The family of missing Applecross fisherman, Alasdair Macleod, say they are certain a body found in Staffin is that of Alasdair's.

Police Scotland confirmed on Sunday 10 December that a man's body was discovered on the shore at Staffin Bay on Skye.

In a statement published on Mr Macleod's blog, the family have said: "This wasn’t where it was expected to find him and there had been no official search in that area.

"Although official ID will have to be carried out by DNA tests, there is no doubt in our minds that this is Ali, from descriptions of clothing remaining on his body.

"We don’t yet know how long the ID and post mortem process will take."

They also announced plans to celebrate Mr Macleod's life in Applecross.  

Tributes have been paid to Mr Macleod, including a Coigach community wind turbine which has been named after Mr Macleod's boat.

 

Struan Hill Road is currently blocked today (Monday 11 December).

A minor RTC took place on the hill road.

Local police are urging travellers to take care when travelling, as the Hill Road is badly affected by ice.

Roads around Kyle of Lochalsh and roads and pavements in Portree are also slippery.  

 

A nurse who covers Skye and Lochalsh has been awarded the title of Queen's Nurse.

Michelle Duffy from the Black Isle, along with Kitty Millar from Campbeltown, were selected earlier this year to take part in a nine-month development programme run by the Queen’s Nursing Institute Scotland (QNIS).

The two NHS Highland community nurses are among a group of twenty from Scotland awarded the title of Queen’s Nurse, marking the first time the honour has been made for almost 50 years.

They were both presented with a Queen's Nurse certificate and badge by Great British Bake Off judge Prue Leith during the QNIS awards ceremony in Edinburgh on Friday 1 December 2017.

Each of the community nurses were nominated by their managers for providing high quality, compassionate care.

Michelle, an advanced practice respiratory nurse with NHS Highland based in Inverness, covers Caithness, Sutherland, Skye, Lochalsh and Lochaber, offering specialist nursing care and advice.

Most of the people on Michelle’s caseload are elderly and have conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pulmonary fibrosis, emphysema and bronchiectasis, which make it difficult to breathe.

Working closely with national charities, as well as community-based support groups, Michelle and her colleagues raise awareness of respiratory disease, and the importance of early diagnosis. They take their spirometer, for measuring lung capacity, into supermarkets and shopping centres to offer on-the-spot tests, and use every opportunity to raise awareness.

Michelle said: “I am delighted to have been awarded the title of Queen’s Nurse. I hope to use it to spread the word about the service we are delivering here in the Highlands.

Planning permission is being sought for two fish farms off Staffin's coast.

The proposed fish farms would be located at Culnacnoc and Invertote.

Permission is sought by Organic Sea Harvest (OSH) from Highland Council and Marine Scotland.

Staffin Community Trust (SCT) have stated that fourteen full time jobs would be created through both sites.  The Trust also state that the aqua developments would "be a considerable boost to Staffin in terms of creating all-year round permanent employment."  

OSH intends to produce organically reared salmon from these new farms, process and package the stock in Staffin and then sell it to major retailers as organic Skye salmon.   OSH has agreed to make annual payments to the SCT, of 5 pence on each fish landed at the Staffin Slipway, which would see an average of £140,000 being made available to this community annually.

SCT state that they would like to utilise this pledge to try and secure long-awaited improvement to the Slipway for local users, private businesses and visitors.


Road policing officers in the Highland and Islands are reminding road users in the area of the dangers and consequences of festive drink and drug driving.

Local officers are supporting a national campaign, with high visibility patrols on Scotland's roads to prevent and tackle drink driving.

This campaign will run throughout the festive period and aims to reduce the number of people committing such offences and detecting those who do - all in order to reduce the number of casualties on the roads.

Seven people have been charged with alleged drink driving offences in the last week across the Highlands and Islands.

Divisional Road Policing Inspector Gus Stewart said: "During this period I would urge people to plan their travel ahead of their festivities beginning so that the need or temptation to drive whilst under the influence is removed.

Power will go off in the Uig area this winter.

Essential work on lines means there will be a planned power interruption as SSE carries out the work.

The interruption will take place on Wednesday 20 December between the hours of 9am and 3pm.

Uig Village Hall and Uig Filling Station will be open for anyone needed warm drinks.

Skye has faced the lowest temperatures so far this year.

Portree temperatures reached lows of -5.3C.

Unusually, the Skye Bridge had a covering of snow.

Image from Skye Weather Facebook page.

Police Scotland can confirm that the body of a man was discovered on the shore at Staffin Bay on the Isle of Skye yesterday (Saturday 9 December 2017).

Formal identification has yet to take place however the family of missing fisherman Alasdair Macleod, who was reported missing on Monday, November 20, have been informed.

Concern was raised for Mr Macleod after his boat "Varuna" was seen on rocks north of Applecross Bay.

Enquiries remain ongoing however there are not thought to be any suspicious circumstances and a report will be submitted to the Procurator Fiscal in due course.

 

Ian Blackford has become the latest MP to support the movement for fossil fuel divestment.

Ian Blackford, MP for Ross, Skye and Lochaber and the Leader of the SNP at Westminster, has joined an increasing number of cross-party politicians to sign a pledge, calling for their parliamentary pension fund to move its £612 million of assets away from fossil fuels.

The move comes as constituency members across the country are urging their local MPs to show they care about climate change by calling on their pension fund to align its investments with the UK's climate commitment.

Yvonne White, vice-chair of the Scottish Crofting Federation and Skye resident, welcomes Mr's Blackford's pledge: "Mr Blackford is setting a very good example. Tackling climate change is vital for all of us and crofters are very aware of this through having a close relationship with the land and weather. It is good to see one of our representatives showing leadership by pledging to invest his pension funds in something that will be more sustainable. Hopefully others will follow."

The Highland Council has expressed its deep disappointment at the news of further branch closures by the Royal Bank of Scotland.

Much of the towns threatened by RBS bank closures include those with the worst broadband speeds.  Kyle, Tongue and Beauly are among the worst 10% of speeds.

Internet speeds this low makes access to online banking and other services extremely difficult if not impossible. Without high speed and quality, it results in frustration and failure to complete specific online tasks.

Leader of the Highland Council Margaret Davidson said: “This will cause real difficulties for many customers and small businesses.

“While acknowledging the changing nature of banking and the rapid growth of digital banking services, there are many for whom this is neither a practical option, nor one they are comfortable with. So it is vital that they have access to physical face-to-face banking services.