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Local Authority News

Council Awards Contract for the Mall Footbridge, Thurso
The Highland Council has awarded a contract for construction of a new footbridge which forms an important pedestrian link over the River Thurso, at Thurso Cemetery.   The new bridge will replace the structure which was destroyed by river flood flow, in the storms of October 2006, and will re-establish the river crossing which is part of a popular local walking route.  
Council Acts Swiftly to Replace Postbus Withdrawals
The Highland Council has put in place interim arrangements in five Highland communities to replace postbus services withdrawn by Royal Mail on Thursday.   These arrangements will continue until the Council has met with local communities to identify sustainable long term arrangements.  
Seamless Transfer of Business Gateway to Highland CouncilThumbnail for article : Seamless Transfer of Business Gateway to Highland Council
Today (1 April 2009) responsibility for providing business advice has transferred from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) to local authorities.  Advice will be provided through the Business Gateway service which already operates in the rest of Scotland In The Highland Council area it will be managed by the Council's enterprise trust, Highland Opportunity and will be the first point of access for information and advice on all services to business and social enterprises in the Highlands.  
Red Tape Cut To Help Disabled Home Owners
A nationwide scheme which helps disabled people carry out essential home adaptations has been enhanced.   Changes arising from the implementation of the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006 will trigger a simpler and fairer system of financial help.  
High Societies Community Website Goes LiveThumbnail for article : High Societies Community Website Goes Live
Clubs, groups, organisations and societies in the Highlands can now register on The Highland Council's new free community information website that was launched on Monday 30th March 2009 at Dingwall Library.   Developed by the Council's library service, High-Societies is designed to signpost members of the public to essential contact information for not-for-profit organisations and to their existing websites where appropriate.  
Council Offers Home Improvement Grants
The credit crunch may be biting but Highland Council has cash grants available to assist with home improvements.   Home improvement and repairs grants are available to help people living in owner-occupied or privately rented housing to meet the costs of having their homes improved, repaired or adapted.  
Significant fall in number of new Highland homes built in 2008
A report published by The Highland Council shows that a progressive fall in the number of housing completions in 2008 highlights the increasing impact of the current recession on the housing market.   In 2008, 1,471 new houses were completed; a 19% decrease on the 2007 figure of 1,806 new homes.  
Council Reinforces the Hazards of Dog Fouling
The Highland Council is continuing its campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of dog fouling and is reminding owners that they can face a fixed penalty for not picking up their dogs mess.   Education and Enforcement Officer Peter Taylor said: "Dog fouling is both unsightly, unpleasant and a potential health hazard.  
Temporary Closures Of Seater Landfill Site
Temporary closure of Seater landfill site and the access road thereto due to essential repairs Last 3 weekends in march 2009 Please note that essential repairs will be carried out on the access road to the above facility during the last 3 weekends in March.   The road will be closed from 2.00pm on the Friday afternoon and will re-open at 8.00am on the Monday morning during the following dates:- 13th March to 16th March 20th March to 23nd March 27th March to 30th March Householders can take their waste and recyclate to the recycling centres at Thurso and Wick which will be open from 11am to 4.00pm on all of these dates If you have any queries please contact 01955 641284..  
Good Start For Rural Kerbside Recycling Collections In CaithnessThumbnail for article : Good Start For Rural Kerbside Recycling Collections In Caithness
Over 10 tonnes of waste has been diverted from landfill in the first week of the rural recycling collections in Caithness with 60% of residents putting out their bins for collection.   Chairman of TEC Services, Councillor John Laing said: "I would like to thank the public for their high level of commitment to making the new service such a success.  
Council Offers Home Improvement Grants
The credit crunch may be biting but The Highland Council has cash grants available to assist with home improvements, adaptations and repairs.   Home improvement and repair grants are available to help people living in owner-occupied or privately-rented housing to meet the costs of having their homes improved, repaired or adapted.  
Council to Lobby Against Decision to Close Wick Tax Office
The Highland Council is to step up its campaign to persuade HM Revenue and Customs and the UK Government to reverse their decision to close the HMRC Office in Wick in 2012.   The Wick office, which employs 23 staff, is scheduled to be closed as part of a national restructure which will see the closure of 20 sites across Scotland.  
Wick School Janitor Runner Up in Employee Of The Year Highland Council Quality AwardsThumbnail for article : Wick School Janitor Runner Up in Employee Of The Year Highland Council Quality Awards
Kate Birch, The Highland Council's Children's Services Manager for Inverness, Nairn and Badenoch and Strathspey, has been chosen at the Council's Employee of the year.  She received her prize at the Council's annual Quality Awards, held at the North Highland College, Thurso, on Monday night.  
New Kerbside Recycling Collections for Rural Areas in Caithness
The Highland Council has invested in a new vehicle and crew to expand the recycling routes in the far north.  Caithness will be the first area in the Highlands to receive the Council's new kerbside recycling collection for rural areas.  
Change to Council's Bulky Uplift Service
As of 1 July 2008 The Highland Council will be changing its policy for the bulky uplift service for certain household wastes, by removing bagged or other contained excess household waste from the list of approved items.  This amendment to the service is designed to help improve the environment by reducing the amount of waste going to landfill.  
Council Calms Traffic At Four More Schools
Part time 20mph speed limits have been introduced at another four Highland schools.  The new speed limits operate when pupils are arriving and departing from Ullapool High, and Ullapool, Bower and Crossroads Primaries during term times.  
Caithness Recycling Service ExpandsThumbnail for article : Caithness Recycling Service Expands
People in Caithness are benefiting from further expansion of The Highland Council's kerbside recycling collection service for paper, cans and garden waste.   Mr William Nicolson from Battery Road in Castletown is one of 500 households benefiting from the roll out of the scheme, bringing the total number of households in Caithness to 8,000 and around 70,000 in total throughout Highland.  
Consumers Warned to be on their Guard from Rogue Doorstep Traders
Trading Standards officers of The Highland Council are advising the public to show the door to itinerant traders, who offer to carry out a range of work on the home.   And residents should not hesitate to report to the police any trader who is menacing and threatening in trying to secure a contract and cash payment.  
Tenants Urged To Consider Home Contents Insurance SchemeThumbnail for article : Tenants Urged To Consider Home Contents Insurance Scheme
Tenants of The Highland Council are being urged to consider insuring the contents of their homes to avoid the cost of having to replace furnishings and equipment lost by a major incident, such as flooding, burglary or fire.   With its insurance partner Allianz, the Council is providing low cost home contents insurance for tenants.  
New Policy for Bulky Uplift Service
In a move to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill sites, The Highland Council has altered its free Bulky Uplift policy so that from the beginning of July 2008 black bag waste will be removed from the list of approved items for these pre-arranged collections.   Currently the free uplifting service can be booked to remove any article of household waste which cannot fit into a normal domestic bin, any item which weighs over 25kg and up to 10 black bags.