Given the significant change in the organisation of The Highland Council over the past year, the Chairman of the Resources Committee, Councillor Carolyn Wilson, is pleased that many results from an independent survey of employees show a positive trend. A report to be considered by the Resources Committee on Wednesday 20 February states that a fourth biennial survey of employees attracted 5,056 questionnaires, giving an increased response rate of 40%.
More than one hundred delegates from northern European countries are due to gather in Aviemore tomorrow and Thursday [20 and 21 February 2008] for a conference to officially launch a multi-million pound EU-funded development programme. The 45million Euros (£30m) Northern Periphery Programme 2007-13 is a multinational initiative which aims to help different regions to co-operate and address specific challenges faced by all parts of northern Europe.
DINGWALL, Dingwall & Highland Marts Ltd., (February, 19th) sold 82 prime cattle. Prime bullocks (52) averaged 145.6p (+8.0p) and sold to 168p per kg and £1,005.75 gross.
Scottish businesses are being targeted by ruthless scammers posing as legitimate European companies in order to extort hundreds of pounds from unsuspecting business owners, warns Scots MEP Catherine Stihler. The mailing scams are targeting small businesses throughout the UK and Europe, and Catherine urges caution when approached by and replying to unsolicited mail.
FIRST PHASE OF SHAFT CLEAN-UP NEARS COMPLETION The first phase of decommissioning Dounreay's waste shaft is nearing completion. A final set of boreholes in the toe section of the grout curtain and additional groundwater monitoring boreholes will see the project move a step closer towards isolation of the shaft from the groundwater.
To read the latest issue of Dounreay News - the Site Newspaper go to http://www.ukaea.org.uk/downloads/dounreay/bulletins/DNE_News_February08.pdf.
A report into the future handling of planning casework by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) has today (18 February 2008) been published on the SNH website. The report was commissioned from Heriot-Watt University to help SNH to make as effective a contribution as possible to Scotland's new planning regime.
The Wick office of North Highland Products hosted a ceremony to announce the winners of the 2007 Mey Selections Producer of the Year Awards. The winners in each of three categories - Aberdeen Angus, Commerical Cattle and Lamb, each received a silver cup and £100 prize.
The Scottish Government will extend support for projects designed to breathe new life into Scottish town and city centres, John Swinney has announced. Building on the Government's plan to reduce and for some companies to remove business rates, from April 1st, towns around Scotland will be able to apply for a one-off grant to help launch their own Business Improvement Districts (BIDs).
George Cormack, Mey Selections Marketing and Procurement Manager, spoke at a Lamb Marketing seminar in Dornoch yesterday. Hosted by Farming for the Future, the event was attended by approximately 60 members of NFU Scotland who were looking to make more informed decisions and develop their business.
A freeze in the Council Tax and a growth in spending to accommodate priority front line services has been confirmed by The Highland Council. The Independent/Scottish National Party Administration were successful with their recommendation to keep the tax at 2007/8 levels and deliver a revenue budget for 2008/9 of £568.6 million, an extra £25.6 million (or 4.7% increase) over the current financial year.
DINGWALL, Lambs (1,569) averaged £32.31 and sold to £65 gross for Beltex lambs from No. 25 Camult Muir, Kiltarlity.
Trading Standards Officers of The Highland Council are taking part in a national campaign ~ Scams Awareness Month - to crack down on the misery and heartache caused by unscrupulous scammers, whose sole aim is to persuade consumers to part with their money. Working jointly with the Office of Fair Trading, they are focusing on consumer education to help the public spot a scam and are encouraging the public to hand in to designated Council offices scam literature received this month.
A team of Construction students from Inverness College UHI have laid the foundations for a successful career in the construction industry by clinching first prize at the annual Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) Student Challenge in Perth - the fifth time that an Inverness College team has taken the top spot. The HND students triumphed over teams from Glasgow Caledonian University, Heriot-Watt University, Robert Gordon University and other Scottish colleges with their technical and general knowledge of the construction industry, as well as their team project which was to produce a design brief for a proposed commercial and leisure development.
The approvals list for HIE Caithness and Sutherland is in two sections. The first details assistance given to businesses, community groups and other public sector authorities to deliver specific projects.
A new company has been set up to promote the fast growing Centre for Health Science in Inverness. The first phase of the centre was officially opened last January and comprises a nurse and midwifery training centre, NHS Education for Scotland (NES), a new library for the Highland health care workforce and facilities for healthcare meetings and conferences.
Advance bookings for this summer's Smyril Line ferry service between the Faroe Islands and Scrabster are already three times higher than this time last year. The figures were revealed last week by the company's Product Manager whilst on a familiarisation visit to the Highlands.
Louise Smith has been appointed to progress an important marine project set to play a crucial role in revitalising the economy of Caithness following the de-commissioning of Dounreay. Civil engineer Louise Smith takes up the two-year post of project manager with the Pentland Firth Tidal Energy Project next Tuesday (12 February 2008).
The Nuclear Decommissioning Agency has announced that it will invest £8 million in plans to create the UK's National Nuclear Archive (NNA) in, Wick Caithness, Scotland. The NNA will potentially hold between 20 and 30 million digital records primarily concerning the history, development and decommissioning of the UK's civil nuclear industry since the 1940s.
The Highland Council has highlighted a number of concerns in its draft response to Post Office Ltd's consultation on post office closures across the UK. The response will be considered by councillors at a special meeting of the full Council on Thursday 14 February.