Local News for Tuesday 9th April 2019


An Election for two Directors from Barra and one Director from Uist to serve on the Western Isles Development Trust is being undertaken on behalf of the Trust by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar’s Election Team. Nomination Forms are available from the Western Isles Development Trust website or obtained by request by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or from these offices:-
Barra Council Offices, Castlebay, Isle of Barra, HS9 5XD Telephone number 01871 810431 and Balivanich Council Offices, Balivanich, Isle of Benbecula, HS7 5LA, Telephone number 01870 602425
To be eligible to serve as a Director an individual must be ordinarily resident in the area to which they are seeking election.
The deadline for receipt of nominations is 2.00pm on Thursday 25 April 2019

Read more: Local News for Tuesday 9th April 2019

Local News for Monday 8th April 2019


A huge community effort for The Leanne Fund has raised £5,000 which will directly support those affected by Cystic Fibrosis.
Workplaces, schools and groups across the area held Rainbow Raiser events in aid of the charity which works to support young people and their families who are affected by the chronic lifelong condition through a range of services.
The Stornoway Co-op store fundraised for the charity for the month raising £1514.56 through their efforts.
A Co-op spokesperson said: “We had buckets at the checkouts and a bookstall for the month, we also sold a Rainbow themed quiz sheet to the amazing Rainbow Hamper. We had a staff bag packing day on the Rainbow fundraiser day too. We had a fun month and hope that what we raised makes a few people’s lives a bit easier.”
Chrisetta Mitchell, Development Manager for The Leanne Fund said: “We are so grateful to the Co-op for their fantastic efforts and all the other workplaces and groups who held Rainbow Raiser events.
“Our charity relies on our amazing volunteers and particular mention must go to our volunteer Event Co-ordinator Fiona Murray for her wonderful work in engaging so many local organisations.
The current total for the fundraising will be matched by further support from the Bank of Scotland.

Read more: Local News for Monday 8th April 2019

Local News for Thursday 4th April 2019


A monthly community cafe, made possible by a grant of nearly £10,000 from Point and Sandwick Trust, officially opened on a permanent basis last Saturday.

Sonja Macleod, one of the directors of the community wind farm charity, spoke of the immense contribution which volunteers make to community life as she cut the ribbon.

She said she was “delighted” to have been asked to officially open The Beacon Cafe in the Tiumpanhead community centre and added: “Tiumpanhead Community Association have been striving towards this for years. We should remember that they are all volunteers. None of these guys in the kitchen get paid for what they do.”

Sonja paid particular tribute to Grace Smith, chair of the community association, who later said the year-long trial of the cafe had been so successful that they’d have been “daft not to carry on”.

Point and Sandwick Trust had given the community association a grant of £9,250 to upgrade the community centre’s kitchen to professional catering standards. The cafe is open at the community centre on the last Saturday of every month.

Read more: Local News for Thursday 4th April 2019

Local News for Friday 5th April 2019


Comhairle nan Eilean Siar has written to Minister for Energy and Islands, Paul Wheelhouse MSP to underline the urgent need for investment in new ferries for the Clyde and Hebrides Ferry Service network over and above the commitment to build the two ferries at Ferguson Marine Engineering that are now set to be at least 2 years late before they enter service.
The letter underlined that the primary purpose for Government investment in ferry services must be to secure the sustainability of the island communities they serve.
Comhairle Chair of Transportation and Infrastructure Cllr. Uisdean Robertson recently met representatives of Strategic Marine, that recently completed the new ferry for Pentland Ferries, to understand the service they could offer.
Cllr Robertson said “Comhairle nan Eilean Siar have had very positive discussions with Ministers and we know they understand the damage technical difficulties with aging ferries can have on fragile island economies. We want to work constructively with Government to overcome this threat and believe the proposal we outlined on the Strategic Marine design is worthy of serious consideration.
“This could deliver the badly needed new ferries in as little as 18 months from an order being placed at a cost that is likely to be significantly lower than the £40-50Million CMAL have quoted as the cost of building a single new ferry for Islay to operate alongside MV Finnlaggan. We must not lose sight of the fact that the purpose of these ferries is to serve lifeline routes to islands as well as being an enabler for economic development for which I know Scottish Government shares our enthusiasm.

Read more: Local News for Friday 5th April 2019

Local News for Wednesday 3rd April 2019


Eight elite athletes from the Outer Hebrides are set to benefit from a scheme designed to support travel costs for island competitors.
This is the second year of the pilot Islands Athlete Travel Award Scheme supported by sportscotland whereby 8 local athletes from across the Islands will receive £1,500 to support their travel and accommodation costs in attending training and competitions.
Applications were received from 28 individuals covering 9 different sports, highlighting the demand for increased support. The overall standard was high, making the selection process appropriately challenging.
Cllr Angus McCormack, Chair of Education, Sport and Children’s Services, said: “I am delighted that we have been able to work with our partners at sportscotland to support this innovative scheme for a second year. Our young people continue to show that they can compete with those from other areas of the country, given the opportunity. I wish them all well for the coming year.”
Councillor Charlie Nicolson the Comhairle’s representative on Lewis and Harris Sports Council participated in the selection process as an advisor and was impressed by the range and quality of the applications, he said:
“Once again it was a pleasure to see the efforts that our young people, and their families, are making to participate at high levels in sport. I was impressed with the way the panel carried out the challenging selection process. I look forward to watching how all the athletes’ progress in the future.”
As part of their commitment to the scheme Comhairle nan Eilean Siar’s Sport & Health team, alongside their coaches, will now monitor each athlete’s progress through the coming year.

Read more: Local News for Wednesday 3rd April 2019