Cabinet Secretary Addresses Highland Education Seminar
6th June 2012
Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning, Michael Russell MSP was guest speaker at a "16+ Learning Choices Seminar" held, in the Highland Council's headquarters, Inverness today at which around 100 delegates attended.
Delegates represented charities and the third sector, tourism, business and commerce, construction industries, energy and renewables and the public and education sectors.
Welcoming the Cabinet Secretary to the Highlands, Leader of The Highland Council, Councillor Drew Hendry said: "Young people are arguably our most precious resource and the support we can provide can make a real difference. It was great to be able to welcome the Scottish Government's Cabinet Secretary, Mike Russell to discuss initiatives for our young people. There is much we can work to achieve together."
The conference aimed to reinforce existing partnership working between the Council's education service and the business sector and to inform partners of a sustainable Highland 16+ Action Plan that will link all partners reflecting their individual contributions.
Moira Forsyth, Highland Council's Lead Officer More Choices, More Chances said: "In practical terms the things we want to continue and to develop further through the actions plan include: the provision of university level courses for S5 and S6 students; vocational options open to all school pupils through Skills for Work; the Bridge to Employment Programme rolled out with other businesses; and the continuation of Activity Agreements which provide tailored support that engage the young people who are most vulnerable such as care leavers, those with Additional Support Needs, and many others."
The Highland Council has awarded a contract to A & W Sinclair for the delivery of environmental improvement works at Dunnet Bay and Dunnet Head. Work on site will commence week beginning 15th February 2016 and is scheduled for completion by the middle of April.
Following the second call for candidates wishing to serve on Highland Community Councils to come forward - a total of 19 Councils attracted sufficient interest to form a new Council. The uncontested community councils in the second round are: •Ardgay Community Council •Arisaig and District Community Council •Balintore and Hilton Community Council •Ballifer Community Council •Bower Community Council •Coigach Community Council •Conon Bridge Community Council •Dulnain Bridge Community Council •Inver Community Council •Kiltarlity Community Council •Kinlochleven Community Council •Kyle Community Council •Lochardil and Drummond Community Council •Morvern Community Council •Muirtown Community Council •Raasay Community Council •Sinclairs Bay Community Council •Strathpeffer Comunity Council •West Ardnamurchan Community Council.
For the first time the Highland Community Planning Partnership have endorsed a Development Plan published by The Highland Council and have agreed to working with the Council in monitoring its delivery. The Proposed Caithness and Sutherland Local Development Plan (CaSPlan), was published for consultation on 22 January 2016 and will run until 18 March 2016.
The Councils Community Services Committee has approved an additional programme of £2.7 million for the coming year 2016/17. £2.3 million will be allocated this coming year to re-surfacing, surface dressing and road markings across the Highland network and £0.4 million to bridges in Sutherland (Kylesku) and Lochaber (A884 Achnagavin).
Highland Council has invited tenders for a contract for a summer ferry service between Cromarty and Nigg. The previous operator terminated the service contract just before the start of the 2015 season due to difficulties with sandbanks building up off the slipways and berthing arrangements.
Council house rents will be limited to a 1.9% rise in order to maintain current service levels. This will mean an increase in the average weekly council rent of £1.35 for all Housing Revenue Account (HRA) rents.
New standards have been set out for grass-cutting across the Council area to meet statutory requirements and achieve savings. There is no statutory requirement that amenity grass must be cut, however, the Council has various duties to maintain public safety, deliver education in accordance to national standards, deliver a burial service, maintain roads and paths in a safe condition and support national play initiatives.
The Highland Council has awarded £1.128 million to Community Transport schemes across the Highlands, spread over the next 3 years. This allocation allows £376,000 of grants to be made available to the listed community groups and organisations each year for the next 3 years, which enables some certainty in the medium term for these initiatives.
The Highland Council is preparing for the implementation of a Decriminalised Parking Enforcement (DPE) Scheme this year. Remedial works have started, which includes sign and road markings replacement across the council to support of our Application to Transport Scotland for DPE authority.
Highland Council Leader, Councillor Margaret Davidson said: The option to raise council tax in Highland has been taken away from us. We have been informed, if we raise Council Tax, we will be fined not just the 3% we expected but also other sanctions will be applied around teacher numbers and funding for social care.
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