View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Thursday 7 February

An overcast and at times slightly damp day, which felt decidedly cold. Mercury did not rise above 4C (39F).

Last year, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (Western Isles Council) announced that it was planning to close a number of rural primary schools, as well as junior secondary departments in one or two others. 12- and 13-year olds can take their S1 and S2 classes in rural schools, such as the ones at Lionel (Ness) and Shawbost (West Side), but it is no longer accepted policy to continue to offer this option. However, the closure plans for Carloway and Seilebost (and Shawbost's S1/S2) ran into considerable opposition, and the Scottish Government "called in" the closure plans, for further perusal. Unfortunately, a legal wrangle has now resulted in a stalemate. Although the legal challenge by the council against the government has been upheld, the closure plans remain "called in". This is a typical case where the law is an ass.

Our main post office branch, on Francis Street, is threatened with closure. The Post Office wants to close 70 branches and reallocate them into a local retail outlet. Not sure if that is such a good idea. I already dread having to go into (e.g.) Murdo Maclean's to reach the men's department which you can only reach through the women's lingerie - unless you walk round into Kenneth Street behind the store...