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."
All Scottish councils with responsibility for island communities involved. A new Islands Strategic Group will be created, bringing all six local authorities with responsibility for Scotland's 93 inhabited island communities together.
A business case for the council's proposal for a regional sports hub has been submitted to the council's finance service. Councillors agreed in March 2015 to progress an ambitious Regional Sports Facility for the Highlands, which could include a significant contribution by Sportscotland to the project.
Funding applications totalling £558,000 from the Highland Council's Capital Discretionary Fund have been agreed by Resources Committee, for four local proposals in the Highlands. £18,000 was awarded to Evanton Community Trust towards the urgent repair and reinstatement of three local footpaths.
The Council's Resources Committee has agreed to select WIPRO Holdings UK Ltd as its Preferred Bidder for the future delivery of its ICT Core Services. However, the Council is still in a commercially confidential procurement process and an announcement of a formal award of contract will not be made until around 12 September following the required legal "standstill period".
People submitting building standards applications to The Highland Council will benefit from a major new improvement to the Council's digital services that will be on offer from Wednesday 24 August. The eBuilding Standards Service will allow customers to submit all Building Standards applications to Highland Council electronically in the same way customers can already make planning applications electronically using ePlanning.
Members of The Highland Council's Planning, Development and Infrastructure Committee have agreed to adopt the Onshore Wind Energy Supplementary Guidance as statutory supplementary guidance to the Highland-wide Local Development Plan. This means that from today the Guidance will be used as material consideration in any applications and will have full weight in the planning process as part of the Development Plan once Scottish Ministers have given it their final scrutiny.
The timetable for the election for the return of a councillor for the Culloden and Ardersier ward of The Highland Council has been announced today (Thursday 17 August) The by-election is being held following the sad death of Councillor John Ford. He was one of four Councillors representing Ward 18 which has an electorate of 9,137.
Grass cutting in Skye and Lochalsh is to be brought in house from next year and the Council is to carry out an options appraisal to allow members to decide how future grass cutting will be carried out in the rest of the Highlands. Grass cutting and burial ground maintenance forms part of the Council's Amenity Services which also includes war memorial maintenance, management of public conveniences, play park maintenance and burial and cremation services.
Leader of Highland Council, Cllr Margaret Davidson, has asked the Chief Executive for an overview of the delivery of education capital projects, to see where further improvements can be made and any problems can be avoided. Cllr Davidson said: "During the past year we have learnt many lessons from previous projects and this has led to many improvements in project management and better reporting to elected members.
The Inspector of Crematoria Scotland has described Inverness Crematorium as being well run by staff who display a caring and professional approach to their duties. The comments come following a recent inspection focussing on the issues raised following some national high profile investigations and enquiries into the inappropriate scattering of ashes in other areas.
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