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Good news alert for Highland scams victims from Highland Council Trading Standards
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.  
Tighter Squeeze On CouncilsThumbnail for article : Tighter Squeeze On Councils
Councils are showing increasing signs of financial stress and face even tougher challenges ahead, says the Accounts Commission.   In its annual financial overview published today the local authority watchdog says funding has reduced while costs and demands have increased, and more councils are using reserves to fund services.  
The Best News For Wick Harbour In 100 Years
This item is from Eann Sinclair's blog but it really needs an item on its own - This week: Scottish Provincial Press continues its impressive run of Energy North supplements under Alan Hendry's editorship: this month it carries a further mix of stories on key projects and issues such as Beatrice Offshore Windfarm (with Wick Harbour Authority's Willie Watt calling its lease agreement with BOWL "the best news Wick harbour has had in 100 years").   Go to page 8 in the magazine to read how transformational the news is for Wick harbour, the town and the county of Caithness.  
RBS To Close Wick BranchThumbnail for article : RBS To Close Wick Branch
Royal Bank is to close 62 Royal Bank of Scotland and 197 Nat West branches.   The Wick branch is one on the list.  
New Private Residential Tenancy Affects Private Landlords and Tenants
Greater security for tenants and safeguards for landlords.   The biggest change to the private rental sector in a generation will mean tenants have more security and stability coupled with better safeguards for landlords, lenders and investors.  
Caithness And North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership - Update
Weeks commencing 20th and 27th November 2017 Energy & business services: Delighted to hear that SeaCat Services, the operators of the crew transfer vessels that will support both construction and operations work for the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm (BOWL) project, had a good level of interest at its recruitment event in Wick last week.  SeaCat is seeking suitably qualified candidates for roles such as Master, Mate and Deckhand, and I understand that several applications are now being taken forward.  
Regional MSP Rhoda Grant Hits out at 13 Highland Bank Closures
Highlands and Islands Regional MSP, Rhoda Grant has hit out at the decision by RBS to close a further 62 branches in Scotland.   Rhoda Grant said "I understand that banks are coming under pressure due to reduced customer footfall with the onset of online banking and telephone banking becoming more popular.  
Island Music Studio Aims To Attract Global StarsThumbnail for article : Island Music Studio Aims To Attract Global Stars
A new residential music studio in the Outer Hebrides is set to capitalise on its scenic location and high-end technology to attract both UK and international recording artists.   Black Bay Studio has opened for business on the island of Great Bernera just off the west coast of the Isle of Lewis.  
More Firms Welcomed To Marine Science Park
Two more companies have been welcomed on to the European Marine Science Park (EMSP), a development by HIE at Dunstaffnage near Oban.   Aquaculture firm, Fusion Marine Ltd, and ALIenergy (Argyll, Lomond and the Isles Energy Agency) have recently moved into the Park's Malin House.  
Trade Envoys Appointed
Team will champion Scottish businesses abroad.   SCOTLAND is extending its worldwide business reach this St Andrew's Day, with the appointment of a team of trade envoys to champion international trading.  
Cost Of Clinical Negligence Grew To £1.6 Billion In 2016-17
The annual cost of the clinical negligence for trusts has quadrupled over the last decade—£0.4 billion in 2006-07 to £1.6 billion in 2016-17—taking already scarce resources away from frontline services and patients.   Despite long-standing concerns about these predictable rising costs, the government has been disappointingly slow and complacent in its response.  
Gender Representation On Public Boards
The Scottish Parliament has approved the Gender Representation on Public Boards (Scotland) Bill in principle after a stage one debate.   The bill sets an objective for public boards that 50% of their non-executive members are women.  
Why International Trade Is More Important Than Ever
It has never been more important for businesses in the Highlands and Islands to target global markets, writes Martin Johnson, HIE's head of international trade and investment.   At the same time global markets have never been more accessible to the region, so we are in a good place.  
Early final Christmas order dates ‘will shock last-minute shoppers'Thumbnail for article : Early final Christmas order dates ‘will shock last-minute shoppers'
Many stores' Christmas final online order dates will be earlier than last year, warns the e-commerce delivery expert ParcelHero.  Its retailers' Christmas deadline tool reveals the stores likely to catch last-minute shoppers off guard.  
Co-location Improves Local Access To Services In Wick And Fort WilliamThumbnail for article : Co-location Improves Local Access To Services In Wick And Fort William
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.  
New Members Appointed To NHS Highland Board
NHS Highland has appointed three new non-executive members to its board.   Alasdair Christie, James Brander and Sarah Compton-Bishop have each been appointed for four years by the Cabinet Secretary for Health, Wellbeing and Sport Shona Robison.  
Ness WiFi is rolled out across Inverness City Centre
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.  
Sports, Arts And Community Centres To Keep Rates Relief
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.  
"Mind the subscription trap" - Highland Council Trading Standards warn consumersThumbnail for article :
As part of National Consumer Week 2017 campaign, "Not what you signed up for", Highland Council Trading Standards are keen to warn consumers to be on their guard when signing up to free trials or one-off discounts.   Subscription traps are often linked to free trial scams for products such as anti-ageing skin creams or other enticing offers that seek to lock the consumer into costly repeat payments.  
Dingwall & Highland Marts Ltd. - Sale 24 November 2017
FORT WILLIAM, Dingwall & Highland Marts Ltd., (November, 24th) sold 1031 store sheep of all classes.   Lambs (592) sold to £67 gross for a Cheviot from Tign an Uilt, Kilchoan.