Page last updated at 08:28 GMT, Wednesday, 24 September 2008 09:28 UK

Strike suspends ferry and schools

Corran Ferry. Pic: Undiscovered Scotland
The council-run Corran Ferry was not operating on Wednesday

Many schools on the Western Isles and in the Highlands are closed as a result of industrial action by council staff.

The walkout involves hundreds of employees of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar and Highland Council.

Large schools on the islands are affected, while almost 50 primaries in the Highlands are shut to pupils.

Recycling centres are closed, refuse collections not being made, registration offices shut and Highland Council's Corran Ferry did not operate.

Inform parents

In the Highlands, 10 secondary schools are shut and eight are limiting classes to older year groups.

Nurseries are also affected and almost 50 primary schools are closed.

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar said its offices in Stornoway and Balivanich are closed.

Offices in Castlebay and Tarbert are open, but may be subject to limited services.

Many islands schools, particularly the larger ones, are closed due to a lack of support staff and disruption to local authority-run bus services.

Individual schools were asked to inform parents whether they were open or shut.

Libraries across the Western Isles are closed to the public and sports centres shut except in Lionel and Shawbost where the pools are expected to open. Harris Sports Centre is also open.

Industrial action in August saw main roads quieter than usual with fewer public service staff making peak time journeys.

Council staff gathered near the statue of Flora Macdonald which stands in the grounds of the castle to call for improved pay.

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