Local News for Wednesday 19th September 2018

Today is Scottish Housing Day. The purpose of the day is to raise awareness of the latest developments in housing and the different options available to people when deciding where to live.
There will be an information event at Lews Castle College today attended by local organisations Comhairle Nan Eilean Siar, Hebridean Housing Partnership (HHP), Western Isles Foyer and Tighean Innse Gall (TIG).
The Comhairle and HHP work with the Scottish Government to provide new affordable homes and support a range of choices for buying and renting.
As well as housing development and shared equity options, TIG offers advice and services over a range of activities including energy efficiency advice, adaptations and home safety.

Western Isles Foyer supports young people to manage and sustain a home by delivering independent living skills and provides training to assist in moving into education and employment.

Winners of top prizes at Cannes and a contender for next year’s Oscars sit alongside short films from Lewis and many others in this year’s Hebrides International Film Festival, taking place in venues throughout the islands from today, Wednesday 19th to Saturday 22nd September.

This year’s films include Iranian drama Lerd – A Man of Integrity, which won the Un Certain Regard Award at the Cannes Film Festival, and American film The Rider, which won the Directors’ Fortnight Art Cinema Award – again, from Cannes. Short films will also feature strongly in the programme.

Two of the shorts – Cianalas and MS, Mexico and Me: Aileen’s Story – come from Lewis. The fifth Hebrides International Film Festival is supported by Creative Scotland, HIE and other agencies and presented in collaboration with An Lanntair.

There is a particular focus on the “ocean” theme this year – and a look at the plastic pollution crisis – but the programme always includes a variety of genres, so there is art, comedy and children’s film as well as drama and documentary.

Altogether, there are around 26 features and 13 short films on the programme, which is available online at www.hebfilmfestival.org.

Next month, an award will be made by the Scottish Crofting Federation following a call for nominations for Young Crofter of the Year 2018. The drive for the award is the Year of Young People 2018 and as such will celebrate the role of young people in crofting. One of the shortlisted nominees for young crofter of the year is Donald MacSween, Ness, Isle of Lewis
Donald MacSween from Ness, who grew up in a crofting family, was gifted a croft on his 21st birthday and has spent the past 13 years getting it back into working order. His tireless enthusiasm has been documented in two series of BBC Alba “Air an Lot” which has given viewers an insight into his enterprises, which include egg production, pigs, cattle and sheep. A former grazings clerk for his township, Donald is very much involved in wider township life, working with elderly neighbours to ensure they are able to continue to be active crofters.
The event will be held at Grant Hall in Rothes and more information can be found on the website www.crofting.org