Local News for Thursday 11th April 2019

COMMUNITY CHARITY FUNDS MSc POSTS AT LEWS CASTLE COLLEGE

Point and Sandwick Trust has created a fund for MSc students in partnership with Lews Castle College UHI, contributing an initial £10,000, with match funding from the college.

The community wind farm charity will commit £2,500 each to four students and intends the funding to become a revolving grant, once the first £10,000 is exhausted.

The fund is for research projects aligned with the objectives of Point and Sandwick Trust, which runs the Beinn Ghrideag wind farm.

Research projects would not be limited to renewables but must fit the remit of promoting the social, educational, cultural and environmental wellbeing of the people of the Western Isles.

The MSc fund is the latest collaboration between Lews Castle College UHI and Point and Sandwick Trust, which last year invested £20,000 in the expansion of the Innovation Centre.

Innovation Centre founder Dr Chris Macleod called the research fund “a win-win situation for everyone” while PST chair Norman Mackenzie said it was “a really worthwhile project”.

College principal Iain Macmillan said it gave students the opportunity to progress locally and that the islands should be looking at “what opportunities can we create here” rather than assuming all our energy is for export.


LOCAL MP & MSP URGE EU CITIZENS TO REMAIN ON ISLES

‘The Western Isles remains your home’, is the message from Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MP Angus MacNeil and MSP Alasdair Allan to all EU citizens living locally, amid ongoing Brexit uncertainty.
SNP Leader First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has written an open letter to EU citizens to confirm a new ‘Stay in Scotland’ package that will consist of:
£250,000 for community based support across Scotland, a support and advice service for EU citizens with more complex needs or particular challenges and a toolkit for employers, including posters, factsheets, digital content and guide directing EU citizens to further guidance
MSP Alasdair Allan has previously written to EU citizens in the area following a successful campaign to push the UK government to scrap the £65 “settled status” fee.
Alasdair Allan MSP said:
“It is important to make clear that EU citizens will always remain welcome in the islands, and I will continue to do all I can to help people stay in Scotland.
“It’s wrong for the UK government to oblige EU citizens who have built their lives in Scotland, and who contribute massively to our economy and communities, to apply for the continued right to remain in their own homes.”
Angus MacNeil MP commented:
“With absolutely no clarity from the Westminster Government - despite a vast majority of Scottish MPs voting to Revoke Article 50 - this announcement from the First Minister will provide welcome support for EU citizens across Scotland.
“The economic toll from Brexit is already being felt. If ripping up trade agreements and walking out of trade blocks was such a good idea every country would be doing it. Only the UK is going down the path of making trade more difficult and expensive.
“I’d like to urge anyone who has issues or concerns they would like to discuss with me to please get in touch.”