A little local trouble

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The Independent Online
This has not been a happy week for two of Scotland's island communities. The residents of Graemsay, in the Orkneys, are in a fighting mood after council members voted to axe the island's only school. The closure of Graemsay School will mean that its lone pupil, nine-year-old Kevin Pepper, will now have to travel by ferry to school in Stromness on the mainland. This week the news was announced that production problems have delayed a new ferry service.

On Eigg, it is the plight of the island's cattle that has infuriated the locals. On Tuesday the island's owner Maruma, sold all the remaining beasts bar one - Barney the Limousin Bull, father of nearly all the island's cattle. Poor Barney failed to sell because of missing papers and will go under the hammer at a later date. For Eigg islanders the sale was a tragedy. Stockman Donald McFadyen told The Herald. "I don't know how they will adapt to the climate in other parts of the country." Now residents fear this is the start of something more sinister and rumours of an island clearance are rife.