UNISON, the union representing police staff in Scotland, has notified Scottish Police Authority and Police Service of Scotland that they will not participate in today's Joint Negotiation & Consultative Committee (JNCC). The employers are refusing to discuss pay claims, department restructuring, police station closures and a £20m black hole in the police finances.
The Commission on Highland Democracy has published its Call for Evidence, and wants the public's views on local democracy in the Highlands. The Call for Evidence states: "The Highland Council, like every other Council in Scotland, makes daily decisions about everything from home care to bin collections and from building schools to cutting grass.
A proposed dualled section of the A9 between Pitlochry and Killiecrankie will have no impact on the local "Enchanted Forest" event held every autumn. The preferred route for the over 4 mile stretch of the road goes on public display today and tomorrow in Pitlochry Town Hall.
DINGWALL, Dingwall & Highland Marts Ltd., (November, 9th) sold 363 weaned calves, store & breeding cattle including 94 Highland and Highland crosses in their special sale of Highland Cattle. Bullocks (131) averaged 208.5p and sold to 266.7p per kilo for a 195kg Limousin cross from Craigton, Bonar Bridge, and £970 gross for a 510kg Limousin cross from Conon Mains Farm, Conon Bridge.
Between 2015 and 2016, 17 out of 18 areas of Scotland saw increases in average rent levels for 2 bedroom private rental properties, ranging from 4.6% in West Dunbartonshire to 0.1% in Dumfries and Galloway. Aberdeen and Shire saw a decrease of 13.7%, the largest annual drop in average 2 bedroom rents since the data series began in 2010, and which is likely to reflect decreased demand for rental properties following the downturn in the oil industry.
A package of six research reports have been published today to inform the Scottish Government's position on whether or not to allow any Unconventional Oil and Gas (UOG) development in Scotland. The Scottish Government put in place a moratorium on UOG in January 2015 and, while it is in force, this prevents the development of any project involving hydraulic fracturing, also known as ‘fracking’, or any coal bed methane extraction technologies.
The UK government has set out details for the next Contracts For Difference (CFD) auction. Companies will compete for the first £290mln worth of contracts for renewable electricity projects.
Scotland's Chief Statistician today announced the publication of the latest Index of Manufactured Exports for the second quarter of 2016. This quarterly publication measures changes, in constant-price and seasonally-adjusted terms, in export sales to the rest of the world from manufacturing businesses located in Scotland.
Small and medium-sized businesses across Scotland are being given the chance to enlist the services of an industry expert to assist them with a cyber security strategy. The Cyber Resilience Voucher Scheme has been launched by Digital Scotland Business Excellence Partnership (formed of Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Business Gateway and COSLA).
Scotland's total business stock falls but the registered business stock continues to grow. Scotland’s Chief Statistician today released Businesses in Scotland 2016.
Tax-Free Childcare is a new government scheme to help working parents with the cost of childcare. Parents will be able to open an online account, which they can use to pay for childcare from a registered provider.
In the past three years the area has seen the largest percentage shift in fibre broadband coverage of any Scottish local authority area. The first fibre broadband was launched by BT in Elgin in November 2013.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced £250,000 to support modernisation of trade unions and help mitigate the negative impacts of UK legislation. The new Trade Union Modernisation Fund will assist unions to mitigate the negative impacts of the Trade Union Act, so that the obligations placed on them through this legislation do not divert trade union reps away from supporting their members and helping employers embrace fairer working practices.
The Scottish Parliament has approved legislation that will protect household incomes, make local taxation fairer and that paves the way for an additional £500 million to be invested in education over this parliament. The overwhelming vote in favour of the council tax order is the first step in the process of reforming council tax with the Scottish Government committing to further discussions on fair and progressive taxation over this Parliament.
£246m support payments arriving in farmer bank accounts. The first 2016 direct loan payments will be deposited in farmers bank accounts today, Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing has confirmed.
Under provisions of the Immigration Act 2016 which comes into force on 1 December 2016, The Highland Council will be unable, from that date, to grant a taxi driver or private hire car (PHC) driver licence to any person unless a check has first been made to verify that the person is not disqualified by reason of his or her immigration status from driving a taxi or private hire car (PHC). This will mean that all applicants for taxi or PHC driver licences, including UK passport holders, will require to attend their nearest licensing office in person with original documents (passport or other acceptable documents) demonstrating that they have the right to work in the UK.
The Highland Council's Community Services Committee has confirmed that the local authority if ready for winter with respect to its gritting service of council roads. Members have been assured that the council has adequate salt stocks for the region which were replenished in September and October; that the authority will have around 60,000 tonnes in stock for the start of the main winter season and that there are no concerns about future provision of deliveries from the council's supplier.
DINGWALL, Dingwall & Highland Marts (November, 5th) sold one bull, 14 goats, 925 sheep and 496 lots of poultry, eggs and poultry equipment at their poultry, rare & traditional breeds of livestock sale. Cattle (one) sold to £860 gross for a Belted Galloway bull from Burnbank, Isle of Canna.
Week Commencing 31 October 2017 Enabling activities: Colleague Andrew Johnston, Director of the Highlands and Islands Science Skills Academy, was in Caithness this week, and it was good to catch up with him to discuss progress with the "Newton Rooms" concept, which has seen a network of facilities established in Norway to give practical, hands-on experiences of learning programmes in sciences. The development of the concept in the Highlands has been boosted by support through the Inverness City-Region Deal, and we believe that Caithness would make a fantastic first "Newton Room" venue in the Highland area.
Wick based New Wave Foods is looking for more seaweed harvesters to help with increasing demand for their products. New Wave Foods has been sustainably harvesting high-quality seaweed for food over the last six months.