Local News for Friday 2nd June 2017

Councillors ‘not unethical’ in Sunday opening vote
The Commissioner for Ethical Standards in Public Life in Scotland has not upheld a complaint against seven Western Isles councillors in connection with the decision not to open Lewis Sports Centre on a Sunday. The complaint was made on behalf of the Families Into Sport and Health (FiSH) group, and alleged a contravention of the Councillors' Code of Conduct. FISH suggested that, at a meeting of the full Council on 5th October 2016, the seven failed to declare a non-financial interest, namely their membership of church organisations. Their religious beliefs were said to have influenced them to vote against Sunday opening of the Sports Centre. The full council that day agreed by a majority of 19 to nine not to proceed with Sunday opening.  The Councillors concerned said that they voted against Sunday opening for a number of reasons, including the Chief Executive’s recommendation and the views of their constituents..The Commissioner found that insufficient evidence had been presented to show that they acted in accordance with their own religious beliefs or that their decisions were determined by their membership of a religious organisation. He concluded: “My conclusion is therefore that the allegations outlined in the complaint did not involve a breach of the Councillors' Code of Conduct."

Read more: Local News for Friday 2nd June 2017

Local News for Thursday 1st June 2017

SNP will not campaign in Uist and Barra
Election posters have been taken down in Uist and Barra, after the local SNP branch decided to end campaigning for the rest of the pre-election period. SNP candidate Angus MacNeil is a Barra native, and closely connected with the families of Eilidh Macleod, who died following last week's bomb atrocity in Manchester, and her friend Laura Macintyre, who remains seriously ill in hospital. The Convener of the Uist and Barra branch of the SNP, Michael A MacLeod, said that the branch had decided to permanently discontinue General Election campaigning, 'In light of the recent tragic events in Manchester, following consultation with local activists and other political parties.'

Read more: Local News for Thursday 1st June 2017

Local News for Wednesday 31st May 2017

Return to campaign trail as last postal votes go out
The second and last wave of postal ballot packs are going out today, to those who registered to vote by post close to the deadline last week. The General Election is on Thursday June 8th, with polls opening at 7am and personal voting at 47 Polling Stations around the islands.

Candidates for the na- h-Eileanan an Iar constituency yesterday made a tentative return to campaigning as the SNP launched their manifesto. SNP candidate Angus MacNeil and Scottish Labour candidate Ealasaid Macdonald had reached agreement to suspend campaigning after the Manchester bombing last Monday, in which one Barra teenager was killed and another seriously injured. Both Mr MacNeil and Mrs MacDonald have strong connections to Barra, where the schoolgirls and their families live.

Read more: Local News for Wednesday 31st May 2017

Local News for Tuesday 30th May 2017

Laura speaks to her parents
Laura Macintyre has spoken to her parents for the first time since sustaining critical injuries during the Manchester bombing last Monday. The 15-year-old Barra schoolgirl was injured, and her friend Eilidh Macleod sustainaed fatal injuries, on Monday night last week. Parents Nan and Micheal Macintyre, who have stayed by her bedside in Manchester, say she is making ‘remarkable progress’ and has been taken off a ventilator, allowing her to speak to them for the first time. In a statement, they said they had been ‘overwhelmed’ by love, help and support from everyone. . They said: “Laura sustained horrendous injuries. The main worries being head and leg injury. She is making remarkable progress. Today she came off the ventilator and is talking and recognising us. She is amazing us every day with her strength and determination. We have a long way to go but we are going in the right direction. We are so lucky to have her. The hospital and the staff are amazing."

Read more: Local News for Tuesday 30th May 2017

Local News for Monday 19th May 2017

More funds raised for Barra families
There have been further commitments to fundraising for the families of Barra girls Eilidh Macleod and Laura Macintyre. Laura is fighting critical injuries in a hospital in Manchester, and her friend Eilidh lost her life as a result of last week’s terrorist attack in the city. The Stornoway Saltire Celtic Supporters Club decided to donate money raised on Friday from their curry and quiz night to the families, who face costs of travelling from Barra to Manchester, and accommodation in the city. Meanwhile Lewis Pipe Band, who start their summer season with a parade in the Narrows next Saturday at at 3pm, will have collecting cans going round collecting donations to Laura and Eilidh’s families. JustGiving donations on two pages now stand at over £78,000, and the auction of a Celtic football shirt by the Red Hot Chilli Pipers yesterday closed with a £2000 bid.

Read more: Local News for Monday 19th May 2017