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."
PROPOSALS for changing customer service provision in 22 locations across Highland are being considered as part of a public consultation. Council staff and members of the public are being asked for their views on proposed changes to how services are currently provided.
The Highland Council's new website has risen to the top 6% of UK Local Government websites, according to an independent survey into online presence. The website, launched in July 2014, aims to focus more on the needs of the customer and provides a platform to deliver more services online.
Early in February the first two in a series of workshops specifically for anyone working in the local food and drink sector will take place to highlight how social media can be best used to increase profit, support other local businesses and promote the area. The workshops follow on from the project The Highland Council ran last year across the Highlands to investigate the potential and appetite for developing an industry-led local food and drink network that could co-ordinate and drive future activities to support the local food and drink sector in the region.
The Highland Council wishes to clarify that if anyone is seeking information on their Winter Maintenance Policy and gritting maps then this information can be found on the Highland Council website. The Highland Council Winter Maintenance Policy states: "The treatment of roads will be carried out based on a hierarchical system dependant on route priority".
LEADER of The Highland Council, Drew Hendry and Chief Executive Steve Barron praised council workers following a week of severe weather affecting the region. Storm force winds caused havoc, leaving thousands of homes and businesses without power for days, bringing trees and branches down across roads and railway lines, damaging buildings and causing network and telecommunications problems across the area.
Proposals to deliver the Scottish Government's report on "Developing Scotland's Young Workforce" in the Highlands have been welcomed by Members of The Highland Councilâ€™s Education, Children and Adult Services Committee this week. Members were informed that an implementation strategy for Highlandâ€™s young people will need to take into account: Â· industry engagement in developing general education Curriculum for Excellence; Â· specific vocational pathways leading to industry recognised qualifications; Â· college systems focussed on employability; Â· apprenticeship opportunities and advanced qualifications through work based learning; and Â· a systematic approach to business sector engagement.
Highland Council Members have agreed the terms of reference for a review of the Facilities Management model which is being rolled out in schools across the Highlands. In 2010 the Council previously agreed to take forward the Facilities Management model, the benefits of which were expected to: Â· create of a universal support function to assist Head Teachers with property and grounds management; Â· create a standardised operating model under specialist line management arrangements; Â· create standardised job descriptions ensuring a consistent approach to facilities management across all schools; and Â· is affordable within the Council's current budget allocation.
Two Highland Council roads and 12 schools remain closed or affected today (Monday 12 January) following the severe weather. Newhall Bridge B9163 on the Black Isle is closed until further notice, due to structural damage.
DUE to storm damage, two schools, may not be open on Monday. Brora Primary School and Canisbay Primary School have both suffered some roof damage.
Strategic and local multi-agency tactical meetings are continuing to take place to assess and manage the impact of the severe weather. The storm force winds and snow have caused considerable disruption and severely hampered repairs to power networks and clearing of roads across the area.
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