Criomagan: Wait for Portree recycling centre; retired teachers call; distillery issue sanitiser; new bike routes…..

Mark Crowe has been appointed project manager

Cycle routes project in Skye

Plans for a network of safe cycling, walking and wheeling routes across Skye have been boosted by significant grant funding to support the Skye Cycle Network project.

Funded by the Scottish Government through Sustrans’ Places for Everyone programme, the Skye cycle network project aims to provide safe to use links both within and between communities on Skye.

The project will build on two active travel projects already underway in Skye, each delivering new cycle and walking routes from Broadford to Kyleakin and around the Edinbane area.

Mike Hyatt Landscape Architects have been appointed to deliver a series of local consultations, as well as the surveying and planning of potential routes.

Mark Crowe of “Skye Bike Shack” has been recruited as a Project Officer on behalf of local destination management group SkyeConnect.

Alistair Danter, Project Manager for SkyeConnect, said: “When we submitted the application, we could not have predicted the impact Covid-19 would have on our lives.

“These safe routes will be more important than ever in the new reality after lockdown.”

Whisky giants provide hand sanitiser

Jackie Robertson of Talisker Distillery

Drinks giants Diageo is working with Skye Community Response to distribute almost 2,000 bottles of free hand sanitiser to those most in need in the local community around Talisker Distillery.

The free hand sanitiser will be distributed to meet community needs, with targets including emergency services, care homes, care in the community staff and volunteers helping the vulnerable.

Diane Farrell, Talisker Distillery Manager, said: “We’re pleased to do what we can to support our community through these difficult times. We all know how important hand hygiene is but we also know that hand sanitiser can be very difficult to get hold of – especially in more rural areas. We’re delighted to be able to make this donation to those most in need across our local community.”

Portree recycling centre not ready to open

Portree’s household waste recycling centres won’t be among those in the region to re-open from Monday 1st June.

Staff shortages are being blamed for the delay and the re-opening of Portree HWRC is expected to be included in phase two of the council’s plan. 

The following sites that are re-opening from 1st June will be operating with revised opening hours.

They are: Alness, Aviemore; Brora; Dingwall, Fort William; Gairloch: Inverness; Lochinver; Nairn; Tain; Tongue; Thurso; Ullapool and Wick.

A phased approach to re-opening the sites will be adopted with strict controls in place to help manage social distancing and to ensure the anticipated high number of visitors and volume of waste can be handled safely and efficiently.

Skye councillor John Finlayson said: “A high number of staff who would support the opening of the recycling centre unfortunately are on the shielding list and not available for work at this stage.

“But in a meeting with Carron MacDiarmid the executive chief officer for customer and communities, myself and Councillor Calum Munro were assured everything possible was being done to get the Portree Recycling Centre opened ASAP and hopefully as part of the phase two openings.”

 College’s suported learning programme

Congratulations to students on the Supported Learning Programme at West Highland College UHI centres in Auchtertyre, Gairloch, and Portree, on the completion of this year’s studies.

Everyone has had a really busy and varied academic year.  In Auchtertyre, students focused on performance arts – in particular, music and drama. 

They also learned about living things in their studies of Science in the Environment.

Students in Gairloch learned about the World of Work, by interviewing people from their community.  They also helped with growing pine trees at Beinn Eighe, and enjoyed crafts and games.

While in Portree, students covered a wide range of topics such as Life on Skye, Recycling and Upcycling, Drama and Performance, Creative Crafts and furthering life skills.  

Well done everyone, it’s been a pleasure having you on our course, and we hope to see you again soon.

From all SLP staff.

Retired teachers to be asked back to island classrooms

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar is to ask retired teachers to consider returning  to schools in the Western Isles to help the authority as it reopens schools in August.

The move is one of a series of measures outlined on Tuesday by the Comhairle’s director of education, Bernard Chisholm, detailing how schools will reopen in August.

He said that retired teachers would be used to assist the authority to maintain social distancing measures through the teaching of smaller groups of children on school premises.