Local News for Wednesday 7th September 2016

Second sale set to top the first
Booking has closed early for the second livestock sale of the year at Lewis and Harris Auction Marts, due to higher demand than expected. The news comes after the first sale, on Wednesday August 24th, saw price increases in line with reported good prices at other centres. On the day, auctioneers from Dingwall & Highland Marts Ltd put 3,342 store lambs and sheep under the hammer, with an excellent show of quality. Prices were significantly up on last year, with the average lamb price up by £4.63 on the same sale last year. The top lamb price was £64.50, achieved by Murray of 9 Back.

Read more: Local News for Wednesday 7th September 2016

Local News for Tuesday 6th September 2016

Emergency Tug decision ‘will not rest’
The Maritime and Coastguard Agency has ruled out a second emergency towing vessel based in Scotland, it was announced yesterday. The decision’s been greeted with dismay in the Western Isles, after a 1500 signature petition was presented and politicians of all parties emphasised the role a second tug would have in protecting West Coast waters. Na h-Eileanan an Iar MSP Alasdair Allan said: "If the oil rig going aground in Lewis does not illustrate to the UK government the dangers of not having any emergency towing vessel available on the west coast, I don’t know what will. It is deeply disappointing that reports are that the MCA have again ruled out reinstating this vessel. However inexplicable, it seems they are content with the idea that one vessel can answer incidents anywhere on Scotland’s vast coastline. This matter will not rest".

Read more: Local News for Tuesday 6th September 2016

Local News for Monday 5th September 2016

Police news
Two men have been charged with assault after a fight in Stornoway at 1am on Sunday. Police were called to licensed premises in the town centre and arrested the two men, aged 25 and 19. They’ve both been charged with assault and will be reported to the Procurator Fiscal.

Read more: Local News for Monday 5th September 2016

Local News for Thursday 15th September 2016

Wind power expansion
Lewis Wind Power (LWP), has bought the Uisenis Wind Farm project, on the Eishken estate owned by Nick Oppenheim, complete with planning consent for 45 new turbines. LWP already owns the Stornoway Wind Farm project north of Uisenis with consent for 36 turbines. Between them the two consented projects should enter into the next UK Government auction round for low carbon electricity. Success would unlock the economic potential of Western Isles wind power.The local community will benefit as Comhairle nan Eilean Siar has an option to  partner with LWP to buy  a share in the Uisenis wind farm. There’s also a community benefit fund which will receive a proportion of the revenue and the developments will also bring jobs and wider economic benefits. Cllr Angus Campbell, Leader of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, said: “The acquisition of Uisenis Wind Farm by Lewis Wind Power presents a fantastic opportunity to see this wind farm constructed and deliver significant benefits both to the local community and the Western Isles as a whole. This is welcome news that can only strengthen the case for the construction of the interconnector. “

Read more: Local News for Thursday 15th September 2016

Local News for Thursday 25th August 2016

Rig finds safe anchorage in Broad Bay
The damaged oil rig Transocean Winner reached safe anchorage in Broad Bay at last yesterday afternoon, much later than anticipated, but without major concerns. The Maritime and Coastguard Agency said the rig was secure on her anchors and that rig owners Transocean intend to carry out further work to assess its condition before deciding on next moves. During the moves slow progress on the 54 miles between Dalmore and Broad Bay, verification aircraft flew over the route and said that no pollution was detected in Broad Bay or along the track from Dalmore Bay. A small leakage of diesel described yesterday as ‘a light sheen’ was broken up by counter-pollution boats.
While salvors check the sea bed for debris or damage, the temporary exclusion zone remains in place at Dalmore Bay. There is now also a 1000m exclusion zone at Broad Bay. Hugh Shaw, the Secretary of State’s Representative for Maritime Salvation and Intervention said: “The tow has taken longer than anticipated. We have been clear from the outset that we would not compromise the operation in any way so I am delighted that the 54 mile transit has been successfully completed without incident.”

Read more: Local News for Thursday 25th August 2016