MP CALLS FOR MORE ACCESS TO LIFELINE AIR SERVICES FOR LOCAL COMMUNITY
Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MP, Angus MacNeil has welcomed the announcement that the Scottish Government is again tendering for the PSO route from Barra to Glasgow but is asking for more action to ensure the community can access lifeline flights at short notice.
Mr MacNeil said: “It was ironic that on the day of this announcement, there were no seats available between Glasgow and Barra for the next fortnight.
“This is impacting on the local community and businesses, both local and off island, who are having to deal with shorter windows of need and find that bookings are taken by tourists who have booked long in advance, sometimes just doing day returns.”
He added: “I would ask Michael Matheson MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Transport to accept that all the seats have booking windows typically of 9-12 months but that they do need to keep some seats with shorter booking windows of 2-4 weeks for the summer period.
“During the summer, the lifeline air service is very often closed to islanders because of the length of booking windows.”
The Invitation to Tender for the contract, which will run for four years from 25th October 2019 includes new measures which will see little used services from Barra and Tiree removed from schedules to create a bank of rotations which can be deployed at the discretion of local communities.
A trial on the Barra service, which sees seats reserved for passengers travelling for medical purposes, will also be formalised in the new contract.
Read more: Local News for Monday 6th May 2019
WESTERN ISLES SHUT OUT SCAMMERS CAMPAIGN
Recently, CNES Trading Standards Officers participated in the Police Scotland multi-agency Shut out Scammers campaign. The campaign targets doorstep and bogus crime and raises awareness of offenders who cold call people and scam them out of money.
As part of the campaign, officers from the Comhairle took the opportunity to provide timely advice to local traders to stop them from falling foul of the law, particularly when selling away from business premises. Advice was also provided on Business Names legislation and the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.
A spokesperson said:
“We are reminding local businesses about The Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation & Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 which require that Traders provide certain information in writing, or e-mail, at certain times before and after a contract is made.
“In some circumstances when Traders are providing goods or services costing over £42 in a consumers home or place of work, they must give a 14 day cancellation period.
“Under this legislation, failure to provide a consumer with a notice of their 14 day cancellation rights may be a criminal offence.
“Advice was also given regarding the necessity to keep good business records, and model cancellation forms which comply with the legislative requirements were provided to Traders.”
Businesses can access free, impartial legal guidance at https://www.businesscompanion.info/ or by contacting Stornoway Trading Standards on 01851 822694.
Read more: Local News for Tuesday 30th April 2019
HIE LOOK AHEAD TO GRINNEABHAT DEVELOPMENT
Rachel Mackenzie, Highlands and Islands Enterprise Outer Hebrides Area Manager was among those who met at Grinneabhat in North Bragar recently to look ahead to the start of the redevelopment of the former Bragar School.
HIE is supporting UCBA, the Bragar and Arnol Community Trust and Mrs Mackenzie said:
“We are delighted to be in a position to help UCBA finalise their funding package. The group has ambitious plans to revitalise the community and improve the location as a place to live and work. The centre has been used as a base for community engagement since the school closed and plans to refurbish the school will enable it to become a quality modern community hub with a focus on Gaelic and cultural tourism serving the area and creating employment and sustainable income for the community. We are pleased to work with the group and to support this project.”
In addition to HIE, the project has also received support from a wide range of local and national organisations including the COSLA Regeneration Capital Grant Fund (with support from Comhairle nan Eilean Siar), Bòrd na Gàidhlig, and also the Western Isles Development Trust.
Work on the redevelopment of Grinneabhat will be undertaken by O' Mac Construction Limited with Tighean Innse Gall as Project Managers and will begin on Tuesday 7th May.
Read more: Local News for Monday 29th April 2019