Deliveries of logs from Elgol to Tormore will take place this week.

Due to delay in the next round of harvesting timber from Tormore Forest and to ensure continuity to the woodfuel customers of Sleat Community Trust, five truck loads will be delivered to the forest from Wednesday 1 November to Thursday 2 November.

The deliveries will total around 100 tons.  This has been agreed with Highland Council and follows the existing Haulage Accord for Tormore.

The times will be similar to the usual transport and Fergusons will do all they can to minimise any disruption.

Residents who have any concerns are invited to contact the Trust office on 01471 844773.

CalMac has set out its plans for ferry services affected by the essential maintenance work at Lochmaddy Harbour.

The work is scheduled to take place for one week from November 13.

The linkspan will be closed between the 13th and 19th November and a daily vehicle and passenger service will operate on an amended timetable between Uig and Lochboisdale.

The amended timetable will include a daily service between Uig and Tarbert.

Arrangements will be put in place for foot passengers requiring transport between the ports of Lochmaddy and Lochboisdale and anyone planning to travel by foot should telephone CalMac customer services on 0800 066 5000 on the day prior to travel.

CalMac's Head of Service Delivery North, Robert Morrison, said: "The essential works will cause some unavoidable inconvenience but we have put in place what we believe is the best possible alternative to minimise disruption.

"Details of the temporary diversion will be advertised extensively and frequently asked questions and the temporary Uig - Lochboisdale timetable can be viewed at the CalMac website."

The constituency MSP for Skye has confirmed she will participate in this weekend's Save Portree Hospital demonstration, as local fears grow about the future of the hospital.

Kate Forbes MSP has already sought assurances from Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon about emergency care provision at the hospital, and after meeting with campaigners last month raised further concerns to the Cabinet Secretary for Health Shona Robison.

Ms Forbes previously expressed her dismay that the experiences described by scores of her constituents has not matched NHS Highland's assurances.

Saturday's (28 October) protest begins at 2pm in Portree.

Those travelling on the A82 in October are advised to leave extra time for their journeys.

As part of Transport Scotland’s trunk road maintenance programme, Scotland TranServ will deliver road surface improvements on the A82 Southbound between Garshake Road and Greenhead Road in Dumbarton from 8pm Friday 27th October until 6am Monday 30th October.

Work to address defects and structural cracking on the southbound dual carriageway has been specifically scheduled for a weekend outwith school holidays, in order to reduce disruption to the local community and others using the route.

Darren Mitchell, Scotland TranServ’s Roads Design Engineer said: “This is an important road through Dumbarton, for local drivers, but also freight and tourism traffic alike. This essential programme will significantly improve the quality of the road surface, and has been scheduled in order to reduce disruption as much as possible.”

"The health and safety of our workers, and of road users, is of the utmost importance to Scotland TranServ. Therefore, due to the depth and width of the repair work, it is necessary to close the southbound dual carriageway to complete this £220,000 project. The northbound lanes of the A82 will be unaffected."

The closure will be implemented on the A82 between Barloan Toll Roundabout and Greenhead Road from 20.00 on Friday 27th until 06.00 on Monday 30th October. Those travelling southbound should follow signed diversions and leave extra time for their journeys.

Local authorities, community councils, Police Scotland and transport companies have also been extensively involved in discussions around the scheduling of the project. Access will also be maintained throughout the project to both the Police Station and Argyle Avenue.

Those travelling southbound should follow the signed diversions and leave extra time for their journeys; additional journey time of up to 50 minutes can be expected, with traffic volumes in Dumbarton also likely to be higher than normal. 

More information can be found here.

CalMac have advised that their phone lines will be closed this evening (Monday 23 October.)

The ferry company cites essential system improvements as the reason for the closures, which will take place from 7pm on Monday 23 until 7am to Monday 24.

Anyone travelling to Raigmore Hospital within the next few days will find access to the front entrance restricted.

Due to ongoing construction work there will be restrictions in place this weekend (Saturday 21 to Sunday 22) to the front entrance of Raigmore Hospital.

Cars will not be able to pick up and drop off from the main entrance and patients, visitors and members of the public will be directed to alternative entrances.

Signage is in place to direct visitors to the hospital and people will be manning the front entrance both internally and externally to direct visitors.

Normal service will resume on Monday 23 October. 

A website of resources for Gaelic Medium Education, originally set up and run by two primary school teachers based on Sleat in their spare time, has been shortlisted for a Scottish Gaelic Award for the second year running.

The website, Lasadh, is managed by Gaelic educational resources organisation Stòrlann Nàiseanta na Gàidhlig, based in Stornoway, and led by teachers Gwen Culbertson (pictured above right) and Mairi Macdonald (left), who both teach in Bun-sgoil Shlèite.

Lasadh is up for the Innovation in Education Award in the Daily Record’s Scottish Gaelic Awards, as it was last year, but is also nominated in the Learner Award category this year.

Stronger financial controls, better forward planning and improved links with service providers and users are essential if Scotland’s ferry services are to be maintained and developed in the future.

That’s the verdict of a major report from Audit Scotland on Transport Scotland’s ferry services, issued today (Thursday October 19th) which shows that Government subsidies to CalMac ferries have risen 185 per cent in ten years. This is mainly due to an increase in services, new vessels and the introduction of the Road Equivalent Tariff (RET).

There are an estimated 66 scheduled ferry routes in Scotland, managed by a range of public and commercial operators - with the complexity of the arrangement shown in the graphic above.

Come up with a name for this house - and you could win yourself a bottle of Misty Isle Gin.

The House With No Name is currently being built in Glenbernisdale and will be used as a small self-catering house.

The enterprise is that of Alison Crawford.  She and her husband told The Skye Times: "The house is designed to be in keeping with the local area so will be larch clad to allow it to blend in and has a traditional slate roof that just went on this week. Not to be confused with a camping pod this is a house but in miniature.

Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) is running a campaign to collect views on the Scottish bus services.

CAS stated: "Public transport is a priority for the Scottish government with a new transport bill being introduced in 2018."

Those who wish to share their views have until October 22 to do so.

More information can be found here.

Businesspeople trying to visit and work on Skye in the summer – along with visitor groups seeking affordable accommodation – are the target market for the newly announced Skye Snooze project - artistic impression above.

This involves the siting of 13 accommodation letting units and a reception unit along with related car parking spaces at Jansvans, 6 Broom Place, Portree.

Donnie Nicolson, the managing director at Jan’s, says the idea started out with the concept of actually re-using freight containers in the same way they have used them for self-storage facilities.

The constituency MSP for Skye has described Highland Council's decision to reject a community-led buyout for land at the Old Man of Storr as "out of step with the spirit of community empowerment".

Kate Forbes MSP commended Staffin Community Trust for its proposals, as it seeks to embark on a major project including a new off-road car park, public toilets and interpretation at one of Skye's most popular landmarks.

