Local News for Tuesday 16th October 2018

YOUNG CROFTER OF THE YEAR AWARD COMES TO LEWIS
The Scottish Crofting Federation (SCF) was delighted to recognise young crofters with an awards ceremony at the ‘Celebrating the Spirit of Crofting’ event recently.
The ‘Young Crofter of the Year Award’ is aimed at those aged 40 and under who have taken their first steps on the crofting ladder or have established themselves in crofting, and are good examples of best practice and success within their field.
The Young Crofter 2018 award went to Domhnall MacSween from Ness, Lewis. Domhnall is better known to many as Sweeny from Ness, the busy crofting entrepreneur from BBC Alba’s ‘Air an Lot’ programme, which features Domhnall as he goes about building and expanding his croft business – most of which is conducted in his native Gaelic.
This business now sees him despatching meat from pigs, sheep and cattle on his croft to all corners of Britain, as well as an impressive poultry empire. Domhnall quickly showed his delight at winning the award on social media, where he has already built a sizeable following.

COMHAIRLE MEETS SCOT GOV OVER TRANSPORT ISSUES
Cllr Uisdean Robertson, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, met with Michael Matheson MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity recently to discuss transport issues in the Western Isles including ferry services. Also present were representatives of Transport Scotland and HITRANS
Cllr Robertson said:
‘We discussed general issues around capacity, reliability and resilience issues affecting ferry services to and within the Western Isles and challenged him on the levels of investment in vessels and the associated infrastructure.
‘The meeting with the Cabinet Secretary also provided an opportunity to discuss aviation issues relevant to the Western Isles such as continuation of the Air Discount Scheme beyond its current lifetime of April 2019, the reinstatement of business user eligibility and the extension of the scheme to students living and studying within the “eligible area”.

EASTERN TO CANCEL STORNOWAY - ABERDEEN FLIGHTS
The Comhairle has expressed dismay at the apparent discontinuation of the air service between Aberdeen and Stornoway.
Cllr Uisdean Robertson, Chair of the Comhairle’s Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said,
“Whilst we have always recognised the commercial realties for Eastern Airways, more recently in collaboration with Flybe, in operating the air service between Aberdeen and Stornoway, we were disappointed to note the reduction in the service earlier this year. However, we are dismayed by the apparent decision of the airlines to now completely discontinue the service and with no notice whatsoever to key stakeholders such as the Comhairle”.
“There appears to be no flights available for the service on the Flybe website after 26 October 2018 and we shall be seeking a full explanation from the airlines as why the service has been cut with no notice given that, not long ago, the airline gave a firm commitment to maintaining a positive dialogue with stakeholders.”