BUSINESSES GET CASH SUPPORT THROUGH CRISIS
Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MSP, Alasdair Allan, has welcomed new figures showing that 423 businesses, in the Western Isles have received Scottish Government grants, to support firms through the coronavirus crisis.
A total of £4.79 million has been awarded in the Western Isles, through a Scottish Government scheme, to support small businesses and the retail, hospitality and leisure sector.
Alasdair Allan commented: “This is a very difficult time for businesses. This Scottish Government funding, is designed to support firms, to ensure our economy is on the best possible footing, when we get through the COVID-19 pandemic.
Read more: Isles FM News in association with Hebrides News: Friday 1st May 2020
NHS WESTERN ISLES LAUNCHES COVID-19 TELEPHONE LINE
NHS Western Isles has launched a new Coronavirus (COVID-19), health support telephone line, for those living and working within the Western Isles.
The service has been set up to answer general health queries or concerns, from members of the public, health and social care staff, regarding the Covid-19 situation. The telephone number 01851 601151 will be open from 09.00am-5.30pmMonday-Friday
Information can also be found at the new local support, website, www.coronavirus.wi.nhs.scot. But, if you or a member of your household is experiencing symptoms of coronavirus, then you should still call NHS24 on 111 in the first instance.
Read more: Isles FM News in association with Hebrides News: Thursday May 30th 2020
CROFT PROPERTIES AND HOME CARE COST
Comhailre Nan Eilean Siar has sparked anger by restarting its controversial practice of assessing croft properties to count towards care home costs.
The practice is deeply contentious across the Western Isles for effectively forcing people to sell the family croft to meet the costs of residential care for an elderly relative.
The local authority was forced to halt a number of ongoing cases eight weeks ago following a vote by councillors at a special meeting. Now it has reversed that suspension without referring the matter to all councillors as previously agreed, after obtaining new legal advice from an eminent Scottish QC.
SNP Councillor Calum Macmillan is furious by officials apparently overruling Councillors and ignoring their decision for the matter to return to the full council for further scrutiny.
He accused council bosses of making a "mockery of decision-making in the Western Isles. Our communities deserve better.”
"Reverting to the original controversial practice of forcing the sale of croft houses is not competent and must therefore be withdrawn, as the required information has yet to be presented to councillors," insisted Mr Macmillan.
Gordon Murray, the leader of the SNP group of councillors, stated:
Read more: Isles FM News in association with Hebrides News: Wednesday 29th April 2020
WESTERN ISLES STARTS ITS OWN COVID-19 INFECTION TESTING
NHS Western Isles has commenced testing for the coronavirus that causes the COVID-19 infection. Following local validation, to national standards, the Western Isles Hospital laboratory, is now accepting samples for testing. The capacity for the facility is 64 tests a day.
The anticipated result time is approximately three hours, compared to one or more days when testing has previously, had to be undertaken on the mainland. Sampling packs will be distributed to the Uists and to Barra, rolling out access, to the Stornoway Laboratory testing service, across the islands.
ONE MINUTE SILENCE
NHS Western Isles is encouraging workplaces and individuals across the Western Isles to observe a nationwide One Minute Silence being held today Tuesday at 11am.
The One Minute Silence is in honour and remembrance of all health, care and key workers who stood firm in the fight against COVID-19, but have sadly lost their lives.
Read more: Isles FM News in association with Hebrides News: Tuesday 28th April 2018