Highland Council's rejection of the Asset Transfer Request – the first in the Highlands under the new Community Empowerment Act – follows another busy summer on Skye as infrastructure comes under growing strain.

The future looks bright for the new artists' residence at the former home of Vice Admiral Sir Roddy Macdonald - war veteran, painter and Chief of the Skye Highland Games.

This summer saw Wasps Artists' Studios run a limited number of residencies to make sure the three units, at Braes, met the needs of artists and makers. These were successful and Wasps is now ready to take bookings for 2018.

As part of the project Wasps, and Portree-based Atlas Arts, are offering an annual fully-funded and supported residency to an artist, maker or designer.

Traditional storyteller and Gaelic TV scriptwriter Chrisella Ross, from Upper Bayble on Point, on the Isle of Lewis, has died at the age of 55.

Most recently, Chrisella was a scriptwriter for the Gaelic drama Bannan, produced by Young Films in the Isle of Skye. Earlier this year producer Chris Young said of her: “Chrisella is one of my favourite scriptwriters. Her writing – a unique and powerful mix of originality and authenticity infused with her own rich sense of humour – creates characters with a depth of emotion and humanity that makes for great drama.”

The idea at the heart of the drama – a high-powered lawyer returning to her home island – was hers. She came up with the idea while studying on Glasgow Caledonian’s Master of Arts in TV fiction course.

Earlier, with the former national Gaelic arts agency, Pròiseact nan Ealan, she created and led a national Gaelic storytelling project for more than seven years. After that, she moved into telling stories herself and then began writing for theatre.

Police in the Highlands and Islands are urging motorists not to drive under the influence of alcohol following a number of recent reported incidents.

The safety message comes after five drivers were detected to be over the legal limit or refused to give a breath sample over the course of the last weekend alone.

Detections were made across the Highlands, including in the Inverness, Ross-shire and Skye areas from Friday morning until Sunday night.

During the awards ceremony

 


Portree firefighter John Shaw's twenty years of helping keep others safe has been officially recognised.

The local crew manager was amongst a number of fire service personnel to be presented with their long service medals during a special ceremony in Inverness involving  Scottish Fire and Rescue Service’s Chief Officer Alasdair Hay.

During the ceremony Chief Officer Hay presented 14 Long Service medals and four retirement statuettes and certificates in front of proud family members.

He said: "I am delighted to be here in Inverness to present these Long Service and Good Conduct medals and retirement medals to these members of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service family.

November 1 sees the re-launch day for Cuillin FM's annual  “Cram the Van Christmas Appeal” .

Over the coming weeks they will be gathering new toys and cash donations via the various donation points around its listening area and literally “cramming the Cuillin FM van” with all your contributions to then distribute to the local children and families who will appreciate it most this Christmas.

Since it started the appeal in 2014 they have donated hundreds of new toys and gifts and have helped 131 individual children (that’s dozens of local families) in Skye and Lochalsh have a better Christmas.

This is what Cuillin FM has to say about the appeal:

New kids on the block, South Skye Junior Shinty Club, have scored a major success in their search for funding.

The relatively new sporting group, which is affiliated with the Camanachd Association, has been notified of an Awards for All £6,037 grant.

Established since 2007 the club has previously raised funds to cover equipment costs with support of parents and volunteers

For the Club, Kenny Smith said: "We are delighted with the award and this will help the club push on even more to help the 60+ kids currently at the club to develop and have fun with the glorious game of shinty".

Police are currently carryng out enquiries into damage caused to Broadford Hotel sometime over night between Friday 28 and Saturday 29 October. The incident occurred some time between 7pm and 7am during which the exterior door was damaged. Anyone with information is asked to call 101.

Further coastal protection for Churchton Bay

 

An old pottery workshop at Carbostmore, Carbost could be converted into three self contained units if planning approval is given.

The scheme is one of a number of applications put before Highland Council. Others include the construction of a small rock armour costal defence at Raasay’s Churchton Bay.

Other applications are as follows:

Raasay Community Stores is set to step into the stoplight after being nominated in this year's Rural Community Ownership Awards.

Now staff will head to London next month after being nominated in the Scottish regional award sections of the competition.

The Awards are designed to celebrate the most inspiring examples of people in rural areas working together to improve their communities, to raise awareness of the issues that many rural people face and how they can overcome them through collaborative action.

The first of Skye and Lochalsh Running club's Winter Series of events was staged with the Skeabost 5km.

Seventeen runners took part. The next event will be the Skinadin Forest - 3 or 6 mile routes, at Broadford.

Full results of the Skeabost race are as follows:

Plans to retain but move Isle Ornsay’s post office to the area’s new community hub, An Crùbh, have been given the official stamp of approval

The Post Office’s Regional Network Manager, Suzanne Richardson, has confirmed that public consultation has begun and now local people will also have a chance to have their say.

In a letter to Sleat Community Council Chairperson, Mr Roddy Murray, she said: “I’m writing to let you know that we are proposing, with the Postmaster’s agreement, to move the above Post Office branch to a newly built premises at An Crùbh, Duisdale Beag, Isle Ornsay, Isle of Skye, IV43 8QU.

"I’m pleased to tell you that if the move goes ahead, subject to consultation, the new premises will be built to incorporate a convenience store and Isle Ornsay Post Office, where it will change to one of our new local style branches."

As the clocks go back this weekend, Police in the Highlands are reminding householders to remain vigilant and consider their home security arrangements.

Darker nights make it easier for thieves to target your property so follow our advice to keep your home safe during the darker winter months.

Area Commander Chief Inspector Ian Graham advises: "We are lucky to live in a community with relatively low crime levels, however it's important we don’t become complacent. In most cases thieves will be trying doors in the hope they find one unlocked, so please don't give them a head start.”

Shirley Spear

 

A host of industry leaders and major names in tourism and adventure greeted delegates from across Scotland, as they assembled for the CalMac Travel and Tourism Conference 2016 in Glasgow.

Now in its third year, the conference specifically helps to unite tourism-related businesses from across CalMac’s 200-mile Clyde and Hebrides network – many of which are remote – with influential industry organisations and leaders, allowing them valuable time to network directly.

Opening the packed programme which explored a theme of Navigating Changing Waters, well-known journalist, broadcaster and author Muriel Gray described herself as ‘probably the biggest CalMac fan in the world’.

She was joined in the day’s line-up by adventurer and broadcaster Mark Beaumont, co-owner of Skye’s internationally-acclaimed The Three Chimney and food campaigner Shirley Spear and CalMac master Captain Lachie Wotherspoon, amongst many others.

The tide may just have turned for Glendale's ambitious plans to make the most of a local community assest.

