The Western Isles will need to find a new lead officer for health and social care, with the imminent departure of Dr Ron Culley from his post at Cùram Is Slàinte, the Western Isles Integration Joint Board (IJB).

Dr Culley has been chief officer of the IJB – which brings together health board and council work on a range of services including social work, housing support and community nursing – since it was set up almost five years ago.

He's leaving the Western Isles for a new job as chief executive of Quarriers, a 150-year-old charity which provides care and support for vulnerable adults and children across Scotland. The charity made the announcement of his appointment on Tuesday 28 January.

Local councils will be given new powers to licence and limit the number of short-term lets, such as AirBnB.

 

Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MSP Alasdair Allan has backed this announcement from the Scottish Government.

 

A recent study commissioned by the Scottish Government into AirBnB showed that the Western Isles had the second greatest increase in registered properties behind only Edinburgh.

Three Western Isles community publications have been shortlisted in the Highlands and Islands media award shortlist, published on Monday December 30th.

Point’s monthly magazine, The Rudhach, and the bi-weekly Ness local newsletter Fios sit alongside Uist’s Am Paipear in the shortlist for the best community newspaper of the year award.

Shona Macmillan of Fios is also shortlisted for an award for the best use of Gaelic, an award category sponsored by Bòrd na Gàidhlig.

Stornoway Port Authority is on course to open a new and much-needed marina in the town’s harbour in 2020.

The marina will create 75 new berths at Newton Basin for leisure craft - increasing capacity to 155 – to tackle a shortage of facilities which is constraining potential growth in marine tourism.

It will open, appropriately, as Scotland marks the Year of Coasts and Waters in 2020 and will also herald the completion of the initial stage of the Port Authority’s ambitious 20-year Masterplan.

Artizan Jewellery and Café, on Church Street, Stornoway, is now an accredited Scottish Living Wage Employer.

Artizon joins Car Hire Hebrides, both owned by John and Alison Cunningham, in becoming accredited.

Claire Clydesdale of Artizan says: “Becoming accredited is a very straightforward process – it takes about ten minutes to register as an accredited Living Wage Employer.

"At Artizan, we have nine employees. As a family business, we have paid staff a living wage for a while now but decided to have it recognised and be accredited to coincide with Living Wage Week."