Wick Campus Delay Until 2017
22nd September 2016
At a Wick stakeholders meeting held on Monday 19 September at Wick High School, representatives from Hub North Scotland and Morrison Construction gave an update on reasons for the delay and outlined a revised programme for the Wick campus delivery.
The meeting was chaired by Highland Councillor for Wick Bill Fernie who expressed the Council's disappointment at the delay, and re-stated the Council's priorities to ensure that the flagship facility is completed to the standard expected, and accepting handover only at that point.
Angus MacFarlane, Chief Executive of Hub North Scotland advised the group of a revised handover date for the Campus of Friday 2 December 2016 which remains subject to a number of risks.
He explained that there is a detailed dialogue taking place between Highland Council, Hub North Scotland and Morrison Construction on the revised programme and decant arrangements for Wick High School, Newton Park Primary and High Life Highland community facilities.
The head of Morrisons construction also laid to rest several rumours regarding the construction that there was no sinking/subsidence of any foundations and any broken windows were repaired as required. The faulty steel beam had been replaced. Several people who had been round to see the position were happy with what is going to be provided when the school finally opens.
The Council is working on detailed plans for the school moves with Head Teachers and High Life Highland, and is considering options for the moves either side of the festive period, with anticipated occupation of the new campus in early January, or around the mid-term break in February, with occupation by the end of February. The Council made clear to the Stakeholder Group that the move plans are still being developed and had to be realistic, achievable, and not impact on the learning and teaching of pupils. The Council recognises that pupils and parents will want early notification of when the schools' will commence within the new facility and that will be provided as soon as possible.
Depending on Hub north Scotland and their contractor Morrison Construction handing over the building and the Council accepting it on 2 December, the Council will provide early notification to parents of the expected occupation arrangements.
Ian MacGillivray from the Council's Project Design Unit provided an update on the delayed Safer Routes to Schools elements of work on the approaches to the school. BEAR Scotland will install a new pedestrian crossing on Francis Street and the Council's contractor will carry out work in Seaforth Avenue and Thurso Road - all during October.
There will be a further package of safety improvements next spring after demolition of the existing school is complete. The delay to the Road Traffic Orders for the 20mph zone around Wick Noss school is also being prioritised as a matter of urgency.
With Storm Caroline hitting the Highlands yesterday, today's heavy snowfall and the forecast for a drop in temperatures over the next 48 hours, the Highland Council's crews and winter vehicles have been busy in action. The fleet includes 105 gritters, 42 footpath tractors and over the coming months 200 plus staff will be providing winter maintenance services.
Wick Campus, including Wick High School, Newtonpark Primary School and High Life Highland Leisure facilities will remain closed on Friday 8 December 2017. The closure is due to high winds during Storm Caroline today which caused some damage to part of the roof of the Wick campus gym, causing the metal flashing around a roof light to become detached.
Following the high winds forecast and experienced this week due to Storm Caroline, The Highland Council is encouraging landowners to check trees and vegetation near to public roads which may have been damaged. Roads affected by fallen trees this morning were near Beauly; Achnagarron near Invergordon and Lochaber which staff are clearing.
The high winds during Storm Caroline today have caused some damage to part of the roof of the Wick campus gym, causing the metal flashing around a roof light to become detached. The school was already closed to pupils today due to the adverse weather.
Road condition reports by The Highland Council's Community Services for the morning of Thursday 7 December 2017 are as follows: Caithness and Sutherland: Most roads are affected by snow and ice. Treatment in progress.
The Highland Council expresses its deep disappointment at the news of further branch closures by the Royal Bank of Scotland. Leader of the Highland Council Margaret Davidson said: "This will cause real difficulties for many customers and small businesses.
Highland consumers who have lost money to a scam involving payment through Western Union wire transfer between 1st January 2004 and 19th January 2017, are being encouraged by Highland Council Trading Standards to file a claim for a refund with America's Federal Trade Commission in a bid to get some or if not all of their money back. In January 2017, Western Union agreed to pay $586 million for turning a blind eye to scammers and other criminals who used its service to trick customers into paying for bogus prizes, loans, jobs, discounted products and other financial rewards in exchange for money upfront.
The Highland Council and Department for Work and Pensions are implementing plans to improve accessibility to their services. This joint venture will see the jobcentre staff co-locating with the Council and other services in the council's new modern office developments in both Fort William and Wick.
City-region deal investment means that Inverness can now be branded a digital city. Ness WiFi, a free WiFi service, which was successfully piloted earlier this year, has now been rolled out across Inverness city centre, extending to and including areas such as the High Street, the Castle, Eden Court, and the bus and railway stations.
Leisure and cultural venues currently run by council arm's-length bodies will continue to benefit from charity relief from non-domestic rates. Following lengthy consultation with stakeholders, Finance Secretary Derek Mackay today confirmed that the Scottish Government will not be accepting the recommendation of the Barclay Review to end this benefit.
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