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Local Authority News

Public Asked For Views On Site Of New Wick High School
The public is being invited to have their say on the choice of two sites for the new Wick High School.   A consultation by The Highland Council runs from Friday 23 August until Friday 1 October.  
Major Reviews Target Savings And Efficiencies
A number of key strategies, which are aimed at delivering more efficient services and significant savings, have been agreed by The Highland Council's Resources Committee.   The reviews surround making better use of council properties, sharing services with partner agencies, reducing the costs of back office support for council services and making it easier on the web for the public to access information and pay for/book services.  
Prince Charles Attends Pentland Firth Planning Event At Castle
The Duke of Rothesay has attended a workshop at the Castle of Mey looking at future opportunities for marine energy in Caithness and North Sutherland.   The event was jointly organised by The Prince's Foundation for the Built Environment and the North Highland Initiative in association with the partners in the Caithness and North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership.  
Highland Pupils Return To School.
More than 31,000 pupils go back to school in the Highlands today (Tuesday 17 August 2010).   Some will be returning to schools which have been upgraded over the summer holidays and others will benefit from major projects which will begin during the school session.  
Highland Secondary Pupils To Receive Mobile Phone Safety Advice
Pupils in Highland secondary schools are to receive guidance on mobile phone safety as they return to school this week.   Advice in a joint letter from The Highland Council and Northern Constabulary to parents and carers of secondary pupils aims to raise awareness and specifically highlight the dangers of young people finding themselves in uncomfortable, compromising or illegal situations as a result of inappropriate use of mobile phones.  
Welcome To Probation Teachers In HighlandThumbnail for article : Welcome To Probation Teachers In Highland
Probation teachers receive a warm welcome in the Highlands For 2010 Seventy five probationer teachers who will start work in Highland schools next week attended an induction day in Inverness today.  The probationers were welcomed by Chairman of The Highland Council's Education, Culture and Sport Committee, Councillor Bill Fernie, and Hugh Fraser, Highland Council Director of Education, Culture and Sport.  
Crack Down On Hardline Debt Collectors
Trading Standards Officers have joined forces with Money Advice Service colleagues on The Highland Council to tackle the "unacceptable and aggressive practices" of debt collectors.   Gordon Robb, principal trading standards officer, highlighted the joint effort to address the problem while presenting the annual report of the Council's trading standards service to a meeting of the Transport Environmental and Community Services Committee.  
Throughout Scotland's Housing Expo a series of seminars, organised by Sust, will offer an opportunity for housing and building specialists to hear expert opinion on a range of special interest topics related to the industry.  Sust is the Scottish Government's Sustainability in Architecture Programme which is part of Architecture and Design Scotland.  
Council Tax Rebate Scam
The Highland Council's Finance and Trading Standards teams have been alerted to the fact that Highland residents are currently being targeted by a Council Tax rebate scam.   The "phishing" scam involves attempts by callers to obtain bank details over the phone, on the false promise of being entitled to receive a rebate on their Council Tax payments.  
Council To Consider ArmsLength Organisation For Culture And Leisure
Highland Council to consider delivery of community learning and leisure services by arms length organisation.   Members of The Highland Council's Education, Culture and Sport Service have agreed to the principle of setting up an arms length organisation to deliver the local authority's community learning and leisure services.  
Care Information Service Available by Phone and Online
The Care Information Scotland telephone helpline and website offers a single point of information on the care available for older people throughout the country.   Care Information Scotland (CIS) was launched earlier this year by the Scottish Government.  
Investigation Into Offspring Of Cloned Cow
A Council spokesman confirmed that officers from the Council's Environmental Health team had visited the farm at Auldearn yesterday (Tuesday) to interview the farmer who owned 2 of the bulls born in the UK from embryos from a cloned cow.   The visit was to confirm information on the bulls and their offspring.  
Fresh Focus For Rural Priorities
Move to benefit more applicants and help smaller projects Changes are being made to the Scotland Rural Development Programme (SRDP) to ensure rural Scotland gets maximum benefit from the Programme.   This will increase the number of business development proposals financed through the SRDP and strengthen the role of local decision-making in community development projects.  
Pioneering New House Building Model To Be Considered
Highland Councillors are being asked to consider investigating the feasibility of a pioneering new model of providing much-needed affordable homes in the Highlands.   It could see a new build programme of 650 houses over a five year period.  
Council To Outsource Culture And Leisure
Council asked to agree principle of outsourcing its leisure and cultural services.   Highland Councillors are being asked to agree the principle of establishing an arms-length organisation to deliver all activity concerning its leisure and cultural services.  
New Director of Social Work appointed
The Highland Council's recruitment panel for director-level appointments has unanimously appointed Bill Alexander as its Director of Social Work.  Mr Alexander will take over from Harriet Dempster, who retires at the end of August after 11 years at the helm of the service.  
Council Publishes Consultation Reports On Highland School Closures
The results of statutory consultations carried out by The Highland Council to amalgamate or close rural primary schools which the Council considers are no longer educationally viable will be available for public viewing from Wednesday 14 July for three weeks.   Under the terms of the Schools (Consultation) (Scotland) Act 2010, the Council has recently carried out consultations in Lochaber, Skye and West Ross to: * Amalgamate Fort William Primary School and Upper Achintore Primary School in a new school on a site yet to be identified.  
Extended Licenses For Royal National Mod in Caithness
Opportunity for local businesses to apply for extended licences during Royal National Mod The Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross Divisional Licensing Board have designated the Royal National Mod being held In Caithness between 8th and 16th October 2010 as a special event of local significance for Caithness and have agreed to grant applications for extended hours, until 1.30am, for on-sales premises for the duration of the event.   Premises licence holders wishing to take advantage of the additional hours should make an early application for extended hours to the Clerk to the Licensing Board at the Council Offices, Market Square, Wick.  
Highland Residents Beware Of Free Home Alarm Offers
Highland residents warned to be on guard against free home alarm offers Highland Council Trading Standards are warning all residents to be on their guard when answering 'cold-call' telephone sales calls offering a 'free home fire and security survey', if they agree to a home visit by sales staff.   This warning follows on from previous warnings by Trading Standards as a result of firms continuing to target elderly and vulnerable consumers in the Highland area.  
Build-up to New Waste Collection Trial Begins
In a move to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill The Highland Council will be running a new 6 month trial of new waste collections in Skye and Lochalsh.   During the next few weeks all residents will receive a card in the post giving details of the new service which starts on the 6th September.