The “Year of Young People” 2018 is firmly in our minds as we continue to put plans in place for this special themed year. We are working with various other partners to create a programme of activity and events that will seek to engage with and celebrate the young people in our community and across the Outer Hebrides. If anyone would like to become involved in this work or wishes to find out more then please get in touch as events will develop throughout the year.
At our recent AGM we provided an overview of the Community Investment Fund over the last financial year. It has been most encouraging to see a number of organisations making application with some very interesting projects. A full listing of all organisation and projects supported has been included in this issue of Fios.
Work has been undertaken on behalf of the residents of the Cross Skigersta Road to establish the feasibility of a possible buy-out from Scottish Government. When maps are finalised, we will seek to hold a meeting inviting residents to discuss the options and decide how and if the feasibility should progress. It is likely a meeting will be held in January and we hope to set a date before the end of the year.
Last week we hosted the third “Development Trusts” meeting in Galson. Various land trusts and development trusts from the Outer Hebrides gathered to discuss a number of agenda items and it was super to have time to explore the possibilities of joint projects and truly realise the benefits of partnership working. It is hoped a fourth meeting will be held in Spring 2018 in North Harris.
Over the last year much work has been undertaken to ascertain and learn about the plans for the future of healthcare in our islands. We realise healthcare provision is likely to look very different in the future and we have been working with others to consider how that affects us all, including our immediate community. We have, alongside a township identified a suitable site for possible extra care housing for the elderly. Earlier this month we attended the Rural Locality Group (of which we have been part of for a year) meeting to discuss the options to develop care capacity in Rural Lewis, should the decision be taken to replace the existing residential capacity.
There are currently four possible sites being considered by the Integration Joint Board (IJB) (a partnership between Comhairle nan Eilean Siar and NHS Western Isles) with the strengths and weaknesses of these four sites currently being considered. The site identified on Galson Estate at Upper Barvas has capacity which we hope is appealing. It is large enough to allow for other housing to be placed on the site and the location we believe makes it suitable from a geographic perspective also. Decisions will be taken by the IJB/ Comhairle over the coming months.
Croft rents continue to be collected for anyone who has yet to pay. It has been great to see so many faces over the last month popping into the office. It brings a certain buzz having so many people in and out.
UOG Calendars are on sale in local outlets and from the office. They make a great gift, so grab one before they go!