PUBLIC DROP-IN ON ISLES LONG-TERM FERRY OPTIONS
Transport Scotland has commissioned Peter Brett Associates (PBA), now part of Stantec, to carry out a transport appraisal considering the long-term options for the ferry routes to, from and within the Outer Hebrides. The consultations have already been taking place in the Southern Isles throughout last week and now the consultants will be hosting public sessions on the Isles of Lewis and Harris.
The public are invited to drop in to take part at the following times and locations, today Monday 20th May- Lewis, 4pm to 7.30pm at the Bridge Community Centre, Stornoway, and tomorrow, Tuesday 21st May, 4pm to 7.30pm at Tarbert Community Centre.
These meetings will take the form of a public drop-in session, where members of the public are welcome to come along, find out about the emerging study outcomes and, if they wish, have an informal discussion with the transport team at any point between 4pm and 7.30pm.
Read more: Local News for Monday 20th May 2019
DILEAB EP DUE OUT THIS SUMMER
Last Saturday, 11th May, over 50 choir members from Sir E Scott (junior and senior choir), Laxdale Primary, Stornoway Primary and The Nicolson Institute came together at Studio Alba on Seaforth Road, Stornoway, to record the Dìleab EP which will be available to buy in the summer.
Evelyn Coull Macleod, Multimedia Manager at Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, said:
“The EP will feature many of the songs which were performed at the sold out Dìleab concert in December. We do, of course, hope that the community will support the work done by the pupils once again by buying the EP when it’s launched later this summer. Whilst it is fantastic to see the progression of Dìleab as a project, it is even more rewarding for us to follow the pupils’ development and this EP gives them another platform to showcase their considerable talents.
“This is just the start of Dìleab 2019 and we have lots of other exciting plans to follow on from last year’s success. Very soon we will be releasing more details about a special gig in November 2019 involving our young people and top class bands.”
The Dìleab EP will feature local artist Willie Campbell, who wrote all the songs, along with other musicians from the community.
Read more: Local News for Friday 17th May 2019
ISLES CROFT WOODLAND PROJECT EXTENDED FOR 5 YEARS
The Croft Woodland project in the Western Isles is to be extended for a further five-years following a successful first phase, resulting in 100,000 trees being planted in 51 villages across the islands with the support of Point and Sandwick Trust (P.S.T.)
The community wind farm charity will fund a second phase with a budget of £400,000 over five years. A total of 103 schemes have been planted so far and the 51 villages which have taken part are spread across five islands – Lewis, Harris, Barra, South Uist, Benbecula, North Uist.
Former MP Calum MacDonald who piloted the first Crofter Forestry Act through Parliament in the 1990s before turning community wind farm developer is delighted at the new wave of crofter forestry in the islands supported by the Trust.
He said: “It’s obvious that there is a huge amount of pent-up demand in the islands and that’s why we’ve decided now that we shall renew the scheme and confirmed the funding for the next five years – but eventually we are probably talking about a 20-year commitment, that will have a transformative effect on the biodiversity and the landscape of the Western Isles and the amenity for the communities.”
Read more: Local News for Thursday 16th May 2019
PENALISING PENSIONERS FOR HAVING A YOUNGER PARTNER UNACCEPTABLE, SAYS ISLES MSP
Isles SNP MSP Alasdair Allan has called for the UK Government to abandon its planned cuts to Pension Credit during a Scottish Parliament debate on the subject.
Pension Credit is a benefit designed to help low-income Pensioner households.
But, from today, 15th May, onwards, newly retired Pensioners will be barred from claiming Pension Credit if they have a younger partner, and will instead be forced onto Universal Credit. There are estimates that the impact of these changes on the average claimant will be in the region of between £5,000 and £6,000 per year.
Speaking in the Scottish Parliament, Alasdair Allan MSP said: ‘It is clear that changes to Pension Credit are going to have a significant impact on mixed-age Pensioner households. For the UK Government to penalise people simply for having a younger partner is completely unacceptable.
‘This is a benefit designed for some of our poorest Pensioners, and they should not be forced to pay the price for the Tories’ ideologically driven cuts to welfare.
‘The Tories must urgently reverse this attack on low-income pensioners.’
Read more: Local News for Wednesday 15th May 2019