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Local Authority News

Tenants Offered Incentive To Downsize
Highland council house tenants , who have spare accommodation, are to be offered an incentive to move to a smaller council home that better meets their needs.   The Highland Council's Housing and Social work Committee agreed on Wednesday 10th November 2010, a downsizing policy to encourage and support tenants of Highland Housing Register landlords to transfer to a smaller home.  
Caithness Ward Forums Discuss Highland Development Plan
Highland Wide Local Development Plan to be discussed at joint Caithness Wards Forum The Highland Council's, Highland Wide Local Development Plan is the main topic to be discussed at a joint Caithness Wards Forum being held on Monday 15 November at 7.30 pm in the Mackays Hotel, Wick.   The Highland Wide Local Development Plan, represents the Council's land use vision, strategy and principal, general policies for the whole Highland Council area except that part within the Cairngorms National Park Authority boundary.  
Council calls on landowners to check wind damaged trees
Following a night of severely windy weather The Highland Council is encouraging landowners to check trees and vegetation near to public roads which have been damaged by the gales.   Landowners are being asked to check for damage to their trees and to remove debris from roads or footways without undue delay.  
Affordable Housing Update
House Building Figures show importance of affordable housing investment in the Highlands A briefing note issued by The Highland Council indicates that 415 new houses were completed in The Highland Council area between June and September 2010.  This is an improvement over the first quarter of the financial year (402) and more than the same period in 2008/9 (383) and 2009/10 (302).  
Positive Year For Highland Enterprise Trust
Highland Opportunity Ltd, The Highland Council's Enterprise Trust, has completed another positive year in which 900,000 of loans were approved for 50 Highland businesses.   Speaking at the company's 24th annual meeting, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Councillor Helen Carmichael praised the performance of staff, particularly in more than doubling their target of supporting 426 jobs.  
New Helpline Launched As Council Gears Up For Winter
The Highland Council has introduced a new roads and street lighting helpline as it gears up for coping with winter.  The number is 01349 886601.  
Campaign To Retain Salvage Tugs
The Highland Council is to work with other Highland and Islands councils to campaign for the retention of publicly-funded salvage tugs, based at Stornoway and Shetland.  Councillors fiercely oppose the UK Government's recent decision to end funding in September of next year of the tugs, which were introduced as the result of the inquiry by Lord Donaldson into the Braer Disaster, off Shetland in 1993.  
Science Baccalaureate proves popular in the Highlands
More than 50 secondary school pupils from across the Highlands will find out how an award in science can help their careers, at an information session at the Centre for Health Science, Inverness on Friday (October 29).   Organised by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and The Highland Council, the event will raise the profile of the Scottish Science Baccalaureate in schools, reflecting the key role of science in the future of economic development of Scotland.  
Council backs title bid for University of the Highlands and Islands
Council backs title bid for University of the Highlands and Islands Millennium Institute Highland Councillors today (Thursday 28th October 2010) endorsed an application being made for university title by the University of the Highlands and Islands Millennium Institute.   The Council has written to the Scottish Government fully backing the bid and highlighting the economic benefits that university status will bring to the region.  
Council offers support over Moray air base job losses
Highland Councillors have offered practical support and assistance to Moray Council, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and the Moray Task Force in their efforts to cope with the impact of significant job losses resulting from the impending closure of RAF Kinloss, and the continuing uncertainty over the future of RAF Lossiemouth.   Convener Sandy Park raised the matter as an emergency item at the full Council meeting in Inverness on Thursday 28th October 2010 when he highlighted the huge strain placed on the Moray economy by last week's announcement of defence cuts by the UK Government.  
Successful Caithness Md
At the start of The Highland Council meeting today, Convener of The Highland Council, Sandy Park congratulated the Royal National Md organisers for a very successful event held in Caithness from 8 - 16 October.   He said: "I had the privilege, on behalf of The Highland Council, of welcoming the 1st ever National Md to the County of Caithness and attending the opening concert.  
Prestigious Saltire Society Award
The A830 Arisaig to Loch Nan Uamh Road Improvement wins prestigious Saltire Society Award - announced today 28th October 2010.   The A830 Arisaig to Loch Nan Uamh Road Improvement, the last section of the "Road to the Isles", has won the prestigious Saltire Society Award for Civil Engineering design in the Environment Category.  
Contract Awarded For Caithness Landfill Site Extension
Work begins this week on a 950,000 extension to the Seater Landfill Site, near Bower, Caithness.   Rok Construction have been commissioned by The Highland Council to construct a ninth cell at the site, which opened in 1990 and has capacity to continue in operation until 2040.  
Waste mascot launches mural competition for primary schools
Highland waste mascot, Compost the Cow, is getting creative and encouraging all primary schools to do the same.  Along with the Highland Council's Waste Awareness team, Compost is inviting primary schools to use their imagination and artistic flair to help them design some new murals for the Council's network of Recycling Centres.  
Business Roadshow To Visit Wick
Business Roadshows Entrepreneurs gained invaluable advice and networked with like minded people at an event at Dornoch run by Business Gateway and Enterprise Europe Scotland.   The Connect, Inspire and Grow road show in the Burghfield Hotel in Dornoch, attracted over 50 existing, new and potential business owners who were all keen to take advantage of the networking opportunity.  
Call for threat to be lifted on Minch emergency tug cover
The Chairman of The Highland Council's TEC Services Councillor John Laing has said that today's grounding of the HMS Astute off Skye highlighted the importance of the emergency tug cover that is provided from Stornoway.   The MCA tug from Stornoway has been called in to help free the nuclear submarine from the seabed near the Skye Bridge.  
HIE Review To Be Considered By Highland Council
Highland Councillors are being asked next week to consider potential future governance and operations for Highlands and Islands Enterprise, should the agency be disbanded following a review of enterprise networks in Scotland.   The Council would prefer the status quo with HIE retaining its current status and budget of 84 million.  
Litter purge begins in Highland communities
Those intent on dropping litter and fly tipping are being given advance notice that enforcement teams will be in Dingwall, Fort William and Inverness over the next two weeks beginning on Monday 25 October - and they will be adopting a zero tolerance approach.   Anyone found dropping litter or fly-tipping will be presented with an on-the-spot fixed penalty notice of 50.  
The Highland Council has launched its 'Reduce Water Waste' campaign today, which aims to raise awareness and promote water minimisation in schools and amongst all council staff and Members.   While we each use 150 litres of water every day, we waste a third of this! Reducing our water use will: * Save money and energy * Reduce our carbon emissions * Contribute to the continuing health of our valuable ecosystems Visit for more information on water use, the impacts of water waste and useful tips on how you can reduce it! The website also contains water conservation information, tips, fun activities and games for kids.  
Moves to ease social housing pressure in Highlands
Plans to protect housing stock approved Steps to prevent shortages of affordable housing in Highland have been announced today.   The Highland Council's application to extend and expand 'pressured areas' status has been approved by the Housing and Communities Minister, Alex Neil.