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Local Authority News

Council's ambitious digital learning estate continues to support education in Highland
The Highland Council's resilient digital learning estate continues to connect and support learners and educators across Highland, including the creation of a new digital toolkit for teaching staff.   Education Chair, Cllr John Finlayson said: "The extensive digital learning estate available across Highland for staff, pupils, parents and carers is an effective way to empower and develop digital opportunities across Highland schools.  
Public Opinion Sought On Draft Gambling Policy Statement
Members of the public are being invited to comment on a Draft Gambling Policy Statement for the coming years 2022-25.   The Highland Council is consulting on the draft policy statement on behalf of The Highland Licensing Board under the Gambling Act 2005.  
Caithness members supported in their call for a Highland-wide Playground Strategy
At the meeting of The Highland Council Members supported a starred item put forward by Caithness Members.   The Thurso and North West Caithness and the Wick and East Caithness Ward Councillors asked that the Council creates and implements a Council wide playground strategy that considers the needs and expectations of communities and supports the active play, well-being and social activity of children and their families.  
£1.5m Further Investment In Visitor Management Approved By Highland CouncilThumbnail for article : £1.5m Further Investment In Visitor Management Approved By Highland Council
Given the importance of tourism to the Highland economy and the need for the tourism experience to be positive for visitors and communities, members have agreed to extend the Visitor Management Plan funding into the 2022 season by a one-off investment of £1.5m.   A one-off Visitor Management Plan investment of £2.4m agreed by the Council in March 2021 for this year's season has enabled a range of service improvements.  
Spirit Of The Highlands - Photography And Filming Tenders AdvertisedThumbnail for article : Spirit Of The Highlands - Photography And Filming Tenders Advertised
On behalf of The Highland Council, High Life Highland has this week advertised a tender and invitation to quote seeking creative filming and photography input to the Inverness Castle - Spirit of the Highlands project.   The tender and invitation to quote will contribute to Spirit:Journeys, a natural and cultural heritage initiative that will deliver many benefits for local communities, helping to unlock economic potential and improve visitor experiences across the region.  
Proposals for 5 priority school projects agreed at Council
Members at a meeting on 9 September 2021 of the Highland Council agreed the scope, budget, phasing and timescale for 5 priority school projects including Beauly Primary, Culloden Academy, Dunvegan Primary, Park Primary, and St Clements School.  It was also agreed that these projects are to be incorporated into the Council's current capital programme.  
Financial Support for Artists and Craft MakersThumbnail for article : Financial Support for Artists and Craft Makers
Artists and craft makers across the Highlands, Moray and the Western Isles can apply for bursaries of up to £750 for their creative development.   The Visual Artist and Craft Makers Awards (VACMA) are funded by Creative Scotland in partnership with Inverness Museum and Art Gallery (IMAG) and can support artists at all stages of their career.  
Family Music Day In Inverness Cancelled
A planned Family Music Day in Inverness has been postponed, High Life Highland has said.   Due to take place on September 11 in Bellfield Park, a decision was taken following careful monitoring of the evolving Covid-19 situation across the Highlands.  
Letter To Parents Regarding A Covid Case In Wick High School
A letter has been sent to parents and guardians of pupils in S1 and S3 at Wick High School on Friday 27th August 2021.   Dear Parent or Guardian, We have identified a possible case of COVID-19 in a pupil in your child's year group.  
Council Welcomes Forward-thinking Report On Coastal Change For Golspie To CoulThumbnail for article : Council Welcomes Forward-thinking Report On Coastal Change For Golspie To Coul
The Highland Council has today (27 August 2021) welcomed Scottish Government's publication of a forward-thinking report on coastal change for the area in East Sutherland stretching from Golspie to Coul.  It provides a summary of the latest ‘Dynamic Coast' science and is intended to support key partners in developing and implementing a response, which could include resilience and adaptation measures.  
Localised COVID-19 outbreaks affecting many schools across Highland
A third of schools across Highland in Primary, Secondary and ELC settings are affected by positive COVID-19 cases or localised outbreaks.   Secondary schools in Grantown, Kingussie, Culloden and Lochaber currently have a significant number of year groups self- isolating.  
Vigilance Urged As Schools Feel Impact Of Covid Increase
As confirmed cases of COVID rise across the NHS Highland area, local schools, which saw pupils returning last week after the summer holidays, have begun to feel the impact.   From 16 - 22 August, NHS Highland saw over 1000 cases which represents almost 10% of our total case count for the whole pandemic in a single week.  
Diligent Work Of Highland Council's Welfare Support Team Praised By Members
Members of the Corporate Resources Committee have praised the exemplary work of the Council's Welfare Support Team after they were presented with a comprehensive report today (25 August) highlighting the strong performance from the team in assisting Highland residents.   Members' attention was specifically drawn to the following key points: More than 20,600 residents were supported by the Council’s Welfare Support Team and Citizens Advice during 2020/21 with welfare, debt and housing advice services, resulting in excess of 61,600 contacts (on average, 3 contacts per client);.  
Rapid Covid-19 Community Testing Available At Golspie
Rapid COVID-19 community testing will be available in Golspie from Wednesday 25 August to Friday 27 August.   The Highland Council and NHS Highland are delivering community testing in the Highlands to help people become confident in using the Lateral Flow Device (LFD) test kits.  
Highland Council Energy Efficient Scotland: Area Based Scheme (ees:abs) - First Time Central Heating
There is still time for eligible residents to benefit from up to 100%* Scottish Government grant funding available for First Time Central Heating.   This would be delivered through the installation of an air source heat pump, new radiators and new controls.  
Back to school in Highland 2021
Schools across Highland welcome pupils and staff back to classrooms today Tuesday, 17 August 2021.  Staff have worked to make sure COVID-19 safety measures are in place and in line with national guidance.  
Caithness Allocates Cash To Combat Covid Harms
Caithness councillors agree allocation of Place-Based Investment Fund to address local Covid-harms within Ward 2 and Ward 3 As part of the Health and Prosperity Strategy agreed by the Highland Council in March 2021, a £100,000 Place-Based Investment Fund was allocated to each of the 21 Wards throughout the Highland region for the 2021/22 financial year.   This fund was designed to enable a flexible local response to address the four harms of Covid which are identified as: direct health harms; health impacts not directly related to Covid; societal impacts; and economic impacts.  
More Highland Children Returned From Out Of Area Placements
Members updated on the positive outcomes being delivered by the Placement Services Change Programme within Highland Members of Wednesday's Health, Social Care and Wellbeing Committee received an update on the progress on the Placement Services Change Programme from the Executive Chief Officer of the Health and Social Care directorate, Fiona Duncan.   The programme was initially set-up to return Looked After Children from Out of Area Placements to ensure that children and young people were living in their local community receiving the help and support they need, whilst maintaining contact with families and friends.  
A warm Highland welcome for probationer teachers
The new cohort of probationer teachers were welcomed to the Highlands (on Friday 13 August 2021) at an online Induction Event.   The probationer teachers' Induction Event is the first of a wide range of professional learning events which run across the year, to support the needs of beginning teachers and their ongoing professional learning.  
Two New Highland Councillors ElectedThumbnail for article : Two New Highland Councillors Elected
The results of The Highland Council by-elections to elect a councillor to represent the Wick and East Caithness ward and a councillor for the Inverness West Ward have been declared.   Jill Tilt has been elected to represent Ward 3 - Wick and East Caithness.