Butt to Barra: District News 26-3-15

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Great Bernera Estate Buyout - The result is YES. The counting and result of the vote to decide whether we go ahead and try to buy the island took place on 19th March.

The result was declared by the returning officer and was a resounding yes with 142 votes for and 37 against and we achieved an 85.2% turnout.

The night of the count was well attended with welcome refreshments being laid on by the committee. This result was achieved with a lot of hard work from a few individuals and is a tribute to them that the community has supported this work.

Funding from the Big Lottery Fund and HIE for the feasibility studies have helped to get the project to this stage and the next stage will be to apply to Scottish Land Fund for funding to buy the Island.

Motivated by Mervyn 5k - Two years ago Iain Mervyn Macleod passed away after a tragic accident in Bernera.

On Saturday 4th April his daughter Amy is organising a 5k and ceilidh fundraiser through the Motivated by Mervyn charity. Iain was a keen fisherman and spent many years in the fishing industry and therefore Amy is focusing her efforts to support fishermen working within the Western Isles.

All proceeds from the events will be used to source safety equipment for them and she is taking advice and working alongside the Western Isles Fisherman’s Association.

If you haven’t yet entered the 5 km event application forms are still available or just turn up and you can enter on the day.

If you want more details you can contact amybernera@yahoo.co.uk. The event takes place at the Castle Grounds on Saturday 4th April starting at noon. All entries welcome.

Whist - A reminder that there is a whist drive every Friday in Community Centre Café at 7.30pm and all are welcome.

Funeral Association - Annual subscriptions for the funeral association will be collected at the Community Centre on Saturday 28th March between 2-4.30pm. Please make an effort to come along and pay your annual fees.


Holiday Club - The Carloway Churches are running a Holiday Club for pre-school and primary children from 10.30am to 12.30pm each day from Monday 30 March till Thursday 2 April in Carloway Community Centre.

There will also be a Community BBQ at 5pm on Saturday 5 April and a Community Praise Evening at 7.30pm on Sunday 6 April. For more information call 643 208.


Light lunch - Clann an Latha an Dè will be hosting a light lunch (soup and pudding) on Saturday 28th March at Ionad na Seann Sgoil, Shawbost, from mid day until 2.30pm.

There will be a choice of soups, delicious selection of puddings, tea/coffee and biscuits.

Raffle tickets will also be on sale for the usual varied selection of prizes. Please come along invite family and friends enjoy lunch and a good catch up, what better way to spend a Saturday afternoon!

Open to all areas not just to Shawbost.

Turning of the Boat - The An Eathar Coastal Rowing Club is bringing rowing back to the local community with a boat building and rowing project.

At 2pm on Saturday, March 28th the first boat to be built in Siabost, certainly in living memory - if not centuries, will reach a decisive stage.

The outer hull has been completed and the boat must be lifted and turned upright so that the the inside can be fitted out.

The public are invited to come along - to either help with the boat lift or to watch.

This is a key moment and a great opportunity to see what the new boat now looks like.

There is a naming competition for the boat. Come and make some suggestions and see some of the ideas suggested so far.

The boat is 22ft long, 4 oared and of the St Ayles Skiff type.

There is still much to do including sorting : thwarts, gunwales; oars; rudder and painting it all! So it will be some time yet before the launch.


Crofting Community Engagement - Local crofters from across the Stornoway Trust Estate have been having their say on wind farm payments at a series of consultation meetings on the Scheme for Development proposals for The Stornoway Wind Farm.

The meetings, which were chaired by representatives of Lewis Wind Power and The Stornoway Trust, were open to all crofters with grazing rights on land leased to Lewis Wind Power Ltd for the wind farm.

The meetings followed earlier consultation events in February, which saw a good turn-out at community halls across the Estate area.

The second round of consultations asked crofters for their feedback on the Scheme for Development proposals, including the proposed payments.

John Buswell, Project Director for Lewis Wind Power said: “The Scheme for Development is an important process for agreeing payments to the local crofting community in as fair and equitable way as possible.

“The aim of this process is to ensure that the interests of crofters are recognised and dealt with correctly, so they receive fair rental payments from the Stornoway Wind Farm.

“Partnership has been at the heart of our proposals from the outset and we have been really pleased with the contributions we have received at all of the meetings.

“The local community stands to gain a great deal if this application goes through; not only will crofters directly benefit, but there will be community fund payments paid to a trust for the benefit of the local community and the Estate, along with the Trust having a significant stake in the wind farm itself.

“All of the comments we have received so far have been logged and we are encouraging crofters to continue to feed their comments into the consultation process.”

Any crofters who are unable to attend the meetings, but have questions about the project, can get in touch with the team on 01851 700024.


New minister - The Church of Scotland in Tarbert is to have a new minister.

Rev Ian Murdo Macdonald of Cross Ness has accepted a call to the church which has been without a minister for several years.

Rev Macdonald was the Sole Nominee.

Interim Moderator, the Rev J Colin Caskie said: “There has been a strong sense of the Lord’s hand in this appointment, and whilst understanding the sense of loss the people of Cross Ness must feel, the congregation look forward to the new ministry of Ian Murdo Macdonald.”


Earth Hour - Comhairle nan Eilean Siar to participate in World Earth Hour 2015.

For the sixth year running, the Comhairle will participate in World Earth Hour.

Last year more than 10 million people in the UK, 162 countries and 7,000 towns and cities, took part in the world’s largest participation event.

Some of the world’s most recognisable landmarks including Big Ben, The Sydney Opera House and the Eiffel Tower switched off for Earth Hour. Scotland celebrated the hour with schools, individuals, organisations, community groups and iconic buildings joining the big switch-off.

At 8.30pm on Saturday 28th March 2015, the Comhairle will switch off the lights at the War Memorial on the outskirts of Stornoway.

In 2011, Scotland became the first country in the world to have all its local authorities participating in Earth Hour, something that was applauded globally.

This record has, and will again be maintained this year, with all local authorities committed to taking part.

World Earth Hour is not only for local authorities; thousands of people in Scotland will be switching off their own lights in a huge, symbolic show of support for action on climate change and a more sustainable future.

So whether you spend your time reflecting under the stars or even playing your favourite board games using candlelight, Earth Hour is a moment to say you’ll do your bit to protect our planet.

To sign up and show your support to Earth Hour visit: http://earthhour.wwf.org.uk/