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.
Mears signs new cost savings deal on PPP Highland schools project. Mears has signed a new deal with the Highland Council which will see millions of pounds saved over the lifetime of the Private Public Partnership (PPP) Highland Schools Project.
The Highland Council and partners are advising motorists of temporary road closures and speed restrictions which will be in place next weekend (22 - 23 April) during the Etape Loch Ness cycling event. The restrictions and prohibitions which are being put in place are for participants' safety and to allow the Etape to take place on public roads.
A Local business has been found in contempt of court after breaching an Enforcement Order previously issued following action taken by Highland Council Trading Standards. On the 12th April 2017 at Inverness Sherriff Court Ms Diane Urquhart, Director of Inverness Fireplace and Heating Centre and Mr Michael Armour also of Inverness Fireplace and Heating Centre were found in breach of an Enforcement Order issued under the Enterprise Act 2002 and in contempt of court.
The Highland Council advises that Non-Domestic Rates (NDR) bills for 2017/18 are now being issued. NDR is also known as Business Rates.
Voters are reminded of the deadlines for both registering to vote and applying to vote by post in the forthcoming Highland Council elections on Thursday 4 May. Registration: To be able to vote in the elections, voters must be 16 years or over on 4 May 2017 and must be registered to vote.
In response to a call for evidence on the impact of city-region deals in Scotland, by a Scottish Parliament Committee, Highland Council Director of Development and Infrastructure, Stuart Black said:"It is very early days to assess the impact of the City-Region Deal, however, it is anticipated that the impact of the Deal on Inverness and the wider Highland region will be significant in securing the long term productivity and economic growth of the region and position it as a region of digital opportunity. Regional partners estimate that the City-Region Deal funding of £315m could unlock up to an additional £800 million of investment by the private sector.
With Scottish Council elections taking place in just a few weeks, voters in the Highlands are being urged to make sure they are registered to vote and are able to take part on polling day, Thursday 4 May. The call for voters to sign up comes as the Electoral Commission launches a national voter registration campaign to encourage as many people as possible to register ahead of the elections taking place this year.
The Highland Council has awarded a contract to a world leading engineering design firm to carry out comprehensive flood protection studies for two Highland coastal towns. Thurso on the north coast and Golspie on the east coast have both suffered from flooding incidents over the years that has affected domestic and business properties and resulted in both towns being identified as Potentially Vulnerable Areas (PVAs) in the Highland and Argyll Local Flood Risk Management Plan.
The elections for the 74 seats on The Highland Council, being held on Thursday 4 May, will involve 165 candidates contesting all of the 21 multi-member wards. Caithness will now only have two wards instead of three.
The 2017 Highland Council election has been officially called today (Monday 13 March) with the Returning Officer seeking nominations from candidates wishing to stand in the local government elections which take place on Thursday 4 May. A total of 74 Councillors will be appointed to represent the Council in 21 electoral wards, each with three or four elected members.
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