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News Archive

Commission On Highland Democracy Interim Report
You may not have been keeping up with changes flowing from the Local Democracy Bill but the Commission on Highland Democracy setup last year by the Highland Council with agreement from all parties has now publish its interim report.   Cllr.  
Loan Scheme For Vulnerable FarmersThumbnail for article : Loan Scheme For Vulnerable Farmers
Farmers and crofters who are waiting for their 2016 payment under the Less Favoured Area Support Scheme (LFASS) will be offered a Scottish Government funded loan.   Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing confirmed this will provide around £50 million support to businesses operating in Scotland's most marginalised and remote areas.  
Fourth Innovation Call For Wave Energy Scotland
Wave Energy Scotland (WES) has issued its fourth funding call for complete control systems suitable for use with a variety of wave energy converters.   Advanced control systems have the potential to play a vital role in the delivery of cost-effective wave energy generation technology.  
£1 Million For Care Worker Training
Funding to support training of social service staff.   Hundreds of care workers will be supported to get necessary qualifications with more than £1 million funding from the Scottish Government.  
Funding For Women In Business Doubled
Funding to support women-led businesses has been doubled to £120,000 First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced today in California.   The funding for Investing Women, a Scottish social enterprise which supports women-led businesses, was confirmed during a meeting with American angel investors in the First Minister's first day of engagements in the United States.  
Scottish Economy Contracts 0.2%
The output of the Scottish economy contracted by 0.2% during the fourth quarter of 2016, according to statistics announced today by Scotland's Chief Statistician.   Change in gross domestic product (GDP) is the main indicator of economic growth in Scotland.  
Call for voters in Highland to register in time for elections this May
With Scottish Council elections taking place in just a few weeks, voters in the Highlands are being urged to make sure they are registered to vote and are able to take part on polling day, Thursday 4 May.   The call for voters to sign up comes as the Electoral Commission launches a national voter registration campaign to encourage as many people as possible to register ahead of the elections taking place this year.  
City-Region Deal - significant long term benefits anticipated
In response to a call for evidence on the impact of city-region deals in Scotland, by a Scottish Parliament Committee, Highland Council Director of Development and Infrastructure, Stuart Black said:"It is very early days to assess the impact of the City-Region Deal, however, it is anticipated that the impact of the Deal on Inverness and the wider Highland region will be significant in securing the long term productivity and economic growth of the region and position it as a region of digital opportunity.  Regional partners estimate that the City-Region Deal funding of £315m could unlock up to an additional £800 million of investment by the private sector.  
Golspie and River Thurso Flood Protection Studies underwayThumbnail for article : Golspie and River Thurso Flood Protection Studies underway
The Highland Council has awarded a contract to a world leading engineering design firm to carry out comprehensive flood protection studies for two Highland coastal towns.   Thurso on the north coast and Golspie on the east coast have both suffered from flooding incidents over the years that has affected domestic and business properties and resulted in both towns being identified as Potentially Vulnerable Areas (PVAs) in the Highland and Argyll Local Flood Risk Management Plan.  
Scottish Income Tax - 2017/18 rates to come into force
The new powers over Scottish Income Tax will come into force next week.   Rates have been frozen and the threshold at which people start paying the higher tax rate will remain at £43,000.  
Crown Estate Scotland - Control of multi-million pound assets will benefit local communities.Thumbnail for article : Crown Estate Scotland - Control of multi-million pound assets will benefit local communities.
Powers over the revenue and management of Crown Estate resources in Scotland have been transferred to the Scottish Government, giving communities a stronger voice in how these assets are managed.   From 1st April 2017, Scottish Ministers will have control over thousands of hectares of rural land, approximately half Scotland's foreshore and leasing the seabed for rights to renewable energy.  
First Public List Of Busiest Trains PublishedThumbnail for article : First Public List Of Busiest Trains Published
The data, which analyses passenger counts over the previous six months, lists the top ten trains busiest services and the points along each route which are most affected.   The data not only identifies the busiest trains, it also gives information on the measures being taken to alleviate crowding such as when new rolling stock will come into service.  
Widening Access To Home Ownership SupportThumbnail for article : Widening Access To Home Ownership Support
Help to Buy (Scotland) scheme higher price cap retained for 2018/19.   New changes to the maximum value of a property eligible for Help to Buy Scotland will help more families onto the housing ladder, Housing Minister Kevin Stewart has said.  
E-cigarette Restrictions - New rules for purchase and supply of vapour productsThumbnail for article : E-cigarette Restrictions - New rules for purchase and supply of vapour products
From today (1 April 2017), new rules apply to the sale and purchase of tobacco and nicotine vapour products - known as NVPs or e-cigarettes.   This legislative changes mean that: it is illegal to sell NVPs to anyone under 18 it is illegal to buy NVPs for someone under 18 all retailers selling tobacco or NVPs will need to be registered stores will need to have an age verification policy for sales of tobacco and NVPs an unauthorised person under 18 will not be able to sell these products These were introduced in the Health (Tobacco, Nicotine etc.  
Employability and social security legislation come into effect
New arrangements to support people who receive benefits and the long term employed come into effect today.   The devolution of powers through the Scotland Act 2016 now has employability services delivered by the Scottish Government with 12 month transitional arrangements set to launch on Monday.  
Economy Secretary Confirms New Structure To Boost Productivity - HIE Board Retained
Changes to the enterprise and skills support system will drive forward Scotland's ambitions to be a top performing OECD nation, Economy Secretary Keith Brown has said.   Updating Parliament, Mr Brown confirmed details of a new Strategic Board that will reset the relationship enterprise and skills agencies have with businesses.  
Supporting New Farmers - £2.5 million to support new businessesThumbnail for article : Supporting New Farmers - £2.5 million to support new businesses
More than £2.5 million has been awarded to help and develop new entrants into farming.   The funding will support the next generation of farmers while increasing opportunities for young people to establish a career in agriculture.  
Public services are top priority for vast majority of Scottish voters, says polling
UNISON launches its manifesto for the local government elections in Scotland today ‘For fairness and democracy: keep it local' (1 April 2017).  It is launched with polling from Survation showing that public services are the top priority for voters (70%); followed by the economy (51%); and job security and availability (44%).  
Social Care For VeteransThumbnail for article : Social Care For Veterans
£5 million to ensure veterans get full war pensions.   Veterans who receive social care in Scotland will now get the full value of their war pensions thanks to £5 million of funding, Health Secretary Shona Robison has announced.  
Tributes paid to Caithness Highland CouncillorThumbnail for article : Tributes paid to Caithness Highland Councillor
Members and staff of the Highland Council are saddened by the passing of Councillor John Rosie on Wednesday 29 March 2017.   Councillor Rosie was elected in 1999 and served on the Council until May 2003 during which time he held the position of Convener for Caithness.