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News Archive


6/5/2020
MSP Asks First Minister To Tackle Insurance Companies Who've Wriggled Out Of Their Obligations
The First Minster is to ask the Scottish Government Finance Secretary, Kate Forbes, to have direct discussion with the insurance sector about companies who are "wriggling out of their obligations" to Scottish businesses.   Highlands and Islands Labour MSP, David Stewart, asked Nicola Sturgeon today at First Minister's Questions about the problems firms were having claiming their business interruption insurance.  
6/5/2020
Council Covid Helpline Passes 5000 Calls Handled
The Highland Council's COVID helpline 0300 303 1362 which has been up and running since 25th March has now handled over 5000 calls.   The helpline provides support for those needing urgent help including those shielding or otherwise vulnerable and anyone interested in volunteering.  
6/5/2020
Dingwall & Highland Marts - Sale 6 May 2020
DINGWALL, Dingwall & Highland Marts, (May, 6th) sold 822 sheep of all classes.   Lambs (431) sold to £98 gross for a pen of Cheviots from 286 West Pittentrail, Rogart.  
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5/5/2020
Why lockdowns are the wrong policy - Swedish expert Prof. Johan GieseckeThumbnail for article : Why lockdowns are the wrong policy - Swedish expert Prof. Johan Giesecke
A longer video but does it tell us we may not be doing things the right way on dealing with Covid19.   With over one million views in a short time there is lot of interest in how Sweden is handling things differently.  
5/5/2020
German Virologist: Covid-19 Is Less Deadly Than We ThoughtThumbnail for article : German Virologist: Covid-19 Is Less Deadly Than We Thought
At UnHerd, we've spoken to experts at both ends of the range of estimates, from Neil Ferguson (who believes the IFR to be just under 1%, perhaps 0.8-0.9%) to Johan Giesecke who maintains that it is nearer 0.1%.   This may sound like splitting hairs - they are both under one percent after all – but in reality the difference between these estimates changes everything.  
5/5/2020
Aid For Private Rental Landlords - Support to protect tenants.
A £5 million fund will offer interest-free loans to landlords whose tenants are having difficulty paying rent during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.   The Private Rent Sector Landlord COVID-19 Loan Scheme will offer eligible landlords up to 100% of lost rental income for a single property.  
5/5/2020
MSP asks questions about tragic outbreak of Covid-19 at Skye's Home Farm Care Come
Highlands and Islands Labour MSP Rhoda Grant has asked the Health Minister Jeane Freeman about the tragic outbreak of Covid-19 at Home Farm Care Home on Skye.   During Topical Questions today she said:"I am deeply distressed for the residents and staff at Home Farm Care Home.  
Update On The Pivotal Enterprise Resilience Fund
Message From HIE To Businesses.   Last week, we contacted you to make you aware of new COVID-19 business funds that had been made available, following the Scottish Government's announcement of an additional £100m support for businesses impacted by COVID-19.  
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5/5/2020
Nobel Prize Winning Scientist Prof Michael Levitt: Lockdown Is A "huge Mistake"
As he is careful to point out, Professor Michael Levitt is not an epidemiologist.  He's Professor of Structural Biology at the Stanford School of Medicine, and winner of the 2013 Nobel Prize for Chemistry for "the development of multiscale models for complex chemical systems." With a purely statistical perspective, he has been playing close attention to the Covid-19 pandemic since January, when most of us were not even aware of it.  
5/5/2020
Preparing For Economic Recovery
Expert tech review announced as further business support opens to applications.   The second phase of the Small Business Grant scheme - which extends grant support to all subsequent eligible properties - is now open for applications, Finance Secretary Kate Forbes has told the Scottish Parliament.  
5/5/2020
What Covid-19 Teaches Us About Human BehaviourThumbnail for article : What Covid-19 Teaches Us About Human Behaviour
From the Daily Telegraph.   Conspiracy theories, panic buying and scapegoating are all common trends during times of crisis.  
5/5/2020
New Powers Over CAP
Agriculture (Retained EU Law and Data) (Scotland) Bill.   Legislation which allows the Common Agricultural Policy to be simplified and improved post-Brexit has passed Stage 1, following a debate in the Scottish Parliament.  
5/5/2020
Additional Support For Business - Extension to small business and self-catering grant scheme
From today (Tuesday 5 May), the COVID-19 small business and self-catering grant scheme, set up by the Scottish Government to help companies stay in business during the coronavirus crisis, has been extended to ensure that, in addition to a 100% grant on the first property, small business rate payers will be eligible to a 75% grant on all subsequent properties.   The scheme has also been extended to include certain properties who previously were ineligible due to the cumulative rateable value of their premises.  
5/5/2020
HMRC invites self-employed to get ready to make their claims
This week, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has started contacting around three and a half million customers who may be eligible for the government's Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) to explain the application process and help them get ready to make a claim.   The claims service opens on Wednesday 13 May and is being delivered ahead of schedule, with payments reaching bank accounts by 25 May, or six working days after the claim is made.  
5/5/2020
Forbes Must Apologise For Comment And Give Councils The Funds They Are Entitled To
Today in the Scottish Parliament, in response to a question from Scottish Labour Local Government spokesperson Sarah Boyack, Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Kate Forbes, called COSLA's demand that councils receive the entirety of the £155m they are entitled to via Barnett Consequentials a "storm in a teacup".   Commenting, Scottish Labour Local Government spokesperson Sarah Boyack said:"Councils across Scotland are under unprecedented strain due to the pandemic and are delivering daily for those in need.  
5/5/2020
Scottish Living Wage of £9.30 For Quarriers Care Staff
UNISON welcomes decision by social care charity to pay Scottish Living Wage and says more must follow.   UNISON, the union for care workers, has welcomed today's (Tuesday 5 May 2020) announcement by Quarriers that it will pay all staff the UNISON welcomes decision by social care charity to pay Scottish Living Wage and says more must follow UNISON, the union for care workers, has welcomed today’s (Tuesday) announcement by Quarriers that it will pay all staff the Scottish Living Wage of £9.30.  
4/5/2020
Army Sets Up Mobile Corona Virus Testing Units In Thurso
The UK Government has mobilised the army to set up Corona Virus Test Centres In Scotland.   Mobile testing units travel around the UK to increase access to coronavirus testing.  
1/5/2020
Pupil Equity Funding: school allocations 2021 to 2022
Funding allocated directly to schools not via councils by the Scottish Government to help close the poverty related attainment gap.   The amounts to schools was announced today.  
1/5/2020
Regeneration Capital Grant Fund opens for applications in the Highlands
The Highland Council is now accepting applications for the Regeneration Capital Grant Fund for 2021-2022.   The fund, which is delivered in partnership with the Scottish Government, supports locally developed regeneration projects for communities, helping with job creation and support, and in building sustainable communities.  
1/5/2020
Highland Council Continuity
The Members, staff and resources of Highland Council continue to be focussed on responding to the COVID-19 emergency.  Staff across all services and areas are working hard, often in roles different to their normal jobs, to ensure a proactive, well organised and co-ordinated approach is taken across Highland.