Local News for Wednesday 17th April 2019


Western Isles MP Angus MacNeil is supporting calls from consumer group Which? for the Tory Government to put people’s safety first and ensure all fire-risk tumble dryers are removed from UK homes.
Mr MacNeil appealed to island residents to check if their machines were affected when the first safety notice was issued in 2017. He was subsequently involved in supporting several constituents in ensuring the relevant modifications were carried out or the machine was replaced.
The UK Government’s Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) finally published their review on Whirlpool’s modification programme recently and concluded that modified machines are safe to use.

Mr MacNeil said:‘Which? UK believe there are half a million unmodified fire-risk tumble dryers still being used across the UK and so I would urge constituents to check again if their machine is affected.
‘I am supporting Which’s campaign for the UK Government to do more to deal with this matter and to make sure that unsafe products are not being sold and used.
‘It is just not enough to make soft recommendations to the firms responsible.’
You can call Whirlpool on 0800 151 0905 to find out whether your dryer needs a repair and arrange for it to be fixed or replaced.

Visit safety.hotpoint.eu or safety.indesit.eu where you can input your model number and, if your model is affected, you can register it for a service and modification. Creda dryers can also be checked on the Hotpoint site.

If your dryer is one of those affected by the fault, you must contact Whirlpool to arrange a repair or replacement, unplug it immediately and do not use it until it's been fixed.

Read more: Local News for Wednesday 17th April 2019

Local News for Tuesday 16th April 2019


Lewis Wind Power (LWP) is in the process of transferring ownership of the 180MW Uisenis project to the Oppenheim family, owners of Eishken estate where the project is situated.

Although LWP will no longer own the project, LWP believe the Oppenheim family is in a strong position to realise the potential for a large scale wind farm at Uisenis. The change in ownership should not impact on the needs case for the new grid connection with the mainland.

LWP and the Oppenheim family are firmly focused on working to secure approval from Ofgem for the new cable. LWP remains committed to delivering the 180MW Stornoway Wind Farm.

Read more: Local News for Tuesday 16th April 2019

Local News for Thursday 11th April 2019


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.

Read more: Local News for Thursday 11th April 2019

Local News for Monday 15th April 2019


Bragar and Arnol Community Trust has announced that O' Mac Construction Ltd will be undertaking the redevelopment of the former Bragar School on the West side of Lewis, which will see the creation of enhanced community facilities for events and meetings, along with a hostel, an àite cèilidh café and a launderette. Work is expected to begin in May with completion due in early summer 2020
The project will be managed by Tighean Innse Gall (T.I.G) on behalf of Bragar and Arnol Community Trust.
The project has received support from many organisations including the National Lottery Community Fund, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, HIE, Bòrd na Gàidhlig, Western Isles Development Trust, and also the Aspiring Communities Fund supported by the Scottish Government and European Social Fund.
Catriona Campbell, Chair of Bragar and Arnol Community Trust, said:
‘We are delighted to have reached the point where work is about to begin on what will be a new chapter for the building and for the communities of Bragar and Arnol.’

To celebrate the start of the project, Bragar and Arnol Community Trust will be staging special community events at Grinneabhat on Friday 19th and Saturday 20th April which will include a cèilidh featuring talented musicians and singers from the local area. Those attending will also get the opportunity to meet with representatives from T.I.G. and project architects Whyte and McGinn, to get an insight into the work involved in the refurbishment.

Read more: Local News for Monday 15th April 2019

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.

Read more: Local News for Thursday 10th April 2019