Isles FM News - Friday 12th June 2020
FERRY SERVICES AS TOURISM INDUSTRY PREPARES TO OPEN
Cal Mac is seeking to expand ferry services across its network. The shipping firm has been consulting with Transport Scotland, over increasing operations, to near wintertime levels.
Cal Mac suggested a new timetable could commence next month. Decisions on when restrictions are lifted and what categories of passengers can travel, will be made by the Scottish Government.
Presently, a skeleton service is in place - limited to key workers and essential travel - with vessels running under a third of sailings compared to a wintertime schedule.
A Cal Mac spokesman said “The service can cope with an increase of traffic levels similar to the winter season, with ferries used mainly used by islanders and commercial vehicles. Any busier than that, would result in capacity restrictions being implemented”
RE-INTRODUCTION OF STORNOWAY-INVERNESS FLIGHTS
Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MSP Alasdair Allan has welcomed the reintroduction of flights between Stornoway and Inverness.
Flights to Inverness will be added to Loganair’s emergency schedule, from Monday 15 June.
Alasdair Allan MSP commented: “This is very welcome news I know this has been extraordinarily difficult for many hospital patients and their families. There is still a long way to go before we return to anything like a normal air service in the islands, but this is an important and careful step.”
SUCCESS OF UK GOVERNMENT’S JOB RETENTION SCHEME
Shadow Finance Secretary Donald Cameron has praised the UK Government’s job retention scheme. The latest figures from HMRC show that 2,600 jobs were protected across the Western Isles.
Mr Cameron, a Highlands and Islands MSP said: “These figures from the job retention scheme, are quite remarkable and highlight the support provided by the UK Government “As we know, the Western Isles, which have a high dependence on tourism, are extremely vulnerable to the economic impact of the pandemic, so these measures are incredibly important for us.
CEREMONY TO MARK 80TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE BATTLE AT ST VALÉRY
Today is the 80th Anniversary of the battle at St Valéry, which saw the capture of hundreds of Western Isles men during World War II.
There will be a short commemorative ceremony at the Clock Tower outside the Nicolson Institute on Friday at 10am where members of the school's pipe and brass bands will play.
The appropriate social distancing will be adhered to, with the musicians being 5m apart, rather than 2m, as guidelines for players of such instruments dictate
Other members of the school's bands will mark the anniversary, elsewhere on the island. The ceremony will be live streamed on The Comhairle Facebook page at 10am to allow people to watch from home.
An Comunn Gàidhealach have announced, that they will be holding an online version of Am Mòd Nàiseanta Rìoghail later this year. In keeping with the tradition, the event will take place during October
Junior and senior participants will be able to record performances in their respective categories and upload and submit their performances online. Performances being showcased via The Royal National Mòd’s social media channels in October.
The full list of disciplines including singing, bàrdachd, instrumental and highland dancing categories on the Royal National Mod’s website and must be submitted by 31st July.
CNES SOCIAL MEDIA ACTIVITIES
Last weekend saw 52,000 people tune in to watch local artists perform on the Comhairle nan Eilean Siar Facebook page. This huge audience is the highest recorded since the Comhairle launched its Social Media Activities Programme.
This weekend Ceitlin Lilidh from the traditional Gaelic group SIAN will be performing tonight at 9pm. Saturday night will see the return of local singer Iain ‘Tosh’ MacIntosh at 9pm.