harbours that go beyond regulatory standards set for accessibility. Community groups have the opportunity to apply, either directly or in conjunction with ferry or port operators, with the agreement of the asset owner.

The previous three rounds of funding saw more than £328,000 allocated to a variety of projects, including ‘Changing Places’ facilities in Ullapool and Barra, improved on-board signage, enhanced accessibility at ferry terminals, and staff training in disability awareness. Awards will be made to successful bidders on a match-funding basis.

The tenants of over 2,000 households in the Western Isles now have access to the 2018 Landlord Reports at www.scottishhousingregulator.gov.uk. The reports show tenants how their landlord has performed against the Scottish Social Housing Charter in the areas that tenants told the Regulator matter most: homes and rents, quality and maintenance of homes, neighbourhoods, tenant satisfaction and value for money.
The landlord reports are designed to help tenants hold their landlords to account. The Regulator published a landlord report for each of the nation’s social landlords, comprising around 160 registered social landlords and 32 local authorities.
Tenants can read the Regulator’s reports, access the on-line comparison tool and watch a video demonstration of the comparison tool and its features on the Regulator’s website. www.scottishhousingregulator.gov.uk

A new musical piece of work showcasing ancient Gaelic poetry with a modern twist will be debuted by award winning Lewis born young Gaelic singer, Mischa Macpherson, at this month’s Blas Festival.
Mischa’s commission, ‘Bho Èirigh gu Laighe na Grèine – Sun, Moon, Land, Life, Sea’ is a suite of new Gaelic songs, incorporating ancient Gaelic poetry, photography and short films. Mischa has breathed life into old Gaelic poetry inspired by the natural world by creating this new piece of music, presented across five movements – Sun, Moon, Land, Life and Sea.
‘Sun, Moon, Land, Life, Sea’ will be performed several times during Blas Festival, which runs from 7th – 15th September: Mischa will also be performing at the final event of Blas Festival; Òran Mòr, meaning Great (or Big) Song, at an enormous concert at the Northern Meeting Park in Inverness on Saturday 15th September, featuring over 1,000 young musicians from Fèisean across Scotland as well as various youth music groups and initiatives including the Highland Council Youth Music Groups and the National Centre of Excellence in Traditional Music.
With 35 events and well over 1000 musicians performing, this year’s Blas Festival promises to deliver yet another music filled nine days. For further details visit www.blas-festival.com.