Local News for Friday 28th December 2018


The Scottish Commemoration Panel is holding a Memorial Service (subject to weather conditions), at the Iolaire Memorial, Holm at 12noon 1st January 2019. The service will be broadcast live on BBC Radio nan Gàidheal for those not in attendance.

Transportation by buses to the Iolaire site will be the only way of getting to the service and will be arranged from The Nicolson Institute bus park. The public were required to reserve seats for the buses and this deadline has now passed. The buses will be available for boarding from The Nicolson Institute bus park from 10am with the last bus leaving at 11am. The public are reminded to allow time to go through a security check prior to boarding, which may include a bag search.

The Holm road will be closed off and there will be no other vehicular or pedestrian access. The Coastguard Rescue Service will be monitoring all coastal paths. The road restrictions will be lifted one hour after the service finishes to allow general access to the memorial site.

SAFETY ADVICE - Due to the time of year and the likelihood of inclement weather, the organisers are again advising the public to ensure that they come well prepared with appropriate clothing and footwear to the events on 1st January. Those attending the service at Holm are reminded that they may be outside for upwards of one and half hours prior to the start of the service with no shelter available and no seating.
Parking in the town centre for the 1st January will be free of charge and the public are again advised to make use of the parking across from the Comhairle at Sandwick Rd and The Nicolson Institute Car Park off Smith Avenue. The CalMac Car Park will be for exclusive use of those going to the service on board MV Loch Seaforth.


Ferry operator CalMac has joined 40 organisations from across the UK to pledge to take action to tackle the challenges of climate change.
The company has signed up to the Prince of Wales’ ‘Waste to Wealth Commitment’ organised by his responsible business network, Business in the Community.

The pledge is designed to help tackle the challenges of climate change by committing to actions to prevent the destruction of natural habitats.
CalMac already has in place Environmental and Procurement Strategies to minimise waste, increase recycling and promote sustainable procurement.

CalMac’s Environmental Manager, Klare Chamberlain said:
‘We are delighted to be the first transport operator to sign up to this commitment. As a company we are already changing the way we work to make more use of the resources we use through reducing, reusing and recycling,’

Gudrun Cartwright, environment director at Business in the Community, said: “CalMac has demonstrated leadership and commitment to tackle systemic challenges by signing up to the Waste to Wealth Commitment.

Signatories to the Commitment recognise last month’s conclusions from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that there is only around 12 years to change our relationship with the resources society uses if the planet is to avoid avoid catastrophic climate change.


NHS boards should be banned from buying fax machines and a date should be made for them to be phased out entirely, says a Highlands and Islands MSP.
David Stewart, Labour’s Shadow Health Minister, previously asked health boards how many had fax machines and was shocked to discover that more than 1,200 were still in use.
The Department of Health in England has now banned the buying of machines and said their use should be phased out by 2020.
Mr Stewart has now lodged a Parliamentary Question asking the Scottish Government if it will follow suit.
“The NHS is way behind other organisations and private companies which scrapped fax machines more than a decade ago,” explained Mr Stewart.
“It’s about time our health authorities were in step with technological advances and used secure emails instead.
Mr Stewart discovered NHS Western Isles had 18 faxes and they told the MSP:

‘Fax machines are retained by departments and practices due to concerns over communications outages, old ways of working and supplier requirements. We are not replacing any fax machines and are actively discouraging any use.’