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19/12/2019
Christmas Comes Early For Wick With Town Centre Funding BoostThumbnail for article : Christmas Comes Early For Wick With Town Centre Funding Boost
A FUNDING package worth in excess of £650,000 is in place to help in the regeneration of Wick town centre.   Wick and East Caithness councillors Raymond Bremner and Nicola Sinclair revealed the details at meeting of key stakeholders on Monday night.  
Help To Buy A Home
Thousands of first-time buyers assisted.   Applications are open for a new national pilot scheme helping first-time buyers with the deposit for a new home.  
Agreement urgently needed on police authority's functionsThumbnail for article : Agreement urgently needed on police authority's functions
Greater clarity is needed around the core functions and finances of the Scottish Police Authority (SPA) so that it can build a modern and financially stable police service.   A report on 17 December 2019 from the Auditor General highlights some progress over the last year amid a raft of new appointments to Police Scotland, including a new chief constable and three deputies, and seven new members to the SPA Board.  
18/12/2019
Living Wage Accreditation for Highland CouncilThumbnail for article : Living Wage Accreditation for Highland Council
The largest employer in the Highlands, has achieved Living Wage accreditation.   Highland Council which employs just over 10,270 staff across the Highland area also applies the living wage rate to apprentices.  
18/12/2019
Scottish Public Sector Employment
Public Sector Employment Statistics for Scotland, released by Scotland's Chief Statistician, show there were 561,500 people employed in the public sector in Scotland in September 2019.   As of September 2019, public sector employment accounted for 21.5% of total employment in Scotland and private sector employment accounted for 78.5%.  
House Design Advice From ThermohausThumbnail for article : House Design Advice From Thermohaus
What are the elements of a good design? Who is going to design your new house? Do you need an architect? There are number of constraints on design: Standard House Types Most self-build package providers offer standard house designs but you need to be sure they suit both your site and personal needs.  This said, most providers will either modify their standard designs or create bespoke designs.  
17/12/2019
Worrying Trends As Scottish Local Authorities Need To Make More Cuts and Increase ChargesThumbnail for article : Worrying Trends As Scottish Local Authorities Need To Make More Cuts and Increase Charges
Audit Scotland today (17 December 2019) has published its report on Scottish Councils funding highlighting the problems of ever decreasing budgets.  Despite the last few years of redesign and cuts more is necessary unless Scottish Government increases funding.  
16/12/2019
New vehicle restrictions at Highland Council Household Waste Recycling Centres
From the 3rd February 2020, The Highland Council will be introducing changes at Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRC).  These changes will be introduced in two phases with phase one focussing on vehicle restrictions which will commence on 3rd February 2020.  
16/12/2019
Highland Council's Strategic Committees To Increase In 2020
The number of Highland Council's strategic committees will increase whilst the number of committee members on each will reduce.   This is part of the initiatives to improve performance an save money.  
9/12/2019
An increase in foster carer payments is agreed by Highland council
Members have approved a proposal to substantially increase the payment to foster carers at the meeting of Highland Council today, Monday 9 December 2019.   The new payment proposal recognises the valuable role of foster carers in providing a home and care for the most vulnerable children within their Highland community.  
9/12/2019
Councillors agree further work following survey backing introduction of tourist levy
Highland councillors today approved the findings of a public consultation supporting the introduction of a Highland Transient Visitor Levy and committed to further work to develop an optimal scheme for Highland.   The results of more than 6600 responses gathered through online and face-to-face surveys, alongside a pre-consultation with the tourism industry and written submissions received from representatives from the tourism industry and local communities were considered by Members.  
9/12/2019
Equally safe at work
Highland council members today (9 December 2019) wholeheartedly gave their support to a report to Council on tackling gender-based violence.   Highland Council has been working closely with trade union colleagues and Close the Gap to create a zero-tolerance culture towards gender-based violence.  
9/12/2019
Your Vote Counts
Voters in the three Highland constituencies for the UK Parliamentary general election of: Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross; Ross, Skye and Lochaber; and Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey are being reminded by Returning Officer Donna Manson that their vote matters.   On Thursday 12 December voting begins with all Highland polling stations opening their doors at 7am and remaining open for voters until 10pm.  
5/12/2019
955 Empty Highland Properties Now Charged Double Council Tax
A question from Councillor Ben Thomson to Highland Council meeting next week.   To the Chair of the Corporate Resources Committee "What reassurance can the Council provide that it is applying discretion where appropriate to the imposition of the 200% Council Tax rate applicable to empty homes? i.e.  
5/12/2019
Proposed increase in foster carer payments to be considered at council
Members will be asked to approve a proposal to substantially increase the payment to foster carers at the meeting of Highland Council on Monday 9 December 2019.   The new payment proposal recognises the valuable role of foster carers in providing a home and care for the most vulnerable children within their Highland community.  
5/12/2019
Guidance for parents aims to ‘provide best start for young people across Highland'
New guidance for parents and carers who wish to apply for deferred or early entry to Highland schools for their children has been approved (subject to some additional conditions agreed) by Members of The Highland Council's Care, Learning and Housing Committee.   The guidance is helping to deliver the Council's Programme priority to ‘expand early years provision and provide the best start for young people across Highland’.  
Quality show forward at Caithness Christmas show and saleThumbnail for article : Quality show forward at Caithness Christmas show and sale
A Charolais cross bullock from Michael Shearer, Lythmore, Westfield, Thurso, took the prime cattle championship at Aberdeen and Northern Marts' annual Christmas show and sale held at Caithness Livestock Centre.   Tapped out by judge Bill Cameron, Burnside of Edingight, Grange, was a 20-month-old, home-bred bullock weighing 621kg.  
Changes To Commission Rates At Aberdeen And Northern MartsThumbnail for article : Changes To Commission Rates At Aberdeen And Northern Marts
Aberdeen & Northern Marts (ANM) is announcing a transformational change to livestock commission rates bringing radical reductions for customers who are shareholders in their co-operative business.  The change will reward the loyalty of those who invest in the mart, and will establish a new industry-wide affordable standard for members selling through the ring.  
4/12/2019
Reducing The Attainment Gap For Young People In Highland
Improving literacy and numeracy is giving more young people a better chance of fulfilling their potential in life.   Highland Council is committed to tackling poverty and inequality and enabling all our children and young people to reach their full potential, with a focus on reducing the attainment gap for those from more disadvantaged communities across the Highlands.  
4/12/2019
Public views sought for taxi fare review in HighlandThumbnail for article : Public views sought for taxi fare review in Highland
The public is being asked for its views on proposals by The Highland Council to review the maximum level of charges for the hire of taxis or private hire cars fitted with taxi meters operating under licence of The Highland Council.   The Council has a statutory duty in terms of Section 17 of the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 to review its scales for the fares and other taxi related charges every 18 months.