Local News for Tuesday 5th February 2019

COMHAIRLE COMMENTS ON TALK TALK

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar has called on the Scottish Government to intervene in the Talk Talk proposals for the transfer of its Stornoway operation to Manchester.

The Comhairle has written to Paul Wheelhouse, Minister for Energy, Connectivity and the Islands, stating;

“Given the fragility of the local economy and the detrimental impacts that these losses will have are there any additional and specific supports that the Scottish Government can offer?”

Talk Talk has confirmed that they are transferring their Stornoway operation to Manchester with the loss or transfer of 60 jobs.

Cllr Donald Crichton, Chairman of the Sustainable Development Committee, said: ‘This is a significant blow to the economy of the Western Isles. Our immediate thoughts are with the employees of the company and their families and we will play whatever role we can in supporting them. We anticipate that the Comhairle, together with our partners in SDS and HIE, will be implementing PACE (Partnership Action for Continuing Employment) procedures.

‘However, I also believe that the Scottish Government can and should play an active role and do what they can by way of supporting the employees’.

The Comhairle has emphasised that in a city location such as Glasgow the equivalent scale of job losses would be more than 3,000, resulting in a major and significant impact on the local economy.


HIGHLANDS & ISLANDS COLLEGES PASS RATES UP

A new report has revealed that 70.3% of full-time students successfully completed their studies at Highlands and Islands colleges in the 2017 to 2018 academic year. This is considerably higher than the national average figure, which shows that 66.1% of students passed further education courses at Scottish colleges in the period.

The number of part-time students who successfully completed their courses at Highlands and Islands colleges was also found to be higher than average.

Dr Michael Foxley, chair of the Highland and Islands Further Education Regional Board, welcomed the report’s findings saying: “The results show a significant improvement on last year, with students at University of the Highlands and Islands colleges performing well above the Scottish average. They are a testament to the dedication of our staff as well as the hard work of our students. The findings are particularly great for our students, who will be able to progress onto further courses or to access employment opportunities.”


COLD CALLERS ATTEMPTING BT SCAM IN WESTERN ISLES

CNES Trading Standards have received complaints regarding cold callers claiming to be contacting consumers from BT.

The caller states that the consumer’s phone or internet service is about to be disconnected due to a missed payment on their account.

Some of the calls have been to non BT lines, showing that the scammers appear to be calling random numbers.

A spokesperson said

“By claiming that your service is about to be discontinued, the scammers will try to give a sense of urgency so that you feel under pressure to give them your payment details. Our advice is not to engage with cold callers, put the phone down and end the call.
If you are a BT customer, you may wish to register on the BT free call blocker service Call Protect on 0800 3891 572.”

To report scam calls contact Trading Standards on 01851 822 694.