Little over a week after being told that the area had lost out in its hopes of obtaining funding to repair and extend the slipway at Meanish Pier along with installing a pontoon, locals have now been told that they have got planning permission to go ahead with the project.

However, before that can happen they will still have to source cash support.


More road improvement works will mean delays once again for drivers across Skye.

On Monday 31 October to Tuesday 1 November, from 7pm- 7am on both nights the A87 Portree will see work along a section of the road heading north from Portree School Junction along Dunvegan Road. The road will remain open, however a 10mph convoy system will be in place on both nights to ensure the safety of roadworkers and motorists. This will be lifted outside of working hours allowing traffic to run as normal.

Then two nights of resurfacing will take place on the A87 south of Sconser to improve the road surface  will take place from Wednesday 2 November and Thursday 3 November.

Jacobite Queen

Loch Ness based Jacobite Cruises have been fined a total of £8,000, against the owners and a ship’s master after a serious accident which cost a crew member her leg.

The company admitted charges brought under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 after Aurelia Thabert lost her leg in the incident in June 2012.

The master Andrew Paul Lach (47) pleaded guilty to a charge brought under the Merchant Shipping Act 1995.
On 20th June 2012, the Loch Ness cruise ship Jacobite Queen was returning to her berth at Tomnahurich Bridge, Inverness when the incident happened in Dochgarroch Locks.

Aurelia Thabert, then aged 25, was working as a crew member onboard the Jacobite Queen. She was attempting to release a rope from the side of the lock when her right foot became entangled in a bight of the rope.

Highland Council is to seek the views of local communities on a proposal to relocate Dunvegan Primary School to Lonmore, on the outskirts of the village.

Members of the Council’s Education, Children and Adult Services Committee have agreed to undertake a public consultation on the proposal.

A major Coastguard exercise centred on Mallaig is scheduled to take place this week-end

Co-ordinatoring officers have said that a large number of Coastguard vehicles, team members and at least two visits by the helicopter are expected as they test their capabilities to react to any serious incidents off Skye.

 

Police in Portree have expressed concerned about men who were reported attempting to sell tools from the back of a van. Officers are endeavouring to track them down with enquiries ongoing. Any info call 101

Donald (second left back row) pictured with the other winners

 

Local shinty coach Donald Martin's commitment to the sport on the island has been recognised with a top award.

The man who has been involved with Skye Camnachd for over four decades has been honoured with a Lifetime Coaching Achievement Award.

The 2016 Highland Coaching Awards were held at Inverness Leisure and are run by High Life Highland in partnership with sportscotland to recognise the outstanding contribution and significant impact of local coaches. These coaches enable quality sport and physical activity opportunities to happen in communities across the Highlands.

 A Skye based scheme is amongst 56 projects in Scotland receiving a share of £4.1 million funding to help boost the fishing sector and make it more sustainable.

The funding, which is part of the second round of the European and Maritime Fisheries Fund, is intended to contribute to the sustainable management of fisheries and marine ecosystems.

Although the Skye project, involving Corgill Fishing and centred around a trawl monitoring scheme, is only put at just over £19,000, the Scottish Government are keen to point out that it is benefitting from continued EU membership for Scotland’s fishing and coastal communities

Some £3.07m of the funding is coming from the EU and £1.03m from the Scottish Government.

Coffee and a chat could lead to more cancer support on Skye.

Skye Cancer Care centre a keen to open a Portree drop in centre where people affected by life changing illnesses can call in for a cuppa, get support and advice or just have a friendly chat.

Now to gauge public support, a Coffee morning has been organised at Portree Parish Church Hall on Saturday 12 November, 10am-noon, to try and engage with as many local people as possible.

Highlands and Islands Labour MSP David Stewart still fears for the future of Highlands and Islands Enterprise with the Government's announcement that a new national board to co-ordinate the activities of Scotland’s enterprise agencies is to be set up.

“Despite assurances from Nicola Sturgeon that HIE’s services will be protected, this announcement seems very rushed and there is no fine detail about protecting jobs that are based here,” he said.

“I know that staff at HIE have undergone numerous changes over the past two decades and this will give those remaining more uncertainty about their futures.

A specialist cardiac nurse has taken part in a NHS Highland-produced YouTube video to help people on Skye beat heart disease.

Charlie Bloe, charge nurse at the coronary care unit at Raigmore Hospital in Inverness, is urging them to attend one of the two session drop-in events on Wednesday 2nd November to find out how emergencies such as heart attacks are managed across Skye, Lochalsh and South West Ross.

In the video, Charlie said that the key to successful outcome for patients with a heart attack is early recognition and prompt specialist intervention.

Just days afer announcing the disappointment of missing out on funds for an exciting local project, Glendale Trust has again got something to smile about

For Glendale's IT project coordinator, Catriona Canning, has received funds from The Allen Lane Foundation to see the continuation of the popular IT project.

Planning permission is being sought to carry out repair works to Raasay's Free Church at Clachan.

If the go-ahead is given for work on the listed building, improvements will be carried out to the roof, bell tower, skews and harling.

Sleat Community Trust have stepped up a gear to improve transportation links in the area.

For they have set up a new book a taxi initiative allowing locals to take a ride...for only half price.

How does it work?

The Crofting Commission Convener crisis has moved into the realm of absurdity, says Patrick Krause, chief executive of the Scottish Crofting Federation.

Mr Krause says: "In his latest statements to the media, Colin Kennedy, the Convener of the Crofting Commission, has said that he has no intention to stand down, despite widespread calls for his resignation.

"He refutes any wrongdoing and claims to have operated within the law, notwithstanding the fact that lawyers and the Cabinet Secretary for crofting, Fergus Ewing, who is himself from a legal background, have said he is wrong.

The details of two funeral services are available in our Funeral Services page. This is a free service on offer to the bereaved in order that people may be more quickly informed.

http://www.theskyetimes.co.uk/index.php/funeral-notices

A reform of enterprise and skills agencies and how they operate has been announced by the Scottish Government .

A new report from the first phase of the review of enterprise and skills services has outlined a raft of reforms which will include:

Creating a new Scotland-wide statutory board to co-ordinate the activities of Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise, including Scottish Development International, Skills Development Scotland and the Scottish Funding Council.

Protecting services in the Highlands and Islands and creating a new service for the south of Scotland

Scotland’s first ever Gaelic Gospel choir was formed to take on the challenge of entering the BBC Songs of Praise Gospel Choir of the Year competition.

A new BBC ALBA programme follows the choir’s formation, starting with the selection process narrowing down the 128 applicants from all over Scotland, to the first rehearsal in Inverness. The choir must record two songs as their entry into the BBC competition, with only one month to complete all their training and rehearsals.

Skye Bike Shack owner Mark Crowe is set to be wheelie busy over the coming few days.

For the local man is gearing up for a series of events on the island after joining the Big Bike Revival, a national campaign aimed at encouraging more folk to take to two wheels.

