Chair Appointed For Caithness And Sutherland Area Committee
20th August 2012
Councillor Deirdre Mackay who represents the East Sutherland and Edderton Ward has unanimously been elected as Chairman of the Caithness and Sutherland Area Committee.
The committee met yesterday (Monday 20 August) for the first time at The Highland Council's Drummuie Offices in Golspie. Councillor Deirdre Mackay was nominated by Thurso Councillor Donnie Mackay and seconded by North West and Central Sutherland member, Councillor Linda Munro.
After taking the chair for the meeting she thanked her fellow councillors for their support and said: "I come from Caithness but live in Sutherland so this post has real meaning to me. Both counties are different in many respects but yet have so much in common. Local democracy was a key issue in the recent election so I am delighted that our Area Committee has been delivered so quickly and that local decision making has returned to Caithness and Sutherland in 12 short weeks.
Speaking after the meeting had ended Councillor Mackay added: "Today we approved capital projects worth over £8.5m and heard how a further £100m of public funding investment is getting ploughed into Caithness for energy sector projects and new schools and offices. We are now in a great position to really drive things forward and focus on what's important, that's the people we represent, and what we can do, through this committee, to improve their lives."
At the full Council on 31 May 2012 members agreed that a Caithness and Sutherland Area Committee be established along with the Inverness City Committee as part of a year-long pilot with a view for paving the way for a further three Area Committees.
Leader of The Highland Council Drew Hendry congratulated Councillor Deirdre Mackay on her new role. He said: "Today the Area Committee, and local democracy returned to Sutherland after five years and I am sure Deirdre will work hard to ensure the new Committee is a success with tangible results. This is a great opportunity to tailor how we do business taking into account local circumstances. As well as the area committee taking on the responsibility and scrutiny for local service delivery and deciding on how delegated budgets are spent, an important priority will be to work with partners to promote tourism and boost the local economy with a focus on making sure people are guaranteed efficient and effective services."
The new Head Teacher of the new Lochaber Gaelic primary school, Bun-Sgoil Gh√†idhlig Loch Abar, received the keys to Highland Council's second purpose built Gaelic school in the Highlands today (Friday 3 July 2015). Frank Reid, Regional Managing Director for Robertson Construction Northern - contractors for the development at Ardgour Road in Caol - handed the keys for the property over to Head Teacher, John Joseph MacNeil, who takes up post at the start of the new term in August.
July is Scams Awareness Month and The Highland Council's Trading Standards team is joining forces with Citizens Advice Bureaux to warn consumers about the risks of being caught out. Trading Standards Manager Gordon Robb explained.
The Highland Council has welcomed the clear and unanimous recommendation published in the long-awaited report from the Independent Airports Commission into increasing the UK's airport capacity, that increased runway capacity should be created at Heathrow Airport, London with the construction of a third runway. The Commissions' report stated that "capacity constraints at Heathrow Airport have seen the number of domestic connections decline at the airport over recent years with no daily service operating between Heathrow and Inverness since 1997." It added that "a new runway at Heathrow will enhance the domestic connectivity of the UK, strongly benefitting the regions outside of London and the South East." The Highland Council Leader, Councillor Margaret Davidson (Independent) welcomed the recommendation by the Independent Airports Commission.
The Highland Council has published its notice to tender for ICT Core Services on Public Contracts Scotland website. The scope of the ICT Core Services to be sourced under this procurement are broadly defined as ‚Äėproviding managed technology infrastructure, application systems and desktop services required for the delivery of the Authority's business including educational ICT and online Public Access Services'.
The Highland Council has agreed to invest ¬£2.36 million in repairing the regional road network. The non-earmarked balance of reserves from 2014-15 is ¬£5.928 million.
Councillor Helen Carmichael who represents Aird and Loch Ness Ward was elected as the new Provost and Leader of Inverness and Area today (Thursday 25 June 2015). Nominated by Councillor Margaret Davidson, and seconded by Councillor Jim Crawford, Councillor Carmichael was duly elected at a special meeting of the City of Inverness Area Committee held at Council Headquarters in Inverness.
Eight businesses are the first in Highland to successfully apply for free Broadband Connection Vouchers which will now enable them to boost their broadband to make sure they benefit from new IT opportunities and better productivity. The scheme, which provide grants of up to ¬£3,000 to help small businesses and charities is funded by the UK Government's SuperConnected Cities Initiative and is administered locally by The Highland Council in conjunction with City of Edinburgh Council.
At its meeting on 16 June 2015, the Highland Licensing Board approved the final terms of its Supplementary Licensing Policy Statement on Extended Hours for Special Events of Local or National Significance. This supplements the Board's main Licensing Policy Statement 2013-2016 and will have effect as Board Policy until November 2016, when the main Statement is next due for review.
On Friday 26 June, the Caithness District Partnership will meet in full as part of the arrangements under the Planning for Integration (P4i) partnership between the NHS and The Highland Council. Issues to be discussed will include updates on the NHS redesign of Caithness General Hospital and local NHS staffing.
On Wednesday 10th June 2015 The Highland Council held a facebook chat giving lots of information and advice on what people can do to ensure they are receiving the correct benefits and tax credits, as well as giving handy tips on how to manage budgets and avoid getting into debt. Staff from the Council's Income Maximisation and Money Advice teams spent two hours on facebook answering questions on benefits, welfare, money advice and personal budgeting.
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