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News Archive

Inner Sound Stroma in line for major tidal energy project
The Crown Estate announced today that it is inviting expressions of interest for a tidal energy project in the Inner Sound, which lies between Caithness on the Scottish mainland and the island of Stroma.  As one of the most energetic tidal areas in the Pentland Firth, the Inner Sound has potential for a significant commercial tidal energy project, and could increase the potential capacity in the Pentland Firth and Orkney waters to more than 1,200 MW.  
The engineering, scientific and technical skills being used to decommission the site will become redundant over the next decade or so as more of Dounreay is flattened.   Their release is expected to occur in the same timeframe as the development of the Pentland Firth as Scotland's biggest power station.  
Highland Leader's Fossil Fuel Levy Surplus Proposal
The Leader of The Highland Council recently urged the UK Government to direct a surplus of 150 million in the fossil fuel levy fund attributable to Scotland towards connecting renewable power from the Highlands and Islands into the UK Grid.   Councillor Michael Foxley has written to the Rt Hon Alistair Darling, Chancellor of the Exchequer, to support representations he has already received from the Scottish Government's Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth about this.  
Multi Agency Under Age Drink Campaign Caithness & Sutherland
Multi-agency drive to tackle underage drinking in Caithness & Sutherland gets off to positive start Police say that a multi-agency initiative to tackle underage drinking in Caithness and Sutherland has resulted in a downturn in anti-social behaviour incidents over the weekend.   Operation Safety began in Wick and Thurso at the weekend.  
Highland General Election votes to be counted overnight
Following a period of public consultation over the count for the General Election, the Returning Officer for the three Highland UK parliamentary constituencies has decided to count the votes in each constituency overnight.   Alistair Dodds, who is Chief Executive of The Highland Council, consulted with political parties, community councils and the general public to establish their views on the merits of an overnight count as opposed to counting the votes the next day.  
New Byelaws Prohibit Alcohol Consumption in Streets Of Thurso And Wick
THE HIGHLAND COUNCIL THE HIGHLAND COUNCIL BYELAWS PROHIBITING CONSUMPTION OF ALCOHOLIC LIQUOR IN DESIGNATED PLACES (THURSO) 2009 THE HIGHLAND COUNCIL BYELAWS PROHIBITING CONSUMPTION OF ALCOHOLIC LIQUOR IN DESIGNATED PLACES (WICK) 2009 TAKE NOTICE that the Scottish Ministers in terms of section 202 of the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973 have confirmed the above named byelaws made by the Highland Council.   The byelaws came into operation on 29 March 2010.  
HIE Severance Scheme Produces over 2m Annual Saving
Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) becomes a leaner organisation this month when 53 members of staff leave their posts through voluntary severance on March 31.   The move is calculated to produce a total of 2.02m of saving each year which will be reallocated to direct support for economic growth across the region.  
Highland Council Commits 80,000 To Marketing The Highlands
Highland Council and VisitScotland have concluded the 2010-11 Service Level Agreement which commits council funds to VisitScotland, specifically for the delivery of Visitor Information and marketing the Highlands via VisitScotland's national campaigns.   Last week's Highland Council Planning Environment and Development Committee meeting approved the 2010 funding for VisitScotland, committing 80,000 directly, to ensure additional representation of the Highlands in VisitScotland's award-winning national marketing campaigns, including Winter White, Autumn Moments and Perfect Day.  
A1 Phoenix Driving School Launches Credit Crunch Offer
A1 Phoenix Driving School, Wick REDUCED PRICES TO HELP DURING THE CREDIT CRUNCH We appreciate the difficulty of affording driving lessons at this difficult time during the recession, so we have reduced the cost of driving lessons and introduced a new lesson time structure to make it easier and quicker for you to get that driving licence.   We now do 1 1/2 hour and 2 hour lessons along side our normal 1 hour lessons We also do 5, 8 and 20 hour 'BOOSTERS' to speed things up during you course with us.  
Highland Council and NHS Highland Consultation For Community Care Services
The Highland Council and NHS Highland are undertaking a consultation over the next few months on the joint plan for community care services.   The draft Joint Community Care Plan sets out the kind of services needed to deliver the best outcomes for older people and other vulnerable groups, including people with learning disability, sensory impairment, mental health and substance misuse problems and those who are homeless.  
Highland success in Institute of Directors awards
Four accolades at the recent Institute of Directors (Scotland) annual awards went to directors based in the Highlands.   At a prestigious gala dinner at Edinburgh's Sheraton Grand Hotel, Finance Secretary John Swinney congratulated winners from across Scotland who had been nominated for the awards' 18 categories.  
New measures to strengthen regulatory management
The Government's updated Forward Programme, setting out all business regulation planned for introduction over the next 12 months, was published today.   The Forward Programme was designed to create more openness and clarity in the regulatory process and enable decisions on new regulations to be taken in the context of the cumulative burden of the Government's regulatory programme on business and the wider economy.  
Siemens 80million Plans To Bring Offshore Wind Production To The UK
Government welcomes Siemens 80million plans to bring offshore wind production to the UK The Government today welcomed Siemens plans to invest 80million in the UK for offshore wind production facilities, following the Government's Budget announcement of 60m for a competition to develop manufacturing and assembly sites sites for the offshore wind industry.   Today's announcement demonstrates that the UK is the world's top destination for offshore wind energy investment.  
First stage of marine spatial planning underway The first stage report of a masterplan for the use of the Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters was published today (Monday 29 March 2010).   The report will provide a marine spatial plan framework and draft regional locational guidance for wave and tidal energy development.  
Wick Children's Centre Manager Wins AwardThumbnail for article : Wick Children's Centre Manager Wins Award
Social work award for Tracey Taylor The "outstanding leadership skills" of a Highland children's centre manager have been recognised with an award.   Tracey Taylor, Unit Manager of The Highland Council's Wick Children's Centre, was highly commended in the "Residential Care Worker of the Year" category of the annual awards held by the British Association of Social Workers in Scotland.  
Scotland's Chief Statistician today published Scottish Local Government Financial Statistics 2008-09.  The publication includes key statistics on Scottish Local Authority income and expenditure, outstanding debt and local taxes.  
Thousands Of Low Cost Homes For Scotland Announced
More homes planned despite UK squeeze on public finances More than 7,000 homes are planned to be approved for rent or low cost ownership in the new financial year 2010-11, backed by 471 million from the Scottish Government.   The Affordable Housing Investment Programme includes plans for over 1,700 new council houses, bringing the total to over 3,000 this year and next.  
Highland Counts The Cost Of Winter Maintenance
The coldest winter in the Highlands since 1962 has resulted in an estimated overspend on The Highland Council's Transport, Environmental and Community Services budget by 1.497 million (2.2%) by the end of the financial year.   Figures presented to the Council's TEC Services Committee have shown that the Highland Winter Maintenance budget is estimated to be overspent by 2.276 million by the end of the financial year.  
Flood Team Proposed For The Highlands
The creation of a Flood Team of six staff has been welcomed by members of The Highland Council's Transport, Environmental and Community Service Committee.   Members of the TEC Services Committee welcomed the allocation of around 240,000 per year from the Scottish Government to set up a dedicated Flood Team within the Council.  
Highland Outlines Waste Awareness Campaign For 2010/11
A campaign aimed at encouraging Highland householders to reduce, reuse and recycle their waste has received continued support from members of The Highland Council's TEC Services Committee.   Commending the efforts of a six-strong team of waste awareness staff Councillor John Laing, Chairman of the Council's TEC Services Committee said: "Our officers do a magnificent job educating people of all ages about how to deal with their waste.