 

New Muck Primary School Teacher, Laura Marriner (holding son Atticus) with husband Dean and son Charlie.

 

Muck Primary School's new teacher has been named as mother of two Laura Marriner.

Chair of The Highland Council’s Education, Children and Adult Services Committee Councillor Drew Millar congratulates Mrs Marriner on her appointment he said: “I am delighted to welcome Laura to Muck and the Highlands of Scotland, I am sure that she will enjoy her time teaching here and she will receive all the support required from Head Teacher, Andrew Murray.”

Glendale has missed out on vital funding to complete an ambitious waterside scheme.

The Glendale Trust has been told it was unsuccessful at being accepted onto the second stage of the Coastal Communities Funding (CCF) programme.

Local Development Officer, Elizabeth MacLeod said: "We were applying to this fund to repair and extend the slipway at Meanish Pier along with installing a pontoon.

"I have spoken with a CCF funding officer and the reasons are that it was extremely oversubscribed. They had over 80 applications and of these 63 projects were deemed as fundable. Our application was deemed as fundable and he highlighted that it was also seen as a worthwhile project. Unfortunately they could only take 20 of these applications forward to stage two and 10 or less of these are likely to receive funding.

Minginish Community Hall will be the setting on Saturday 29th October at 2.0pm for an Extraordinary General Meeting.

The gathering is to propose financial changes in support of Fairy Pools car park Project. All welcome, there will be teas & coffees.

(Cameron Highlanders from Elgol.)

Would you like to find out more about ancestors who fought in the First World War?

The Skye and Lochalsh Archive Centre is running a two-week block of classes as part of a You Time programme this autumn.  

The first week's session will be led by Graham Ross, author of the Roll of Honour for Skye and Lochalsh.  Graham will introduce his work on local war memorials and his sources for researching World War One casualties.  This will take place on Wednesday 9 November at 10am-12pm at the Skye and Lochalsh Archive Centre.

Skye and Lochalsh Running Club are coming under starter's orders for their annual winter race series events.

At least seven events, scattered across Skye and over a range of distances, are planned to make up the programme of races.

The first is Saturday 29th October at Skeabost Hall, for what is described as "a friendly 5k out along the Tote road and back"

Time is running out for any comments about how Skye's planning process will work in the future.

Noon on Friday 28 October is the final dates to have a say as the Highland Council continues preparing a new Local Development Plan for the West Highland and Islands area, to be known as WestPlan. WestPlan will be used to assess planning applications for future development, so it will affect how places grow and change over time.

From April 1st until June 10th 2016, the Council carried out a consultation on the first stage of WestPlan, known as the Main Issues Report. During the consultation some people suggested new sites that had not previously been considered for inclusion.

Skye MSP Kate Forbes has made it clear she wants families to still be able to get together and enjoy Bonfire Night fireworks.

Rebuffing a parliamentary motion to restrict the use of fireworks, primarily to large organised events she said: “Remember, remember the family on the fifth of November”

The motion tabled at the Scottish Parliament seeks to ban small fireworks displays in favour merely of community events, but the

SNP MSP for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch has instead that Bonfire Night should be celebrated for bringing families and friends together.

Communities across Skye and Raasay have until Friday 18 November to get their entries in for the 2016 Eilean a’ Cheò Civic Awards.

This is the sixth year of the Awards which are organised by the Ward 11 Highland Councillors to recognise people from all age groups and walks of life who have contributed to the success and wellbeing of their local communities.

This year’s award categories are:
•Sports
•Arts/Music
•Environment
•Community
•Enterprise
•Young People

All nominees must be resident on the Isle of Skye or Raasay and be able to demonstrate their actions or activities have resulted in a significant benefit and deserve recognition.

 

Budhmor

 

Six Portree teenage pals are out to prove that when it comes to art age really doesn’t mind.

For the youngsters, Molly Wood, Charlotte Webb , Conor Munro, Jacqualine Nicolson, Conan Macleod and Abbey Clark have come together to spearhead a new project aimed at bringing some extra colour into the lives of elderly residents at the local Budhmor care home.

Already, with the support of local youth development officer, Annie Davidson, they have secured the funding they need to get the project off the ground and are currently looking to employ a community arts worker to help guide the multi-generational mural creation project. It is expected to take around 12-14 weeks to complete the project but with funding time limited the first suitable arts worker candidate will be selected to make the earliest possible start.

Broadford's Cafe Sia missed out on a top award at this year's Highlands & Islands Food & Drink Awards

Although shortlisted as a finalist in the New Business Award category the island eatery didn't manage to take the number one spot.

Blacksmith (UK) Ltd is recalling a batch of Sena Farali Lot Flour because it contains gluten which is not mentioned on the label. This means the product is a possible health risk for anyone with an allergy or intolerance to cereals containing gluten.

For full details follow the link here

Police in Portree are appealing for help to find a missing Jack Russell.

The dog was last seen around the Portree Industrial estate area. Any sightings please call 101 and re-unite the pet with its owner.

Staffin slipway

STAFFIN Community Trust (SCT) has welcomed fresh proposals for an organic fish processing development which could create significant employment opportunities and much-needed infrastructure investment.

The improvement and redevelopment of the Staffin Slipway has been a priority of the local community for some time.

Basic amenities such as water, fuel and electricity cannot currently be accessed. There are no boat storage facilities, while increased shelter for vessels, and the ability to berth at all times of the day were frequently highlighted by local people and fishermen in public consultations run by the SCT. Potential marine tourism opportunities through the potential installation of pontoons were also identified.

High Life Highland Youth Service is seeking an arts worker with experience of facilitating community projects.  Their role will be to lead a short-term intergenerational mural project in Portree.

 

Drivers are advised that one lane of the A82 is now open south of Drumnadrochit following a collision involving a motorcycle.

Delays may be encountered until the road is clear - drivers are thanked by Police for their patience.

 

The Highland Council is anticipating it may have to make savings of £47 million to £72 million over the next 3 years, with a budget gap of some £26 million next year (2017-18)

The financial environment is very challenging, with an unprecedented degree of uncertainty which makes planning very difficult.

There will be a very short timescale to react and provide options for budget savings once the Scottish Government settlement is made known on 15 December. It is expected that the budget will be for only one year.

(L-R) – John Morrison, Chief Executive of An Comunn Gàidhealach, Councillor Norman MacDonald, Chair of the Local Organising Committee in the Western Isles and Convenor of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (Western Isles Council), Helen Carmichael, Provost of Inverness, John Macleod, President of An Comunn Gàidhealach

 

As the Royal National Mòd reaches its final day of competitions in the Western Isles, it has been announced that Inverness will host the Mòd in 2020. Scotland’s biggest Gaelic cultural festival will return to the capital of the Highlands for the first time since 2014.

