Isles FM News in association with Hebrides News - Friday 21st August 2020

HIAL’s ISLANDS COMMUNITY IMPACT ASSESSMENT TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE

HIALS’s so called Islands Community Impact Assessment is ‘too little too late’ and at the very least doesn’t meet the spirit of Islands Proofing Legislation, says the Chair of CNES Transportation Committee.
HIAL announced this week that consultants would be appointed to carry out a study into the impact of Air Traffic Control centralisation on Island communities.
CNES have highlighted that there will be a significant loss of jobs in the Islands and that the proposals demonstrate a lack of commitment to Island communities.
Cllr Uisdean Robertson said:
“This looks like a paper exercise. The point is that this will have a major adverse economic impact – we don’t need consultants to tell us that. Surely any meaningful study should have been carried out before the decision was taken in order to inform the strategy rather than pay lip service in a desperate attempt to show that HIAL has concern for Island communities.
“It is too little, too late. The legislation on Islands Proofing was designed to prevent exactly this kind of disregard for Island communities. Whilst we are still waiting for guidance on Island Proofing I believe this centralisation process is certainly against the spirit of the legislation.”

 

UPDATE ON BERNERA BRIDGE

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar has confirmed that a permanent weight restriction of 7.5 tonnes is being placed on Bernera Bridge with immediate effect, following the completion of preliminary structural assessments undertaken over the past week.
Final investigative reports will follow. However, the Comhairle and partners met recently, and have already begun planning to ensure public safety, the continuation of local services and, of course, to ensure access is available for emergency vehicles.
The Comhairle will continue to monitor the bridge and alternative arrangements are being considered for waste and recycling collections and the delivery of heating oil.
Further information will be made available as appropriate and the Comhairle wishes to thank the community for their continued patience.
Should any members of the public have particular concerns, they are encouraged to contact the Comhairle via the Customer Services number on 01851 600 502.

 

SHELLFISH TOXINS BACK TO SAFE LEVELS

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar has said that monitoring work undertaken on behalf of Food Standards Scotland has identified that the high levels of shellfish toxins identified in: Loch Leurbost, Lewis on 10 July 2020, Loch Seaforth, East Loch Tarbert and Sound of Scalpay on 10 July 2020 and Seilebost Sands, Harris on 24 July 2020 have returned to safe levels.
The warning against eating shellfish from these areas has now been lifted.

 

LOW INCOME HOUSEHOLDS TO GET HELP TO GET ONLINE

Around 23,000 low income households without proper internet access will be helped to get online with the assistance of £15 million of Scottish Government funding.
The investment, part of the Connecting Scotland programme, will prioritise disadvantaged families with children and young people leaving care. These families will get a device, twelve months unlimited data as well as technical support to get online safely and securely.
Households will also be linked with a Digital Champion who will provide six months of training and support over the phone. Suitable recipients will be identified by local authorities and third sector organisations who apply to the programme on behalf of those they support.
This second phase of the programme, builds on an initial £5 million to get up to 9,000 households with people at clinical or high risk from Covid-19 connected online.
The Connecting Scotland programme is delivered in partnership with the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) and local authorities in collaboration with a broad range of local, public and third sector organisations.