FREE number 105. Gas distribution company SGN is supporting a new campaign urging people to be prepared for bad weather this winter and to know what to do if they have a power cut or gas emergency.
The Leader of The Highland Council Cllr Margaret Davidson has renewed her call to Police Scotland for greater transparency over Control Room errors. Cllr Davidson said: "In the light of significant recent media coverage of concerns about Police Scotland's call handling procedures and the more recent examples of errors emerging, we must ensure that there is full understanding and disclosure about how calls are handled.
Plans for investment and reform to give GPs more time with patients most in need of their skills have been published. A new GP contract, jointly designed and agreed with the British Medical Association, will be the biggest reform of GPs services in over a decade The proposals will ensure that all patients get the support they need from an extended community healthcare team - led by GPs and including nurses, physiotherapists, community mental health workers, paramedics, and pharmacists - to ensure more patients get the best and most appropriate care.
A new national power cut phone line - 105 - to help people contact the company that looks after their electricity network. Callers dialling 105, which is free to use, will be put straight through to their local electricity network operator, helping avoid potential confusion or people contacting the wrong organisation, such as the company they pay their bill to.
Energy & business services: SeaCat Services, the operators of the crew transfer vessels that will support both construction and operations work for the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm (BOWL) project, will be running a recruitment event in Wick for those interested in working on the vessels (see my blog for pictures of the SeaCat Intrepid already based in Wick). SeaCat are seeking suitably qualified candidates for roles such as Master, Mate and Deckhand, and will be hosting a drop-in session at Wick Job Centre, Girnigoe Street, Wick from 9am til 12pm on Thursday 23rd November.
At an event hosted this week by CBI Scotland, Deputy First Minister John Swinney anounced the publication of a new Public Sector Action Plan on Cyber Resilience, aimed at protecting Scotland's public sector against cyber-attacks. The new plan will encourage all public bodies across Scotland to improve resilience by implementing common baseline cyber security protocols across their organisations.
Communities and developers will be invited to have their say in shaping a refreshed approach to dealing with developer contributions for developments across Highland. At today's Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee, members gave the go ahead for a six week public consultation on the Draft Developer Contributions Supplementary Guidance which will begin in early 2018.
The Winter fleet for Scotland's trunk roads has been expanded to help make it more responsive to weather conditions. As well as more than two hundred traditional gritters located at 42 depots across the country, Transport Scotland has procured a new recovery vehicle which will help mitigate the impacts of flooding.
The Highland Council is pleased to announce that the main phase of the work to construct the Kingussie Flood Alleviation Channel is now underway. The project is a joint venture between the Council and Pitmain Estate and is located on the Estate's land above the village of Kingussie.
DINGWALL, Dingwall & Highland Marts Ltd., (November, 9th) sold 3,314 store sheep. Lambs (2,171) sold to £69 gross for a pen of Texel cross lambs Moulinard House, Tain.
The Highland Council achieved a 6% reduction in its year-on-year carbon emissions in 2016/17, equivalent to a saving of over 4,000 tonnes of CO2. In addition, thanks to a variety of energy efficiency measures implemented throughout the organisation, the Council saved almost £180k compared to the previous year, despite increasing energy costs.
Recent news of electric cars and energy storage has made life a lot more exciting for AGM Batteries Ltd. Since acquiring the business in 2014 the management has significantly grown the business and this is set to accelerate on the back of 2 major automotive projects with more exciting Government and commercial projects in the pipeline.
Highlands & Islands Regional MSP and long time road safety campaigner, David Stewart issues a warning about driving at night to motorists. "Obviously the distance you can see ahead in terms of the far, middle and near distance utilised in daytime driving, is restricted to an area ahead of the driver in the near distance only at night time" .
Scotland's public sector will be better protected against cyber attacks following the publication of a new action plan. The Public Sector Action Plan on Cyber Resilience will encourage all public bodies to implement the same baseline standards of cyber security in their organisations.
The number of businesses in Scotland is at the highest level since records began. Official statistics show there were 365,600 private sector businesses (registered & unregistered) operating in Scotland as at March 2017 - up by more than 50% since 2000 - providing more than 2 million jobs in Scotland.
Last week NHS Highland moved to further reassure the public that no decisions have been made about health and social care services in Caithness. And the board apologised for the fears and concerns raised by the current review it had initiated into how best to provide sustainable healthcare for the future.
The Highland Council have reviewed and updated the administrative procedures around miscellaneous and animal establishment licensing making it easier for people to access information and provide feedback. An online register of all applications is now published on the Council's website and the procedures are clear on how individuals or groups can raise concerns or object to applications for these types of licence.
DINGWALL, Dingwall & Highland Marts Ltd., (November, 8th) sold 337 weaned calves, store & breeding cattle including 98 Highland and Highland crosses. Bullocks (112) averaged 191.9p and sold to 247.2p per kilo and £1,115 gross for a pen of 451kg Limousin crosses from Towerhill, Thurso.
The Highland Council remains on track to provide much-needed affordable homes for a growing population with a pledge in its Strategic Housing Plan 2018-2023 to approve 500 units each year of which 70% will be for affordable rent and 30% for low cost home ownership. Members of the Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee today (Wednesday 8 November) had the opportunity to discuss the Housing Investment Plan for 2018-2023 and to reaffirm the council's commitment to deliver new homes in the Highlands.
Parent representatives from 206 Parent Councils across the Highland region have been invited to attend the Highland Parent Council Partnership conference which will be held on Saturday 18 Nov 2017 from 9:30am to 3:30pm. Guest speaker at the conference - to be held at Highland Council, Headquarters, Glenurquhart Road, Inverness - will be John Swinney MSP, Deputy First Minister of Scotland and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills.