Local News for Thursday 10th April 2019


The first live streaming of the Pipe Major Donald Macleod MBE Memorial Competition has been hailed a great success, with 1,800 viewers tuning into the piping event from around the world.

Viewers of last Friday’s competition, held in Stornoway and sponsored by Point and Sandwick Trust, came from as far afield as Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Singapore, the Netherlands, Germany and Spain.

Organisers The Lewis and Harris Piping Society believe the live audience in the Caladh Hotel was also bigger this year, particularly for the ‘light music’ in the afternoon.

Dr John Smith, chairman of the piping society and competition Fear an Tighe, said “the standard of piping was excellent” and they were “very pleased with the way the live stream went”.
He added: “I think it will generate more support for what we consider to be one of the most important competitions in the piping circuit.”

The competition commemorates the musical legacy of piper and composer Donald Macleod, from Stornoway, and was won this year by Finlay Johnston, with Stuart Liddell the runner-up.

Three competitors – Stuart Liddell, Callum Beaumont and Roddy Macleod MBE – held workshops with local pipe band players on Saturday, as part of the competition weekend.


Tuition fee and living cost support will continue to be available to eligible UK nationals returning to study in Scotland from the EU, European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland for seven years after EU exit.
The Scottish Government has confirmed that it will protect the rights of UK nationals returning to Scotland. ‘UK Returners’ will retain the right to access tuition fee and living-cost support on the same basis as they have under EU rules for this extended period. This includes eligibility for further and higher education student support, and access to apprenticeships.
Minister for Higher Education Richard Lochhead said:
‘This guarantee will provide a level of reassurance and stability to UK nationals who may be considering returning to Scotland to study in the near future.
‘Those who left the UK to live in the EU, EEA and Switzerland will have done so on the understanding that under EU rules they would retain the same rights to access education as citizens who remained in the UK’.
Because of EU rules on free movement of people, these UK returners do not have to meet a three-year residency requirement - which is necessary for those who come back to the UK from living outside of the EU, EEA and Switzerland.
Seven years after EU exit would enable UK nationals who are currently in secondary education within the EU, EEA or Switzerland to complete their schooling before returning to Scotland to study at college or university level.
In the event of a ‘no deal’ EU exit, the seven-year period would begin on exit day. If the UK leaves the EU with a deal, that period will commence at the end of the Implementation Period.
In the event of a deal, the Scottish Government will remain obliged under EU law to ensure EU citizens are not discriminated against on the basis of their nationality in the provision of higher education. This means that EU nationals and UK nationals living in the EU will be charged the same rate of tuition fees and provided with the same level of student support as Scottish-domiciled students until the end of any Implementation Period.