Isles FM News in association with Hebrides News - Monday 15th June 2020

FERRY ELIGIBILITY FOR TRAVEL

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, has confirmed that Island Authorities, are involved in discussions, regarding any proposed amendments to travel restrictions, on ferries to and from the Islands.

The Comhairle is seeking clarification on eligibility for travel, as restrictions are gradually eased, with a preference for island residents and essential travellers, being the priority in the initial stages.

A Comhairle spokesperson said: “First and foremost in our considerations will be the safety of our communities. At some point, the Islands will have to open up to recreational and other visitors for the sake of our economy, but that will have to be done gradually and carefully. We will continue to have discussions with Scottish Government and all interested parties”.

 


COVID-19 LOCAL DELIVERY PLAN & FAQS FOR RETURN TO SCHOOL BUILDINGS

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar has published a Delivery Plan and information outlining, how schools in the Western Isles will return on August 11th.

The Delivery Plan outlines the phases, for re-opening and a safe return to the use of school buildings, nurseries and childcare centres.

The Delivery Plan is organised into four phases, which reflect the different stages of return to school and closely mirrors the national Covid-19 Routemap.

The plan reflects current views of what should be expected during each phase but will be subject to change in timing, duration and content. Information will continue to be updated, throughout the summer as the date of return to school approaches.

 

ISLES MP CALLS ON UK ENERGY MINISTER TO RELEASE OFFSHORE WIND FARM DOCUMENTS

Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MP Angus MacNeil, is to ask the UK Energy Minister to release the Seagreen Offshore Wind Farm Supply Chain Plan, for their offshore wind farm off the Fife coast.

Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MP Angus MacNeil has been alerted to the fact that Scottish and Southern Energy through their subsidiary Seagreen, may not be living up to promises made to get Contracts for Difference (CfD) when seeking UK government assistance for their offshore wind farm.

Commenting Mr MacNeil said:It's vitally important, time is off the essence, this report should be in the public domain, to see what promises were made by Scottish and Southern Energy, when they were in the competition for the contracts

Particularly as there are, at this time, shovel ready projects and yards waiting to build wind farm jackets which would employ people in Arnish on Lewis and in Fife.
We can't have this work going abroad, when it was based on promises made by companies in Scotland, to get tax payers money.

 

HIGH LEVELS OF SHELLFISH TOXIN

Monitoring work undertaken on behalf of Food Standards Scotland has continued to identify raised levels of shellfish toxins in Traigh Mhor in Barra.

It is a sensible precaution to avoid eating shellfish from these areas until further notice. The council is continuing to monitor the situation and warning notices will be removed when it improves.

 

ALLAN WELCOMES SUPPORT FOR STUDENTS IN WESTERN ISLES

Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MSP Alasdair Allan, has welcomed the Scottish Government's announcement, of extra financial help for students, facing financial hardship, over the summer months.

The Scottish Government has brought forward early access, to £11.4 million of discretionary funds, which will be administered by colleges and universities, to support higher education students.

Commenting, Alasdair Allan MSP said:
“Many students in the Western Isles will have expected to find paid work over the summer, often in our hospitality or tourism sectors, to cover their rent or save for the following term. Through no fault of their own, they are now unable to do so.
"No student should face financial hardship as a result of this crisis - and these new measures will support students until the start of the next academic year when bursary, grant and loan payments will begin again."

 

COURSES AT SCALADALE CENTRE

The Lewis & Harris Youth Clubs Association Centre, at Scaladale in Harris, hope to open next month, to run training courses for local, Young Outdoor Sports Leaders.

The groups will be small, with social distancing and hygiene measures in place, and participants will resume their kayak, mountain bike and climbing training

Next month, in line with national lockdown changes,there will also be, an opportunity for local people, to learn new skills whilst supporting the Scaladale Centre.

Short courses of 3 sessions, in sea kayaking, mountain biking and climbing are available for either total beginners, or for improvers at a very special rate.
More information on www.scaladale-centre.co.uk