The news comes the morning after Claire Macauley (Claire Nicamhlaigh), and Torquil MacLeod were announced as winners of the Traditional Gold Medal competitions.

In the final day of competitions this year, the area choirs will compete in the highly anticipated Lovat and Tullibardine Trophy and Margrat Duncan Memorial Trophy at the Lewis Sports Centre. Stornoway Town Hall will hold the ladies area choir competition and the Nicolson Institute will host the men’s competition.

Mallaig Coastguard Rescue Team assisted Mallaig RNLI lifeboat during a joint operation to assist a vessel in distress.

The call out occurred afer the fishing vessel, Independence, suffered engine problems five miles out from Mallaig. She was eventually brought to safely berth.


Crofters on Skye are being urged to play their part in shaping the future.

A Crofting Roadshow is set to come to the Skeabost Hotel on November 24 and locals are being urged to attend and secure the future of crofting by taking part in the upcoming Crofting Commission elections.  There will be a chance to find out more about the elections, the role of the Commission and Commissioners and the importance of making your voice heard.

The Crofting Commission along with Registers of Scotland, Scottish Crofting Federation, SAC Consulting and NFUS are hosting a series of Crofting Roadshows over the next 2 months to provide crofters with an opportunity to find out more about the elections and a one-stop shop to discuss crofting issues.

Rare find

An unusual sighting on a beach in Loch Eishort on Skye has caused a ripple of excitement among marine biologists in the area.

Amphioxus – otherwise known as a lancelet – has a nerve chord down its back and is believed to be one of the first animals to have evolved something resembling a backbone. Two of these strange creatures were discovered near Ord, Loch Eishort in Scotland by Eileen Armstrong and biologist James Merryweather, both from the South Skye Seas Initiative.

The lancelets were spotted at low-tide flipping about on the exposed maerl gravel. One stood on end and burrowed into the maerl, but the other remained still long enough to be photographed before being safely returned to the sea.

MV Loch Seaforth glides across the walls of Dunvegan Castle

 

A ship sailing along the walls of Dunvegan Castle may sound like a mariner's worse nightmare but it's happened...well sort of!

In an innovative film exploring its enduring role at the heart of Scotland’s west coast, CalMac has launched its Your West Coast campaign in collaboration with well-known band Skipinnish.

In the film, massive scale projections of campers roasting marshmallows light up the side of Duart Castle on Mull and the full height of Ardnamurchan Lighthouse suddenly transforms in to a highlander dancing a fling while Mingary Castle flickers with images of surfers running towards the waves.

Barrels are pounded in to shape on the elevation of Castle Stalker, a CalMac ferry dances with the tides in Oban Harbour and grainy footage of a woman casting a line shimmers on a rocky outcrop at Burg on Mull, while the company’s MV Loch Seaforth glides across the world-famous walls of Dunvegan Castle.

 

POLICE in the Highlands say their focus on commercial vehicles will continue following a week long campaign - including checks at the Skye Bridge - which resulted in the detection of over 70 offences and the detention of a male wanted for bogus workman offences.

Between the 10th and 14th October 2016, road policing officers and partners in the Highlands took part in the national Truck and Bus campaign which is carried out simultaneously throughout the UK on prominent arterial routes and focuses on casualty reduction and denying criminals the use of the road.

During the week long campaign mobile and static checks were carried out by road policing officers on the A87 at the Skye Bridge, the A82/A830 at Fort William, and the A9 at Brora and Dalwhinnie.  A multi-agency day of action was also carried out in Inverness with partners that included the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency, Trading Standards and HMRC road fuel section.

The Scottish Crofting Federation (SCF) has expressed its support for the rapid appointment of an interim CEO to the Crofting Commission.

“We were very concerned when Catriona MacLean left the Commission for another post in the Scottish Government,” said Fiona Mandeville, Chair of the SCF, “as, with all the recent turmoil still unresolved, a delay in re-appointment could leave the organisation in a very vulnerable state. I wrote to the Cabinet Secretary, Fergus Ewing, expressing this fear. It is very heartening then to see swift action and an interim appointment.”

Ms Mandeville continued, “We wish Bill Barron well in the job and all strength to his arm in tackling the changes that will be necessary to help the Crofting Commission back to its feet. I look forward to meeting with him to give him these good wishes in person and to learn from him what his strategy will be to address evident issues concerning the Commission.”

 

The Three Chimneys restaurant has won yet more praise.

The Skye eatery has been named amongst the top ten fine dining restaurants in the UK through TripAdvisor's 2016 Travellers' Choice Awards.

 

As work on the Inverness West Link route continues, road users are being advised of temporary traffic restrictions on the A82 at Tomnahurich Bridge in Inverness next week which are likely to cause delays for road users using this route into and out of the city.

The remaining traffic disruption works on the A82 associated with the West Link project start on Monday 24 October and require for an overnight closure of the road over Tomnahurich Bridge from 7pm until 7am. A sign-posted diversion will be in place during this period via Muirton Canal Bridge.

On both Tuesday 25th and Wednesday 26th October lane narrowing restrictions will be in place during the day on the same stretch of road so drivers should expect delays and allow extra time for their journeys.

The Crofting Commission  has announced the appointment of Bill Barron as its Interim Chief Executive.

Bill Barron will be joining the Commission on an interim basis from the 24 October 2016 and will lead the organisation until a permanent appointment is made.  Bill takes on the role following the departure of its previous Chief Executive, Catriona Maclean, to take up a promotion within Scottish Government.  

Food Standards Scotland say urgent action is needed to improve food and drink eaten outside the home for both adults and children in Scotland.

FSS is calling on caterers and other out of home providers to recognise the impact of their sector on Scotland’s diet. A new report published supports the call by showing that eating out in Scotland has increased and is still skewed towards less healthy options.

In particular, the report indicates that less healthy food and drink such as beef burgers, chips, fried chicken, ice cream and sugary drinks were more likely to be consumed by children in Scotland, compared to what is consumed by adults in Scotland and children in the rest of Great Britain.

This report confirms that the out of home sector has to be part of the solution to tackling obesity and FSS is seeking co-operation from this sector to introduce a number of measures to help combat high fat, salt and sugar in food and drink, including changing recipes (reformulation), reducing portion sizes, providing more consumer information (such as calorie labelling), improving children’s options, and reconsidering marketing and advertising approaches.

Today is the day to have your say - and help shape - local GP healthcare.

Workshop sessions surrounding experiences at local GP surgeries and to talk about the shape of future GP digital services are taking place at Aros in Portree on  between 12pm – 6pm but you can also drop in to the evening session between 6pm – 8pm.

The Gaelic Books Council, an association with Book Trust of Scotland, is seeking two writers to participate in the New Writers Awards scheme 2017.

