Green Light For Two New Wick Primary Schools
21st February 2012
The Highland Council has been given the go ahead to proceed with plans to replace the four primary schools in Wick with two new purpose built schools serving the North and South of the town.
Scottish Education Cabinet Secretary, Michael Russell, who called in the Council's proposals, has confirmed he is content for the Council to amalgamate Hillhead and North Primary Schools in a new school building on land available within North Primary School and to join the South and Pulteneytown Academy Primary Schools in a new school to be built on the site of the existing High School playing field site and the site of Pultneytown Academy PS.
The school to the North is estimated to cost £10.5 million and cater for approximately 390 pupils. The new school serving the south of the town would cater for 340 pupils at an estimated cost of £9.225 million. The Council hopes to progress the new primary school plans at the same time as building a new community High School for Wick - on the existing site of the secondary school - at a total estimated cost of more than £50 million.
Hugh Fraser, Director of Education Culture and Sport, The Highland Council, contacted local stakeholders of the good news.
He said: "I am very pleased to advise you that we have been informed that the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning has agreed that the projects to replace the current Wick primary schools with two new primaries can proceed. There will be a condition regarding traffic safety but we would expect this to be overtaken in the Traffic Impact Assessment which is part of the next stage in any school replacement project."
Councillor Bill Fernie, Chairman of the ECS Committee who is a Ward Member for Wick, said: "This is is a very positive outcome and I am very pleased that we are now able to progress these projects and hopefully have them opened by 2015. When completed these projects mean that Wick will have one of the best provisions for educational facilities in the Highlands and they will go a long way to promote regeneration.
"When combined with the new Wick High school and new community facilities such as the swimming pool and library we will have created one of the best learning and recreational environments in Scotland."
Councillor Gail Ross, Wick, said: "This is great news for Wick not just for parents and children in the area but for the wider community as well. We have to make sure now that the builds are kept within budget and delivered on time."
A campaign which aims to encourage all 15-17 year olds who will be eligible to vote for the first time in the Scottish Parliament election scheduled for May 2016 to sign up and register has begun across Highland and Islands. The initiative is part of a wider campaign that has been launched nationally across Scotland by the Electoral Commission.
The Highland Council's new improved recycling service begins next week. From 31st August residents can also put plastic pots, tubs and trays (excluding black plastic) into the blue recycling bin - in addition to cardboard food & drink cartons, aerosols and envelopes which were added in earlier in the summer.
The Highland Council Care and Learning Service has been successful in securing Ā£250,000 to support the development of the use of technology in learning. The bid, led by Louise Jones, ICT in Learning Manager was submitted to the Inspiring Learning Fund a Scottish Government fund developed by the Scottish Futures Trust.
Hundreds of potholes have been repaired in the first 6 months of this year. 1,437 potholes were repaired between January and June 2015.
The Highland Council is not impacted on any current projects by the "interruption" of EU funds to Scotland for 2007 -13 Programmes. The āinterruptionā relating to 2013 will have no bearing on claims submitted by the Council in 2014 or 2015 and Highland Council projects, audited in 2013, received a clean bill of health.
Highland Council welcomes the announcement today by the First Minister that 5 local schools are going to receive additional funding as part of the Attainment Scotland Fund. This second phase of the national initiative involves 57 schools across Scotland, and the five in Highland are - Merkinch and Bishop Eden (Inverness), Coulhill and Milton (East Ross) and South Wick (Caithness).
Highland Council residents can now apply for Council Tax discounts and exemptions and report change of circumstances online with the launch of new online forms on the Council's website. The new forms allow customers to complete online rather than by paper when applying for council tax discounts/exemptions and to report changes that may impact on their council tax, housing benefit or council tax reduction.
The Highland Licensing Board is advising people who have had their personal licences revoked that rules have changed and they may now be able to reapply. Since December 2014 The Highland Licensing Board has had to revoke a number of personal licences where the licence holder failed to comply with the mandatory refresher training requirements.
The PFR stone table with the inscription 'Out of Caithness to the World' will become the centre piece of the NDA Archive when it opens its doors in 2017. Construction of the new facility has begun at Wick and was officially opened by David Flear, Dounreay Stakeholder Group chairman, when he cut the first turf at an opening ceremony in August.
LEADER of The Highland Council, Margaret Davidson met with Her Majesty's Inspector of Constabularys in Scotland (MHICS), Mr Derek Penman, today to discuss the Inverness Police Control Room. She said: "I would like to thank Mr Penman for taking time to come to Inverness and listen to the concerns of the Highland Council.
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