Local News for Wednesday 28th November 2018

The Councils Airport Consultative Committee have welcomed an update on Isles air services from Loganair. They heard that a second Embraer jet will be added to Loganair’s fleet in December on the Glasgow-Stornoway route. The jets will increase reliability of service.

The Committee also heard that there has been improved punctuality and reliability on the Benbecula –Glasgow route and a 10% growth over the summer.

Loganair may also swap the under-performing Stornoway-Inverness evening service, for a morning Stornoway - Inverness flight at 07.35am on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. This should help make improved connections to Nairn and Dyce rail services. There may also be potential to re-instate a two-way Inverness-Benbecula morning connection on Tuesdays to Thursdays by the end of March 2019.

Cllr Uisdean Robertson, Chair of the Committee, said: ‘It is good to see services are performing well and that Loganair is continuing to look to make improvements. These services are vital for the people of the Western Isles and for the economy of the Islands. We must all look at how we can achieve the best outcomes for passengers.’

NHS Western Isles is seeking the comments of island residents in a Public Consultation meeting to be held on Thursday, November 29th, regarding revisions made in the NHSWI Gaelic Language Plan.

The refurbished NHSWI Gaelic Language Plan (GLP) has been produced in line with the Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005, which requires every public body in Scotland to create a GLP.

NHSWI Chief Executive Gordon Jamieson said: “Gaelic is a precious part of our history and culture, and our renewed Plan will help to ensure it can be a flourishing and sustainable part of our future,”

“We have seen some encouraging results from our earlier work and there is still more to do. Our plan aims to increase the number of speakers and users, and to secure the status of our language. We will continue to explore new ways of achieving our aims.”

The NHSWI Gaelic Language Plan II draft is available to view online at www.wihb.scot.nhs.uk/community-engagement

And island residents are invited to voice their thoughts at the NHSWI GLP Public Consultation meeting, starting at 7.30pm on Thursday, November 29th, in the Hospital Chapel at Western Isles Hospital, Macaulay Road, Stornoway.

Isles MP Angus MacNeil has said he is standing up for Isles fishermen in Parliament and warned the Tories that all eyes are on them as they negotiate the future of the fishing industry.

In a speech during the Fisheries Bill debate recently, he outlined the many issues facing fishermen as highlighted to him by the Western Isles Fishermen’s Association.

These included fishing quotas; seal management; potential for a blue fin tuna fishery and spurdog by catch. He also stressed that the UK Government could take action to assist the industry with crew shortages right now but were choosing not to do so.

Mr MacNeil said: ‘The Tories are trying to portray themselves as the saviours of fishing but the truth is it is not a priority for them and never has been.’