The 2017 Awards are open to Gaelic writers of many genres on the condition that they are based in Scotland and have not previously had a book published.  

Minginish Community Hall Association will be holding an Extraordinary General Meeting at 2pm on Saturday October 29 at Minginish Hall.

The children’s competitions are well underway at this year’s Royal National Mòd in the Western Isles. Islay Junior Gaelic Choir, led by choir master Arlene MacKerrell, won three trophies in choral singing competitions. The choir, all under 19, walked away with The Queen Elizabeth (1937) Coronation Trophy, The Martin Wilson North Berwick Trophy and The Tom Crawford Trophy.

An Extraordinary General Meeting was held by the Glendale Trust yesterday (October 14).  

The meeting focussed on various projects, including the redevelopment of Meanish Pier and an affordable housing project.

MV Hebrides is set to resume service on Monday October 17, depending on the result of sea trials on Saturday.  The ferry normally services the Uig, Tarbert and Lochmaddy route.  However, after the vessel was involved in an incident at Lochmaddy in September, she has been in dry dock at Greenock for repairs.  

Monday will also see MVs Clansman and Lord of the Isles resume their normal service route.  

What shall we call it?

Skye's Camuscross & Duisdale Initiative want locals to help name what is set to be the new heart of the community.

Next Easter the organisation expect to see their new hub complex, made up of a shop, café, post office, hall and office and employing around six people open and ready for business.

Now in advance the Iniitiative is seeking a new name for the new facility.

In their latest newsletter they say: "We know what it’s going to be - a hub for community life - but now that building is about to begin it’s time to leave the generic description behind and choose the name.

The final phase of the £1.25m improvements to the A87 on Skye gets underway next week bringing with it inevitable delays for drivers.

This time a 1.6 km section north of Kingsburgh will be affected bringing overnight works from  Monday 17 October to Friday 28 October between 7pm to 7am.

Again due to nature of the resurfacing improvements, overnight road closures will be in place for safety. Local access and other traffic will be able to pass through the works by hourly amnesties.

Missing Person Christine MacLean - Staffin, Isle of Skye

Police on the Isle of Skye are anxious to trace Christine MacLean, who is missing from the Clachan area of Staffin, in the north of the Island.

Christine (who is also known as Teeny) who is 51, was last seen in the area around 11am yesterday (Tuesday 11 October 2016).

Christine is described as 5'7'' tall, green eyes, is very thin and suffers from alopecia. She may be wearing a green woolly hat with a peak, thick grey woolly jumper, blue or black jeans and fawn coloured shoes.

The owners of Skye Weavers have revealed from their recent competition to design a new tweed.

Seven photographs celebrating the colour and beauty of Glendale have been selected and one of those photographs will form the inspiration for a brand new tweed: the Glendale Check.  

A former teacher at Portree High School has recently completed the formidable Camino de Fisterra walk, also known as the walk to the "End of the World!"  The walk, located in Spain, requires an approximate total of 204,894 steps to complete.

Ms Dunan aims to raise money to provide care for underprivileged children in the Narcissa Centre in Slatina, Romania.  She explained: "During last winter's visit, I was concerned to see some of the children arrive in summer sandals and bare feet in bitterly cold conditions.  Thanks to friends and family, I was able to buy them all warm socks and winter boots and ensure that the children did not go hungry.  I would very much appreciate your assistance in continuing to provide for the underprivileged children of Slatina this winter."

A small part of Sleat's historic past has been preserved albeit with a slight change of location.

Isle Ornsay Post Office has been in existence for over 100 years and, incredibly, has been in Duncan R MacDonald’s family for all of that time. At one stage it was the main post office for the south of Skye, with all letters coming to Isle Ornsay for distrubtion to other areas.

According to the Camuscross and Duisdale Initiative that has meant it has always played a very important role in the life of this and the wider community.

However, when the present post mistress, Flora Ann MacDonald decided she wanted to retire, there were concerns the historic coonection could be lost until she asked the Initiative if it would be a good idea to relocate the post office to the planned new community hub due to be opened next year.

The Scottish Crofting Federation (SCF) has called on the Cabinet Secretary for crofting, Fergus Ewing, to halt the waste of public money and to oust the Crofting Commission Convener, Colin Kennedy, following his stated intention to stay.

“This dreadful humiliation of crofting regulation and complete waste of public money has got to stop”, said Fiona Mandeville, Chair of the SCF. “In his latest statements to the media, Mr Kennedy has said that he intends to stay in place as Convener of the Crofting Commission. He still refutes any wrong doing and claims to have operated within the law, despite the fact that lawyers and the Cabinet Secretary for crofting, who is himself from a legal background, have said he is wrong. That is some arrogance.

Cuillin FM’s new presenter Alec Mcleod hits the airwaves this week but it’s the movies that will be on his mind.
For his new Wednesday evening show “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” mixes classic interviews and tracks with nonsensical movie chat.

This week Alec speaks to Dr. Graeme Baxter of Robert Gordon University about Skye's airports, then and now and Martin Lumb - a Uig local and former airline pilot.

Cathy MacDonald, BBC Alba presenter

BBC ALBA will broadcast daily programmes from this year’s Royal National Mòd in Stornoway including three live programmes covering the most coveted events from throughout the festival.

The Mòd, organised by An Comunn Gàidhealach, is the Gaelic community’s most prestigious festival celebrating cultural heritage, Gaelic language, music and arts.

Cathy MacDonald will present BBC ALBA’s week-long coverage which is being produced by BBC Gàidhlig, with programmes being broadcast each night from Monday 17th to Friday 21st October. 

This year, for the first time ever, there will be live coverage from the final day of the festival when the Choral competition takes place as choirs battle it out to win the Lovat and Tullibardine Shield. This will complement the two live programmes covering the premier solo singing competitions, the An Comunn Gàidhealach Gold Medal on Wednesday and the Traditional Gold Medal final taking place on Thursday.

BBC ALBA’s full Mòd coverage includes:

Joint Warrior - the bi-annual military exercise - will bring 5,700 military personnel from armed forces across the world to the seas around Skye over the coming days.

Countries taking part include Norway, Sweden, Germany and the USA as well as those from the UK.

Some thirty-one warships and submarines as well almost 70 aircraft, many of them being flown out of RAF Lossiemouth in Moray and Prestwick in Ayrshire, are being used in the training off the Scottish coast.

Playtime could be about to get bigger and better at MacDiarmid Primary School.

For a planning application has been lodged with Highland Council which, if given the go ahead, will see an extension to the existing playground by using adjoining land currently used for agricultural.

Full details can be found here

Just what will the £500,000 plus Heritage Lottery Fund award mean to Staffin and the Trotternish generally?

According to the Staffin Community Trust, who have received the funding, it will enable the construction of a viewing platform at Lealt Gorge, new footpaths and interpretation, a central Staffin “orientation point”, a full events programme and the creation of a project manager’s job on a three-year contract.

