The safety of children walking and cycling to and from school and traffic calming measures in Wick were under the spotlight at yesterdays meeting of the Caithness Committee (Wednesday 21 February 2018). Local Councillors have given the go-ahead for proposals to introduce a 20mph speed limit and traffic calming measures across Wick designed to get motorists to slow down when driving around the town.
Schools will be allocated £3 million this year to support pupils learning additional languages, Employability Minister Jamie Hepburn has announced. A lack of language skills has been estimated to cost Scottish businesses hundreds of millions of pounds a year in lost exports.
Retailers have rights too! ParcelHero introduces new small traders' returns guide. At least 200 specialist online stores don't expect to survive the massive growth in returns this year.
Close to 100 professionals met yesterday for what is one of the largest Career Long Professional Learning (CLPL) events of its kind in the country that specifically targets Gaelic Education staff. The event took place in Merkinch Community Centre, Inverness for Highland Council's annual Gaelic Education In-Service.
A survey of more than a thousand businesses in the Highlands and Islands has shown that almost all of them (95%) have taken action in the past 12 months to become more productive and competitive. This is according to the findings of the latest business panel survey published today (Wednesday 21 February) ) by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).
Young people in Caithness will be the first in Scotland to benefit from new Norwegian style learning centres. A network of ‘Newton rooms' in Norway and one in Denmark are used to inspire more young people into careers in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).
North MSP and Road Safety Campaigners eight year campaign for a form of Graduated Licence closer to being introduced. Highlands & Islands Regional MSP and Road Safety Campaigner, David Stewart, has welcomed news from the UK Government that they plan to seriously now consider introducing a form of Graduated Driving Licence later this year.
The Highland Council is set to make it easier for the public to report incidents of fly tipping and be advised when action is taken. As part of an evaluation of its street cleaning service an in-depth LEAN review of how the council deals with fly tipping has been carried out to look at ways of improving responsiveness and customer satisfaction.
The Highland Council has agreed to use City-Region Deal funding to part fund new mid-market housing projects throughout the Highlands. The affordable housing projects will be developed by Albyn Housing Society and Highland Housing Alliance in Ullapool, Fort William, Alness, Inverness, Aviemore, Grantown, Drumnadrochit and Newtonmore and will deliver 61 new homes targeted at young people working in the area.
See the BBC article for full details of the changes today. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-43115967.
Labour MSP Rhoda Grant has spoken out over Caithness Health Action Team (CHAT) revelations over the past few days. "It appears that the health authority and the Scottish Government rode roughshod over the concerns of a whistle blower whose only interest was the safety of hospital patients," said Highlands and Islands Labour MSP Rhoda Grant.
Highland Councillors agreed a council tax increase of 3% which will mean an increase of £35.93 per annum on a Band D property. Overall, the budget gap of £15,146 million has been met by a package of savings which includes increasing Council Tax income by £3.448 million, increasing income by £3,059 million, setting a target of £2,250 million to be saved through Redesign and reducing expenditure by £5.1 million.
There are "significant risks" surrounding the Scottish Government's ambition to double early learning and childcare hours by August 2020, say auditors. Councils are preparing to provide 1,140 funded hours for all 3 and 4-year-olds -- and eligible two year-olds -- to improve outcomes for children and to support parents to work, study or train.
Independent councillors have delivered a fair budget for the Highlands today. It's a fair budget that has limited the impact on council services, protected the provision of frontline education, and minimised the rent increase for council house tenants.
The biggest private sector employer in Wick in Caithness is to strengthen its presence in the area and create more jobs. Family run Ashley Ann Limited (AAL), which designs and manufactures kitchens, bedrooms and bathrooms, has secured a funding package of up to £190,000 from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).
Redesign is about the Council being more open-minded to new ways of delivering services, more commercially-minded to raise income to support services and jobs across the region and being more community-minded, listening locally and supporting more community-run services. The Highland Council is seeking to release over £2.2 million in savings this year through redesign projects.
DINGWALL, Dingwall & Highland Marts Ltd., (February, 14th) sold 574 store cattle, 6 adult head of breeding cattle. Bullocks (312) averaged 240.4p, (229.9p last year) and sold to 300.3p per kg twice for a 303kg a single Charolais cross and a pair Charolais crosses from Creagmhor, and £1,500 for a single 835kg Limousin cross from Ashley, North Kessock.
NHS Scotland has launched a campaign to increase the number of consultant grade radiologists in post by 10%. Nine Health Boards are teaming up to fill 32 vacancies through targeted advertising across the globe.
Housing Flows-2. In 2016/17 there were a total of 52,924 social rented housing lets, a drop of 1,108 lets, or 2%, on the 54,032 lets in 2015/16.
Characteristics of Social Tenants-2 30% of social rented households in 2016 were single working age adults, an increase from 18% in 1999. 19% of households were single pensioners, a decrease from 25% in 1999.