The Highland Council has agreed to form a working group to review the political arrangements that have been in place since the new council was elected in May, last year. The group of 15 members of the Independent/Scottish National Party Administration will examine:- ~ the strategic committee structure; ~ the Planning Applications and Review Committees, Licensing Committees and Licensing Board, currently set up in each of the three operational areas; ~ the operation of the wards and ward forums; and ~ the potential for technological solutions to secure improved access to the democratic process for elected members and the public.
John Swinney today said the Concordat between local and national government was already delivering benefits for the people of Scotland - and that he was confident the historic agreement would stand the test of time. The Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth said that local authorities were "rising to the challenges" set by the new government and that the future would bring new opportunities to develop the relationship further.
Work began today (Friday) on a ý12 million ferry terminal and overnight ferry berth at Churchton Bay, Raasay, which serves the ferry route operated by Caledonian MacBrayne between Sconser, Skye, and the island of Raasay. More than 50 islanders, including the island primary school's 16 pupils, and guests gathered at the site of the new facility to watch Councillor John Laing, Chairman of The Highland Council's Transport Environmental and Community Services Committee, cut the first turf.
The Highland Council has agreed to progress two flood prevention schemes in Inverness, which are aimed at reducing the risk of flooding to properties adjacent to the River Ness. It is proposed to construct flood mitigation measures which will extend from the lower end of the Ness Islands down to the mouth of the river.
DINGWALL, Dingwall & Highland Marts (March, 8th) sold 28 cattle, 72 sheep, 18 pigs and 207 lots of poultry and equipment at their special sale of rare and minority breeds. Cattle (28) sold to £410 for a Highland cow with bullock calf at foot from, Oldany Farm, Drunbeg.
The Highland Council is to investigate webcasting council meetings, starting with the live transmission of meetings of the Planning Environment and Development Committee that are held at Council Headquarters in Inverness. It is also to establish a protocol for allowing councillors to take part in council meetings by use of video conferencing.
Prime bullocks (49) averaged 145p (-0.9p) and sold to 167p per kg and £1,141 gross. Prime heifers (30) averaged 145p (+1.2p) and sold to 170p per kg and £952 gross.
Plans for the largest business park development in the Highlands are on public display Inverness Airport Business Park Limited is staging a public exhibition in Inverness Airport terminal before submitting a planning application for its 250 hectare site to The Highland Council in March. It is estimated that the first phase of development to 2021 on the IABP site adjacent to the A96 trunk road east of the City of Inverness could create around 70,000 square metres of business accommodation, including an airport hotel, supporting hundreds of new jobs.
DINGWALL, Dingwall & Highland Marts Ltd., (February 27th) sold 2,313 sheep of all classes. Store lambs (1,535) sold to £52 for Texel crosses from Cypress Cottage, Achterneed, and for Cheviots from No.
The Highland Council is in the frame to be crowned Scotland's top local authority for community recycling, at a major awards ceremony to be held next month. Highland Council has made it through to the final stages of the competition and will now compete against both Falkirk and Moray Council for a chance to scoop the Local Authority Partnership Award, at this year's Community Recycling Network for Scotland (CRNS) 2008 Awards.
Businesses in Scotland are helping create a boom in environmental tourism as increasing numbers of companies and organisations seek to establish their green credentials. More than 600 businesses seeking to achieve a bronze, silver or gold standard award for their commitment to sustainable tourism applied to join The Green Tourism Business Scheme (GTBS) in the last twelve months.
CAREERS CONVENTION HOSTED BY CAREERS SCOTLAND - THE ASSEMBLY ROOMS WICK ON WEDNESDAY 12TH MARCH 2008 FROM 6.00PM TO 8.30PM People living in Caithness are being offered expert advice and information on taking the next step in their careers. The Careers Convention will be held on Wednesday 12th March 2008 in the Assembly Rooms in Wick, and will offer people of all age's comprehensive information on careers, employment, training and education.
A public meeting is to be held in Thurso next week to discuss the formation of a Caithness-wide body to represent the retail sector. It follows the publication of a retail report carried out by Vector Research for HIE Caithness and Sutherland.
Given the significant change in the organisation of The Highland Council over the past year, the Chairman of the Resources Committee, Councillor Carolyn Wilson, is pleased that many results from an independent survey of employees show a positive trend. A report to be considered by the Resources Committee on Wednesday 20 February states that a fourth biennial survey of employees attracted 5,056 questionnaires, giving an increased response rate of 40%.
More than one hundred delegates from northern European countries are due to gather in Aviemore tomorrow and Thursday [20 and 21 February 2008] for a conference to officially launch a multi-million pound EU-funded development programme. The 45million Euros (£30m) Northern Periphery Programme 2007-13 is a multinational initiative which aims to help different regions to co-operate and address specific challenges faced by all parts of northern Europe.
DINGWALL, Dingwall & Highland Marts Ltd., (February, 19th) sold 82 prime cattle. Prime bullocks (52) averaged 145.6p (+8.0p) and sold to 168p per kg and £1,005.75 gross.
Scottish businesses are being targeted by ruthless scammers posing as legitimate European companies in order to extort hundreds of pounds from unsuspecting business owners, warns Scots MEP Catherine Stihler. The mailing scams are targeting small businesses throughout the UK and Europe, and Catherine urges caution when approached by and replying to unsolicited mail.
FIRST PHASE OF SHAFT CLEAN-UP NEARS COMPLETION The first phase of decommissioning Dounreay's waste shaft is nearing completion. A final set of boreholes in the toe section of the grout curtain and additional groundwater monitoring boreholes will see the project move a step closer towards isolation of the shaft from the groundwater.
To read the latest issue of Dounreay News - the Site Newspaper go to http://www.ukaea.org.uk/downloads/dounreay/bulletins/DNE_News_February08.pdf.
A report into the future handling of planning casework by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) has today (18 February 2008) been published on the SNH website. The report was commissioned from Heriot-Watt University to help SNH to make as effective a contribution as possible to Scotland's new planning regime.