An economic impact study estimated that the Staffin economy would be boosted by an additional visitor spend of £165,000 through the project’s next phase. This is particularly welcomed in Staffin which has suffered a recent 5 per cent population decline and lacks permanent employment opportunities.

Scottish Land & Estates has said targeted rates reliefs for businesses and communities would further encourage economic growth in rural communities.

The organisation has today responded to the Barclay Review of Business Rates, a consultation initiated by the Scottish Government.

In its response, Scottish Land & Estates has said more could be achieved with:-

• A competitive rates regime, comparable with the rest of the United Kingdom
• Regular revaluations at five yearly intervals with no slippage in timescale
• The ability to address material changes in circumstance within the five years period
• Adequate resourcing of Assessors and suitably qualified staff
• Targeted reliefs 
• Consistency in application and efficiency in process

Police in Portree are warning locals to be wary of door to door callers trying to sell electrial items

The call follows the seizure of several items which were discovered not to meet current safety standards.

Portree's Pelican Design man, Heckie Cormack, has appealed on social media for local help ..to find his missing moggy.

The black and white cat which has a grey coller, disappeared three days ago in the village. Have you seen it?

An allergy alert has been issued via the Food Standards Agency.

Island Delight is recalling its Vegetable Short Crust Pattie as due to a manufacturing error, some packets may contain its Salt Fish Short Crust Pattie and will have incorrect allergen information on the packaging. For full information follow the link here

Community and independently owned shops selling groceries in remote and rural parts of the Highlands and Islands are being asked to take part in a survey into the role they play in sustaining communities.

The survey will help understand the factors affecting rural shops, and the strategies that could be adopted to remain sustainable and adapt to changing market conditions.

It is part of research, commissioned by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), on rural retail across the region. The focus of the research is on community and independently owned shops where grocery is a core provision.

Highland Archaeology Festival 2016 is now under way and with it the chance to celebrate the heritage of the Highlands.

Provided by the Highland Council and running through until October 16, a whole range of events and activities have been organised.

Gateway to the outdoor musuem

Staffin’s innovative ecomuseum – the first of its kind in Scotland - has been awarded a massive half a million pound grant.

The £522,100 award from Lottery funding will now be used to further develop the unique outdoor museum which uses the landscape and its industrial past as outdoor showcases.

The funding is awarded to Staffin Community Trust (SCT) who want to enhance the Skye Ecomuseum, which opened almost a decade ago. At the time paths were opened up at 14 different sites across the Staffin district including Lealt, Brothers Point, Garafad, Brogaig, Digg and Flodigarry and attractive interpretation was installed illustrating each area’s attributes including heritage, crofting, wildlife, geology, archaeology etc.

It became the first ecomuseum in Scotland and the UK, with funding from a variety of European and national sources, including the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). Also known as Ceumannan, the Gaelic word for footsteps, the project is estimated to have helped attract thousands of extra visitors annually to Staffin and encouraged them to stay longer, which boosts the local economy. 

Lealt - one of the outdoor settings

Fund raising occasions may be about to get a little more complicated with changes to the licencing laws for public events due to be introduced next month.

Highland Council is advising voluntary organisations and personal licence holders who obtain occasional licences for the sale of alcohol under the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 for events they are organising may shortly also require to obtain a public entertainment licence under the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 for the same event.

Premises with a premises licence or an occasional licence for the sale of alcohol under the 2005 Act have both up till now been exempt from the requirement also to hold a public entertainment licence ( PEL) under the 1982 Act.  However, for premises with only occasional licences,  that exemption will be removed as a result of an amendment to the 1982 Act which comes into effect from 1 November 2016.

A potentially exploring soft drink has forced Irn Bru manufacturers, AG Barr to issue a recall.

According to the Food Standards Agency, four batches of Rubicon Sparkling Mango soft drink should be returned to their places of purchase on a precautionary basis because yeast fermentation has occurred in some bottles.

According to the Agency this may cause the bottle to burst and the presence of yeast has resulted in spoilage of the products, making them unsuitable for human consumption.

For full details follow the link here

 

Walks around Skye are among a a series of exciting events planned by the Highland Countryside Rangers over the coming months.

According to Eilidh–Ann Phillips, Senior Ranger for South Highlands. “There is something here for everyone”

The Highland Council Ranger Service have been extremely busy this year with over 8000 primary school pupils benefitting from a Ranger visit since January this year, being involved in 373 Ranger school projects. From Durness to Ballachulish, and from Ardesier to Dunvegan , the wildlife projects this year have included everything from exploring the seashore to woodland, from birds to minibeasts, from environmental art to creating wildlife gardens and bush craft activities.

Police Scotland are reminding the public, particularly those who are employed in shops or who regularly handle cash, to be aware of counterfeit banknotes.

Two further cases have been reported in the Highlands this week in the Inverness city area.

Detective Constable Gregg MacDonald advises:  "Recently Police have received a number of reports of counterfeit banknotes being used in the Inverness and Nairn areas in recent weeks. These include First Trust Bank £50 notes which bear the serial number AA294395. These are being tendered for low cost items in shops in the Highlands and later being found to be counterfeit currency."

The Scottish Crofting Federation (SCF) have expressed bewilderment that the Convener of the Crofting Commission is still in place despite it being clear that he now stands alone.

“The Crofting Commission board meeting last week was certainly an eye-opener”, said Russell Smith, Vice-chair of the SCF. “It quickly became apparent that the Convener had lost the support of his board and it came as no surprise that he left the meeting with his tail between his legs. What is astounding though is that he still has not resigned. What does it take for him to get the message?”

At the turf cutting ceremony on the new Kilbeg housing sites are (from left) Steven Gregg, Highland Small Communities Housing Trust; Cllr Audrey Sinclair, The Highland Council; Prof Boyd Robertson, Principal, Sabhal Mòr Ostaig; John Swinney, Deputy First Minister; Angus MacDonald, James MacQueen Building Contractors; and Dr Donnie Munro, Development Director, Sabhal Mòr Ostaig

 

Construction of two new affordable homes will begin shortly at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig through The Highlands Small Communities Housing Trust’s Rent to Buy Scheme.

The Highlands Small Communities Housing Trust (HSCHT) is working in partnership with Sabhal Mòr Ostaig (SMO) to provide two sustainable low-cost homes for rent and then purchase next to the College in Kilbeg, Skye. This is the first stage of an exciting wider development which is strongly supported by the Scottish Government, The Highland Council and Highlands & Islands Enterprise. It is anticipated the scheme will provide a varied range of housing and commercial opportunities over the next few years to enhance the campus facilities and to create a more vibrant, sustainable community.

