Isles FM News in association with Hebrides News - Tuesday 25th August 2020
NEED FOR LAND RIGHTS REFORM
Lewis crofters, in their bid to develop community-owned turbines on their common grazings, instead of the corporate-owned turbine, preferred by the landowner, the Stornoway Trust, have had their appeal to the Court of Session, turned down
The crofters, from the four crofting communities of Sandwick North Street, Sandwick East Street, Melbost and Branahuie and Aignish representative said: “While we are naturally disappointed at the Court of Session’s decision to turn down our appeal. We warmly welcome, the Court’s perceptive and helpful comments, which they added to the decision. We hope that they will be studied and acted upon by Members of the Scottish Parliament and by Government Ministers.”
In its Decision the Court said: “As a postscript, it could be said that this case, does identify general concerns, about the development of, what might be underused croft land, including common grazing. The needs of the crofting communities are not identical to those in the late Victorian era.
The crofters’ spokesperson continued: “We agree wholeheartedly with that analysis and it is why we took the appeal to the Court in the first place. Whereas the Crofting Commission has a clear duty under the Act, to reach its decisions on applications made to it, by balancing the full range of affected interests, including the interests of the landowner, the estate, the crofting community and the wider public interest.
Applications made by crofting communities to develop their common grazings, are uniquely subject to what our case has shown, is an effective veto by the landowner alone, without consideration of the other interests.
NEW TREATMENT FOR CYSTIC FIBROSIS PATIENTS
Na h-Eileanan an Iar MP Angus MacNeil, has welcomed the approval of a new triple therapy treatment, for cystic fibrosis patients. Kaftrio is a medicine that tackles the underlying causes of the disease by helping the lungs work more effectively.
Mr MacNeil said “This is extremely welcome news for those who live with Cystic Fibrosis and their families. This will benefit the majority of all Cystic Fibrosis patients and is a significant step forward. Patients in Scotland will be among the first in Europe to benefit and lead longer, healthier lives. It is estimated that around 800 people with cystic fibrosis in Scotland should be suitable for treatment, with the range of medicines that are now available.
CLEAN COAST AGM
Clean Coast Outer Hebrides, a community group who care about the coastal regions of the Outer Hebrides are inviting new members to join them
Clean Coast Outer Hebrides will hold an AGM tonight, to share details of beach clean-up areas and campaigns in the last year and launch a programme of new events for 2020/21
SUPPORT FOR COMMUNITY PROJECTS
Comhairle nan Eilean Siar has this week announced £1.3 million of grants from the Crown Estate funding, to support 76 community projects, across the Western Isles.
Comhairle Leader, Cllr Roddie Mackay, said: “We agreed in December an innovative programme to engage with communities on projects, that were a priority for them and I am delighted that we have reached the stage of issuing grant offers.
The Comhairle is committed to seeing its communities directly benefit from the Crown Estate revenues, which we have long argued should be devolved to the islands.
“Today we have also agreed how the second year of allocation will be distributed. The increase in our funding means that as well as allocating £165k per ward we are also establishing an £800k fund for strategic projects that support economic recovery across the islands.”
BERNERA REFUSE COLLECTION UPDATE
Despite the weight restriction of 7.5 ton placed on the Bernera Bridge, the Comhairle intend to carry out refuse collections today as scheduled. The Comhairle are working closely with Bernera Community Council, Bernera Community Association and other local volunteers to collect household bins and take them to the Earshader side of the bridge to be emptied.
It is asked that householders mark their bins with their address (number & village) to ensure that the correct bins are returned. Where there is a group of houses together such as Dun Innes or Heath Park, bins may be returned to the carpark for householders to collect.
It is expected that there will be a suitable collection vehicle in service for the next collection on 8th September and a recycling bank relocated to the Earshader side of the bridge.
Connect, a theatre initiative created during Lock down, established links between writers, directors and actors, from Plymouth to the Hebrides
The Connect project extended invitations for plays, short stories, monologues and poems for development as digital collaborations.
Uig writer, Eric J MacDonald’s play, Tales From The Black house, set in the Hebrides during lockdown, was selected for development. The play will be directed by Andrew Allen Cast Iron Theatre in Brighton in association with Lockdown Lochaber Theatre.
The play will be filmed for the Connect website and performed live at a Lochaber event in 2021.