Isles FM News in association with Hebrides News - Wednesday 22nd July 2020
ENERGY CONNECTIVITY AND ISLANDS
Comhairle Nan Eilean Siar Representatives, meet Paul Wheelhouse MSP, Minister for Energy, Connectivity and Islands, to discuss several issues relating to broadband connectivity and ferry service arrangements.
Cllr Roddie Mackay, said: “The Minister was quick to reassure us that the Scottish Government’s R100 project, which guarantees superfast broadband for everyone in Scotland, will not leave anyone in the Western Isles behind.
Transport Scotland confirmed that in future, a careful process of consultation and financial consideration, would be taken before the procurement and undertaking of new vessels and large-scale harbour projects. They also confirmed that they would engage with islands’ communities before embarking on any new service changes. There was also a discussion on the new booking system and the need to ensure that it captured unmet demand.
COVID 19 TESTING MARINERS AND OFFSHORE WORKERS
Isles MP Angus MacNeil is calling for Covid testing to be extended, to include workers coming off ships and oil rigs. Currently workers are routinely tested going out to the ships and rigs, but are not tested on their return trip.
Mr MacNeil said It is a gap we’ve left open, unchecked people may be unwitting asymptomatic coronavirus carriers, we are simply asking to close that gap.
REVIEW OF POLLING DISTRICTS AND POLLING PLACES
Comhairle nan Eilean Siar is to undertake a review of Polling Districts and Polling Places within the Na h-Eileanan an Iar area. The review will particularly focus on the suitability of premises or facilities for persons with any type of disability. The Comhairle would welcome any comments from electors who are registered within the constituency.
An automatic cycle counter, installed two years ago on Lewis, is set to be removed following the completion of a Sustrans study into cyclist numbers in the area. The counter is one of 14 across Scotland, installed by walking and cycling charity Sustrans as part of a pilot to promote cycling and collect data on cycling numbers.
Recent data from the counter stated the busiest month of the year being July, with 549 cyclists passing the counter in 2019. Sustrans Scotland Partnerships Manager Nadia Freeman said: “Cycle counters help us monitor levels of cycling in areas across Scotland, and have been vital in shaping the decisions for our programme.”
A project of interest to knitters in the Hebrides, will study and collect knitting patterns, which highlight the unique history and purpose of ganseys (knitted jumpers) in fishing communities.
The Scottish Fisheries Museum in Anstruther, has launched Knitting the Herring, Scotland’s National Gansey Network. This project will run from June 2020 to 28th February and is funded by Outer Hebrides LEADER and Fife LEADER.
A new yarn will be used to develop a new gansey pattern, in collaboration with Di Gilpin and Uist Wool. A combination of virtual webinars, knitting demonstrations, gansey storage and preservation methods and interviews, will form the event program for Knitting the Herring.
The project will reach out to knitters in the Outer Hebrides, to contribute information on ganseys held in museum collections or family homes, to create the basis for a Scottish online archive of information and skills.
FÈIS EILEAN AN FHRAOICH
Fèis Eilean an Fhraoich will be online tuition classes this year. Feis Eilean an Fhraoich runs from
27-31st July and young people from age 5 can take this fantastic opportunity to learn, fiddle, accordion, whistle, guitar, chanter and Gaelic song
Sessions are free but have a donations link. Classes can be booked on the Feisean nan Gaidheal website www.feisean.org