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Hebrides News


The newly elected leader and convener of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar pledged to work together with colleagues for the benefit of all communities across the Outer Hebrides.

A north-south divide has appeared in the geographical spread of council leadership with Lewis councillors occupying all but one of the top posts.

Even the less influential roles of committee vice chairs are mostly taken by councillors from the northern part of the islands.


No Harris councillor is in any of the 14 senior positions. On transportation, Uist councillor Uidean Robertson is the chair while SNP councillor, Kenny Macleod is its vice-chair. New face, Paul Steele from South Uist, is vice chair of the communities and housing committee.


Comhairle leader, Roddie Mackay, said: “I am committed to working on behalf of communities across the Outer Hebrides.

“As is the norm in the islands we will not be forming an administration but I, the convener, the chairs of committees and indeed all members, will work on behalf of all our communities.”

Mr Mackay said he believes this system offers a “better way” under the label of a political grouping.

Convener Norman A Macdonald pointed out “major challenges” ahead can only be overcome by working together.

Referring to proposed legislation for an Islands Act plus advance moves for a special “islands deal,” he said “we live in exciting times” for the islands.

However, though Crown Estate revenues and management are now devolved to Scotland, the council has not managed to achieved its objective to take control of island marine assets to the Western Isles.

“We must continue to work to bring about the further devolution to coastal communities,” stressed Mr Macdonald.



Comhairle pledges to “work together” for local communities

21 May 2017

Leader Roddie Mackay and convenor, Norman A Macdonald, reaffirm the comhairle’s long standing “ag obair comhla” pledge to work together for the islands.