Isles FM News in association with Hebrides News - Tuesday 22nd September 2020


Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MSP Alasdair Allan has reacted to news that the contract to fabricate jackets and suction caissons for the first phase of SSE's Seagreen offshore wind farm has gone to a company in China.
It had been hoped that some of the work could have gone to BiFab – operators of the Arnish fabrication yard in the Isle of Lewis.
Alasdair Allan MSP commented:
“Seagreen 1 is expected to be one of the one of the largest offshore wind farms in the UK. We have yards in Lewis and Fife, which have a proven track record in delivering high-quality manufacturing. Instead of this work being done in Scotland, SSE have awarded it to a company 6,000 miles away at the other side of the Eurasian landmass.
“This is another missed opportunity deliver work to yards like Arnish. There is a pressing need for the UK Government to reform the Contract for Difference funding scheme which subsidises these renewable developments to ensure these projects actually deliver benefits to the local supply chain in Scotland.”



Highlands and Islands Scottish Labour MSP Rhoda Grant, has said the Scottish and U.K. Government’s must now pay attention to the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the Highland and Islands
The MP has called for an economic “shot in the arm” to support local jobs and businesses following the publication of a report from Highlands and Islands Enterprise. The report warns that the economy of the Highlands and Islands could decrease by as much as £2.6bn this year due to the impact of Covid-19 on businesses and jobs. And the figures presented in the document suggest that unemployment increased faster in the region than the rest of Scotland.
Commenting on the report Rhoda Grant MSP said:
“This report makes grim reading with increased and rapidly growing unemployment due to the nature of the region’s economy, which relies heavily on tourism and outdoor recreation, it’s clear that the economy of the Highlands and Islands will need a shot in the arm if we are to turn around the worrying trend of job losses and economic downturn.


Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MSP Alasdair Allan has again raised in the Scottish Parliament the opportunities for home-working to bring more public-sector jobs to rural and island areas.
Alasdair Allan MSP said:
“The rapid shift to home-working brought about by the pandemic has the potential to be beneficial for the islands if we can encourage employers and public sector organisations to make sure that more and more of their jobs can be done by home-working or hot-desking.



Due to proposed culvert replacement works in Tolsta Chaolais next week, access to Allt na Muilne Bridge will be closed from Monday 28th Sept until Friday 2nd October. It is requested that next week all traffic entering Tolsta Chaolais, do so by the north end access road.



Comhairle nan Eilean Siar expects to collect bins on the Isle of Great Bernera today, Tuesday 22nd September. It may not be possible to service all the bins in one day. Any bins not serviced on Tuesday will be serviced tomorrow Wednesday.
The Comhairle ask residents to present their bins for collection as normal at 8am today Tuesday 22nd September and ensure that any unemptied bins are left at the kerbside for collection tomorrow Wednesday 23rd September.
As both non-recyclable and food and garden waste bins cannot be emptied at the same time with this vehicle configuration, please note that the vehicle will visit your property twice to collect each waste stream separately.



MSP Rhoda Grant has written to Highland council after the Uig Harbour development, accommodating the upgraded Skye-Uist-Harris triangle ferry, suffered a government funding shortfall.
Mrs Grant has written to Highland council’s chief executive Donna Manson expressing hope that the council can use the setback to its advantage.
Mrs Grant said:
“I want the Council to reassure the community a silver lining lies behind this delay because it gives officials more time to work with the community and make changes to improve the final scheme accordingly. Hopes were high that the Uig harbour redevelopment scheme would kick-start regeneration in the community.
“The government’s investment in the Uig Triangle ferry service, which involves a new and improved ferry vessel and major upgrade of harbours is enormously important for the future prosperity and growth of the Western Isles