Gazette Letters 08-05-14

Reader Ali Finlayson took this stunning short of he Butt of Lewis Lighthouse in Ness
Reader Ali Finlayson took this stunning short of he Butt of Lewis Lighthouse in Ness

Purchase more care beds

In regards to the article in the Gazette of 24/04/14 on the ‘bed-blocking’ situation at the Western Isles Hospital and your footnote which asks ‘What should happen next?’

Western Isles Carers, Users & Supporters Network (WICUSN) suggests that the Scottish Government needs to make one budget for care with the responsibility for its management being with the Health Service as it has most to gain from the proper use of the budget.

It appears to WICUSN that the two local authorities are incapable of working together to make best use of the total care budget, each guarding its own budget irrespective of the cost of its action on its ‘partner’.

WICUSN wishes to make an urgent appeal to the WI NHS Board to invest to save by working with the council to purchase more care home beds now, at the beginning of a financial year.

We feel sure they could recoup their investment by the end of the year and make true savings next year, by reducing the number of ‘blocked-beds’.

WICUSN would also appeal to Comhairle nan Eilean Siar to move quickly with their restructuring of the home care service and to improve the organisation of it to reduce time and money spent on travel by the service so that no one need be left in hospital or placed in a care home whilst awaiting a home care package.

Jinty Morrison,


3 Stonefield,


Isle of Lewis HS2 9EA

Breakaway Churches

Keith Fernie (letters 01- 05-14) seems pleased to read of the exodus of kirk members from Stornoway High Church saying they voted with their feet to form yet another church fellowship.

He seems to forget that in one of his Gazette letters he himmed and heyed about there being too many breakaway churches in Stornoway.

The Kirk for biblical reasons opposes homosexual unions, but at the same time allows gay clergy men to occupy its pulpits.

Mr Fernie says he doesn’t agree with all the churches in Stornoway, far too many he said, but he is not consistent in that he applauds yet another new Presbyterian church - Stornoway High Fellowship. Perhaps High church (continuing) would have been more appropriate, but maybe not.

Am I to think he didn’t truly mean what he said about there being too many churches, yet when it comes to more division he is pleased to read about it?

Well I am not, the High church is the church I attended since the first time I attended Church.

There is a saying we hear so much about today which is “better together” but it doesn’t seem that Mr Fernie believes his own counsel after all.

Donald Murray

48 Suilven Way


Wig Wednesday

On May 21 schools, businesses and community groups across the country will be getting their wigs on for CLIC Sargent’s Wig Wednesday. We would love your readers to join them and help support children and young people coping with cancer.

CLIC Sargent provides practical, emotional and financial support for those aged 0-24 with a cancer diagnosis and Wig Wednesday is a great opportunity to get together with colleagues, fellow pupils or friends to have some fun with wigs while raising vital funds.

We want as many people as possible to wear a wig for the day to show support to children and young people who may lose their hair through treatment for cancer.

It’s easy to get involved. CLIC Sargent can provide you with the materials you need to promote your Wig Wednesday event and you can even buy a selection of fun wigs from our online shop.

If you’d like to wig-up on May 21 visit or call 0845 1212 492.

Peter Logie

Area Fundraising Manger

North of Scotland

Discount available

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has for years campaigned to reduce taxes on job creation and I would like to take this opportunity to highlight an important new Government initiative that has come into force this April.

In essence, small Highlands and Islands businesses can now claim a £2,000 discount on their annual employer National Insurance contributions.

Our research shows that every second small business plans to expand in 2014, and many are focused on issues such as skills, wages, staff numbers and equipment.

We very much hope that Western Isles businesses will take advantage of this discount to help realise their growth ambitions, giving the local economy a real boost in the process.

Details about the scheme can be found on the HMRC website.

Amanda Frazer

Highlands & Islands Regional Chair Federation of Small Businesses

Larick House, Newtonmore

Tories pulling strings

Having worked on the preparation of U.K. National Budgets for much of my working life, it irks me when I hear the likes of Danny Alexander spouting forth figures condemning Scotland to financial disaster if it votes for Independence.

He has no life experience of producing these figures, he is simply reading from a script given him, a mere puppet, whilst his Tory friends pull the strings.

I once met a Chancellor of the Exchequer who could not work out the PAYE tax for his domestic employees.

Amidst all the claims and counterclaims being thrown around at the moment, I am sure of one thing – if Scotland votes for Independence on the 18th September those living north of the Border will not lose out.

John S. Jappy

Moy Bridge Cottage


Muir of Ord IV6 7UY