Local News for Monday 30th January 2017

Last-minute nominations for Crofting Commission
Comhairle nan Eilea Siar has been taken by surprise with a large number of late nominations for the available positions on the board of the Crofting Commission. Nominations which were received just before the deadline have to be checked, at a Scottish Government level, against legislative requirements. As a result the names of the candidates will not now be released until later today (Monday).

Read more: Local News for Monday 30th January 2017

Local News for Monday 23rd January 2017

Alex’s £1000 walk to Stornoway
Charity walker Alex Ellis Roswell had a record day as he made his way to Stornoway on Saturday, collecting £1,000 in a single day to bring his total collected in the Western Isles close to £2,800. With sunny weather helping him along the road from Tolsta, he was also accompanied on the entry into town by pupils from Laxdale school, and welcomed at Stornoway RNLI Lifeboat station, where he presented the total collected so far in the islands. A Stornoway RNLI spokesman said: “A huge thank you to everyone who has donated to Alex over the past week in Harris and Lewis - his RNLI fundraising bucket totalled £2,773...and that is a record breaker! Thank you Alex!” Alex will now take a few days rest before heading south again to complete his fundraising walk through the islands, before returning to the mainland where he continues on his mission to walk the entire coastline of the UK and Ireland in aid of the RNLI.

Read more: Local News for Monday 23rd January 2017

Local News for Friday 20th January 2017

Connor’s international debut
Island athlete Connor Maclean will be pulling on a Scotland team vest for the first time tomorrow, as he competes for his country at the Celtic Cross Country Championships in Cardiff. 19-year-old Connor has been selected as one of four runners in the under-20s mens race. He’s a member of Stornoway Running and Athletics Club and Scottish Athletics said his selection reflected on the hard work he, his coaches and his team mates had put in. Connor is currently being trained by Robert Hawkins – father of Callum Hawkins, who finished ninth in the marathon at the 2016 Olympics in Rio.  Cllr Charlie Nicolson, the Comhairle's Representative on COSLA Sports, Arts and Culture Committee, said: "This is truly wonderful news for athletics in the islands and an excellent achievement for Connor himself. I would like to congratulate Connor and his coaches who have put a lot of work in, and indeed all those who are involved in athletics throughout the islands. We have wonderful sporting facilities in the Western Isles which provide a foundation for our young athletes to flourish and meet their potential. I wish Connor the very best of luck this weekend as he represents our country and indeed, our islands, down in Cardiff."

Read more: Local News for Friday 20th January 2017

Local News for Thursday 19th January 2017

Ferry pulled off route for ‘essential repairs’
The MV Lord of the Isles is to be withdrawn from service from Monday, after maintenance checks discovered an area of thinning metal which needs urgent repair. Severe weather on the route between Lochboisdale, Mallaig and Oban is blamed for the wear, which will mean complete suspension of that route for at least a week. South Uist passengers are being urged to use extra services across the Sound of Barra, and to travel to the mainland from Castlebay on the MV Isle of Lewis. Robert Kelso, CalMac's Fleet Technical Manager, said "The ship's steelwork is inspected to a 5-yearly fixed schedule under MCA rules and wasn't due to be looked at again until the end of this year.   However, due to the severe weather conditions in which our ships operate, the onboard engineers do routine inspections in-between the formal one, and the latest of these just before Christmas found a small section which needed repair. We were keen to avoid taking the ship out of the water during the busy Christmas holiday period so agreed with the MCA that the work could be deferred until early in the New Year. We cannot say how long the repairs will take until the work has been formally assessed and scoped but we will do everything we can to get her back into service as soon as possible. In the meantime, we apologise for any inconvenience caused." Lord of the Isles will make her usual run to Oban on Monday morning, but will then be taken to dry dock in Greenock. Additional early morning and late evening services are being put in place on the Sound of Barra while the repair work is carried out.

Read more: Local News for Thursday 19th January 2017