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 welcomed a visit from Jeane Freeman MSP, Minister for Social Security, on Thursday 20 October. The purpose of the visit is to discuss the Scottish Welfare Fund and Universal Credit and the visit presented an opportunity for senior members and officers to demonstrate best practice in Highland and to put forward views towards the consultation on devolved Social Security in Scotland.
The Highland Council is anticipating it may have to make savings of £47 million to £72 million over the next 3 years, with a budget gap of some £26 million next year (2017-18) The financial environment is very challenging, with an unprecedented degree of uncertainty which makes planning very difficult. There will be a very short timescale to react and provide options for budget savings once the Scottish Government settlement is made known on 15 December.
Dornoch is the only Scottish finalist in the Great British High Street Awards and local Councillor Jim McGillivray is calling for people to cast their vote to give the Sutherland village a chance of winning. He said: "Across all fourteen categories of the awards, Dornoch is the only Scottish finalist, and we're up against Leominister and Stockton on Tees in the Rising Star category, both of which have much larger populations than we do.
The Redesign Board of The Highland Council will recommend keeping Catering, Cleaning and Facilities Management/Janitorial Services (CCFM) in house within the Council. Options for the future management of Catering, Cleaning and Facilities Management/Janitorial Services (CCFM) were considered by the Redesign Board today.
The Highland Council is asking people in the Highlands - ‘Are you ready for winter?'. The Council is again supporting the Scottish Government's Ready Scotland campaign at www.readyscotland.organd urges people in the Highlands to take some time to get ready for winter and all kinds of severe weather.
Trish Robertson has been elected as Culloden and Ardersier Ward Member for Highland Council. The by-election for a councillor to serve the Culloden and Ardersier Ward (No 18) on The Highland Council has been won by Trish Robertson - Scottish Liberal Democrats.
The timing of the Scottish Government's 2017-18 Budget has been confirmed to Parliament. Finance Secretary Derek Mackay has told MSPs that, subject to Parliamentary approval, the Draft Budget 2017-18 will be introduced to Parliament on 15th December 2016.
Voluntary organisations and personal licence holders who obtain occasional licences for the sale of alcohol under the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 for events they are organising may shortly also require to obtain a public entertainment licence under the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 for the same event. Premises with a premises licence or an occasional licence for the sale of alcohol under the 2005 Act have both up till now been exempt from the requirement also to hold a public entertainment licence ( PEL) under the 1982 Act.
Business cases totalling a value of around £48 million have been submitted as part of the City-Region Deal. If approved, the money will be drawn down so that work can start on progressing a number of exciting projects in the Highlands.
Speaking after the first meeting of the Islands Strategic Group co- chaired by Humza Yousaf, Minister for Transport and the Islands and Kevin Stewart, Minister for Local Government and Housing, the Highland Council Leader, Margaret Davidson (Independent) said: "I was delighted to take part in this first meeting of the Islands Strategic Group as it meets to consider the strategic issues affecting all the inhabited island communities of Scotland. I am keen that we help identify and design solutions to the unique needs and challenges these communities face.
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