Dr. Donnie Munro, Director of Development, Fundraising and the Arts at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig said: We are delighted to be working with the Highland Small Communities Housing Trust to facilitate the development of these first two houses on the new Kilbeg site and also delighted that the works have been awarded to two local companies. HSCHT has a proven track record of working sensitively and innovatively within economically fragile rural areas throughout the Highlands to provide housing in a manner which takes full account of local need. With Phase 1 of the Kilbeg Development successfully delivered, this is the next step on an exciting journey to creating a sustainable model for a 21st Century Highland village which has Gaelic language and culture very much at its heart. To achieve this, we will work creatively and innovatively through key partnerships to provide affordable housing and enterprise opportunities in the area.

Councillors at the Skye and Raasay Area Committee have welcomed the creation of a new Community Partnership which will be launched this autumn and will play a key role in taking forward local planning arrangements.

The Highland Community Planning Partnership Board agreed at their meeting on 30th June to establish 9 local partnerships across the Highlands, including one in Skye, Lochalsh and Wester Ross. These partnerships will provide a focus for local discussion, engagement with communities and identifying priorities for the local area.


The photogenic Glenelg - Skye ferry finds itself the centre of more filming tomorrow (Oct 56)

As a result of having cameras aboard their will be no service betwee 2pm-3pm.

 

For the seventh year in a row Sleat's Kinloch Lodge and its chef Marcello Tully have retained their prestigious Michelin Star.

The Skye hotel and restaurant is one of only 12 in Scotland to hold the award.
 

Just one of Skye's backdrops for movie magic

VisitScotland have put together a list of most - if not all - the movies that have used Skye as their backdrop.

Think you know them all? Want to find out what they are? Then follow the link here

Better broadband, improved transportation links and the impact of tourism on Skye are just some of the issues identified by Highland Council and are now part of a draft list of local strategic priorities

At the Isle of Skye and Raasay Area Committee held today (Oct 3) local Councillors, who identified the priorities met to discuss the issues. They include:

• Strengthening local democracy and community engagement
• Working with partners to support tourism
• Improving road, air and ferry links and broadband/mobile connectivity
• Improving school estate and developing further and higher education opportunities
• Affordable homes
• Community transport solutions
• Improved local healthcare and social care access
• Community works to meet local needs

Ashaig airfield at Broadford

Councillors today (Oct 3) gave their backing to plans to resume scheduled air services from Skye.

A draft business case to bring Broadford airport back into use was approved by a meeting of the Isle of Skye and Raasay committee and there is now speculation that flights could resume in around two years.

One of the FlySkye campaigners, Sabhal Mòr Ostaig Principal, Professor Boyd Robertson, expressed satisfaction with the thrust of the Report. “The case for the re-introduction of an air service has been enhanced by new and additional information about the wider socio-economic benefits that would ensue and by the finding that the costs of re-opening Broadford Airstrip can be reduced by the adoption of Instrument Approach Procedures based on Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) technology.

The case for the restoration of commercial flights to, and from, Skye is considerably strengthened by the Benefit Cost Ratio analysis which in one scenario could be as high as 2.2.”

Public consultation is now underway on newly suggested development ideas in the West Highland and Islands area.

As part of the process of creating a new Local Development Plan for the area, to be known as WestPlan, The Highland Council consulted on a document called the Main Issues Report (MIR) from April to June of this year.  The MIR asked for views on the main issues for people and places in the West Highland and Islands area, and showed options for future development.  Some of the comments received during that consultation included details of sites not already considered through the plan process.  As a result, The Highland Council is now running an Additional Sites Consultation, which seeks comments on selected sites that the Council considers significant enough to require further consultation.

MP Ian Blackford has added his voice to the growing concerns about NHS Highland's plans to redesign hospital services on Skye.

Less than a week ago the Scottish Parliament's Public Petitions Committee said it would be taking a more detailed local at the plans. They now want to further consult the Scottish Government and Scottish Ambulance Service on a petition from island campaigners which have called for an Independent Scrutiny Panel to examine NHS Highland's proposals.

Already MSP Kate Forbes has supported moves for greater scrutiny and now Mr Blackford has also commented.

 

Police in Portree I have issued a not so cryptic message on social media to youngsters whose actions could have had serious consequences. They said:

"Dear kids in #Portree who made hoax 999 calls today please note that you delayed us attending a car crash. Thanks a bunch. #WeKnowWhoYouAre"

Food Standards Scotland have notified of a urgent recall of a cheese product after E. coli O157 was discovered following testing.

The Connage Highland Dairy Organic Smoked Dunlop cheese is said to contain the bacteria which can cause serious illness. Infection may cause diarrhoea, abdominal pain, bloody diarrhoea, and occasionally can result in haemolytic uremic syndrome, a serious condition that can lead to kidney failure and can be fatal.

For further details follow the link here

Dunvegan Castle & Gardens has been shortlisted in the Best Visitor Attraction category at the Highlands & Islands Tourism Awards 2016.

Having been awarded the coveted 5* Visitor Attraction grading by Visit Scotland earlier this year, the MacLeod Estate team are delighted that Dunvegan Castle & Gardens has been nominated in the Best Visitor Attraction category at these prestigious awards this year. It is further confirmation that Dunvegan has recovered its rightful place as a world class heritage attraction on the Isle of Skye.

The second phase of the £1.25m improvements to Skye’s A87 are underway

Work on a section of road through Ard Dorch. will see 10 nights of resurfacing through until  October 14 involving around 1.5km of carriageway. 

Due to the nature of the resurfacing works, an overnight road closure will be in place each night from 7pm-7am to carry out the resurfacing safely.  Measures will be in place to allow local access and other traffic to pass through the closure approximately every hour or when it is safe to do so. 

The resurfacing works are planned to take place Monday nights to Saturday mornings, avoiding working Saturday and Sunday nights.

As previously reported in the Skye Times the four projects will involve resurfacing at three locations on the island with essential maintenance works to replace drainage pipes beneath the Skye Bridge.



Skye’s fight to bring scheduled flights to the island could now be set to really take off.

For a new report commissioned through HITRANS (Regional Transport Partnership) as a collaborative study involving Highland Council and Highlands & Islands Enterprise (HIE) has shown not only the economic benefits such a move could have but also just how it could be done.

Now on Monday (Oct 3) the local Skye and Raasay Committee will be told how once feedback from Transport Scotland has been received the the initial report can be finalised for publication. At that point the full final report along with options for how the project can be moved forward will be presented to a future meeting of Highland Council's Planning Development & Infrastructure Committee.

According to the report reviving the airport could be worth up to £46.8million over the next 30 years. Two significant aspects which are said to influence the potential for re-opening at Broadford are the development of Global Navigations Satellite Systemss which would enable Instrument Approach procedures to be adopted at Skye. While new and additional information available has highlighted the huge economic benefits to the local community.