Isles FM News in association with Hebrides News - Wednesday 29th July 2020


Isles SNP MP Angus MacNeil is backing calls by the Union Prospect, for air traffic control jobs, to be retained in the islands.
Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd, seeks to use a video feed and computer technology at Inverness Airport, to replace skilled air traffic controllers, at Stornoway and Benbecula and other island airports.
The Union Prospect, said this week that the loss of Air Traffic Control in island locations, was the loss of jobs worth £1.5million.
Mr MacNeil said “No other autonomous island groups in the world, would consider this option and I suggest if HIAL do want to centralise air traffic control, not to centralise it around HIAL headquarters in Inverness, but to centralise in Benbecula or Stornoway or some other island. We need the jobs to be in the islands”.



David Stewart Labour MSP has called on the Government to provide direct and immediate financial support to low income families. The MSP recommends the support to be at least equivalent in value, to the forthcoming Scottish Child Payment of £10 per week per child.

MsP Stewart said “Scottish Labour can reveal that there has been a 168% per cent increase in Na h-Eileanan Siar’s unemployment levels since last year. In June this year there were 830 people receiving unemployment payments compared to 310 in June last year - and many of those with children are likely to be struggling to make ends meet.

“More and more families across Scotland are facing financial hardship. Added to this, rising unemployment means that unless the furlough scheme is extended, and a quality Jobs Guarantee Scheme is introduced, even more households will find they cannot make ends meet. So many families need help right now.



Lodge Fortrose, the Western Isles Association for Mental Health and Volunteer Centre Western Isles, have come together to fund a series of Mental Health First Aid training courses.

Forty people will attend the course, which advocates that the concept of first aid can effectively be applied to mental illness in the same way, as first aid is delivered in response to physical illness or trauma.

The course will give participants an in depth understanding of the factors which can affect mental health wellbeing and provide practical skills to spot the triggers and signs of mental health issues.

Lodge Fortrose have provided funding of £2000, which includes £1000 from the Grand Lodge of Scotland’s Covid Relief Challenge Fund, towards the cost of delivering the courses. which will be available on a no cost basis to local organisations and individuals.



The Between Islands Projects, was originated by An Lanntair includes Orkney and Shetland and is funded by LEADER 2014-2020.

The project has been working with a range of arts and heritage organisations, from throughout the Western and Northern Isles in the creation of a collaborative series of events.

Despite recent Lockdown setbacks, the project promises to deliver original initiatives mostly through utilising online resources.

Lectures in conjunction with UHI will now be placed online, as will workshops and virtual presentations. Short films due to have been screened as part of a museum display, will be released weekly as an online series. A CD recording of new work by the original line-up of participating artists, will be available shortly.



Comhairle nan Eilean Siar is to continue the live weekly Cèilidhs, which have been running on the CNES Facebook page every Friday and Saturday night since lockdown began

A recent poll resulted in, 98% of over 400 respondents voting to see the continuation of the ceilidhs.

Whilst most of the Comhairle’s COVID-19 social media programme of activities has now come to an end, the cèilidhs have been considered a key source of entertainment by islanders and expats around the world.

Colin George Morrison, Media Coordinator at the Comhairle, said: “The cèilidhs will continue until the New Year, but we will be reducing it to one a week. A weekly Friday evening slot at the usual time of 9pm.

We are delighted to announce that this week’s ceilidh will be hosted by Iain ‘Costello’ Maciver, who has been one of the most prominent artists on the live ceilidh scene since lockdown began.

“The local musical talent, including Gaelic and English songs, have seen over 30 cèilidhs take place over the last 4 months, with a total of around 374,300 views to date.