An announcement from the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) that they have “issued an Enforcement Notice on Advertised Delivery Restrictions and Surcharges” has been welcomed.

The measure comes as the ASA have ruled that adverts which “mislead on parcel delivery and surcharge practices” have been banned, forcing companies to be upfront with consumers from the outset as to how much they will need to pay in delivery costs for goods.

Companies who advertise free delivery on items, yet impose punitive charges well into the purchasing process will be slapped down by the ASA after the 31st May 2018, when the new rules come into effect.

The action follows a campaign led by Moray MP Douglas Ross who has campaigned to abolish discriminatory delivery charges, raising the issue with the Prime Minister and holding a debate in Westminster on the matter.

The Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Connectivity, Fergus Ewing, put forward his plans for proceeding with the reform of crofting law, at a specially convened meeting of the Cross Party Group on Crofting.   

He promised that there will be a bill in this parliamentary session which corrects the major anomalies in the current law and so enables it to work appropriately for crofters.  This is the essential course of action needed and will pave the way to a consolidation bill in the next session.  It is what the SCF and the Crofting Commission asked for in the consultation. 

There will also be a fundamental review running in parallel which may enable more far-reaching changes to crofting law, whilst maintaining crofters’ rights, in the future – should it be deemed necessary and beneficial to crofting. 

Seafish, the Seafood industry body, is urging Western Isles commercial fishermen to apply for a funded place on a locally-run training course run by the Western Isles Sea Fisheries Training Association to help improve safety at sea.

The funding for free training, which is available to all commercial fishermen to refresh and advance safety knowledge and skills, is available until 31 March 2018, when current funding is due to end.  

It can be used to attend a wide range of locally held safety courses; from basic training and safety refreshers, to more advanced courses such as navigation, engineering and stability awareness and a Skipper qualification.

The call from Seafish comes as the industry reflects on a ten-year period that saw over 3,300 accidents involving UK fishing vessels, with over 500 fishermen suffering serious injury and almost 100 losing their lives.

A new Assessors Panel has been appointed for the Crofting Commission, the organisation announced on Thursday, March 22nd.

The Assessor’s role is varied and includes passing on information locally relevant to crofting, being able to signpost crofting to the services offered by the Commission and to also provide to the Commission any relevant information on matters which might arise in their own areas.

Crofting Commission Convener, Rod Mackenzie, said: “The Commission is pleased to welcome a new panel of Assessors.

“The Assessors have been appointed to work for the Commission and for crofting as a whole. Each Assessor will bring with them a different skill set and their own particular skills can be utilised for the benefit of crofting in all crofting areas.”

The complete renovation of a run-down cottage has led to an exciting new venture in Portree as 1 Bosville Terrace Restaurant opened its doors to visitors and local residents on April 29, 2016.
The brainchild of head chef Mairi Lamont, in partnership with Coolin View Guesthouse owner Eddie Tweedie, the transformation of the cottage aims to ensure a place to eat for all – open all day and all year round.  “We’ve had good local support,” said Mairi, originally from Annishader, north of Portree. “As we’ve been working on the refurbishment over the last 12 months, we’ve had loads to people asking how we’re getting on and when will we be opening.
“It’s great because we want to serve that local trade, to offer something a little more modern and in a mainland style.”   With treats such as chargrilled steaks, smoky sausages, rustic fries, and pizza on the menu, 1 Bosville also makes the most of its port location with a selection of fresh shellfish, as well as the ever-popular fish and chips.
“There’s something a bit more traditional and something a bit more modern, so there’s something for everyone,” added Mairi.