Wick Campus Delay Until 2017
22nd September 2016
At a Wick stakeholders meeting held on Monday 19 September at Wick High School, representatives from Hub North Scotland and Morrison Construction gave an update on reasons for the delay and outlined a revised programme for the Wick campus delivery.
The meeting was chaired by Highland Councillor for Wick Bill Fernie who expressed the Council's disappointment at the delay, and re-stated the Council's priorities to ensure that the flagship facility is completed to the standard expected, and accepting handover only at that point.
Angus MacFarlane, Chief Executive of Hub North Scotland advised the group of a revised handover date for the Campus of Friday 2 December 2016 which remains subject to a number of risks.
He explained that there is a detailed dialogue taking place between Highland Council, Hub North Scotland and Morrison Construction on the revised programme and decant arrangements for Wick High School, Newton Park Primary and High Life Highland community facilities.
The head of Morrisons construction also laid to rest several rumours regarding the construction that there was no sinking/subsidence of any foundations and any broken windows were repaired as required. The faulty steel beam had been replaced. Several people who had been round to see the position were happy with what is going to be provided when the school finally opens.
The Council is working on detailed plans for the school moves with Head Teachers and High Life Highland, and is considering options for the moves either side of the festive period, with anticipated occupation of the new campus in early January, or around the mid-term break in February, with occupation by the end of February. The Council made clear to the Stakeholder Group that the move plans are still being developed and had to be realistic, achievable, and not impact on the learning and teaching of pupils. The Council recognises that pupils and parents will want early notification of when the schools' will commence within the new facility and that will be provided as soon as possible.
Depending on Hub north Scotland and their contractor Morrison Construction handing over the building and the Council accepting it on 2 December, the Council will provide early notification to parents of the expected occupation arrangements.
Ian MacGillivray from the Council's Project Design Unit provided an update on the delayed Safer Routes to Schools elements of work on the approaches to the school. BEAR Scotland will install a new pedestrian crossing on Francis Street and the Council's contractor will carry out work in Seaforth Avenue and Thurso Road - all during October.
There will be a further package of safety improvements next spring after demolition of the existing school is complete. The delay to the Road Traffic Orders for the 20mph zone around Wick Noss school is also being prioritised as a matter of urgency.
Close to 100 professionals met yesterday for what is one of the largest Career Long Professional Learning (CLPL) events of its kind in the country that specifically targets Gaelic Education staff. The event took place in Merkinch Community Centre, Inverness for Highland Council's annual Gaelic Education In-Service.
The safety of children walking and cycling to and from school and traffic calming measures in Wick were under the spotlight at yesterdays meeting of the Caithness Committee (Wednesday 21 February 2018). Local Councillors have given the go-ahead for proposals to introduce a 20mph speed limit and traffic calming measures across Wick designed to get motorists to slow down when driving around the town.
The Highland Council has agreed to use City-Region Deal funding to part fund new mid-market housing projects throughout the Highlands. The affordable housing projects will be developed by Albyn Housing Society and Highland Housing Alliance in Ullapool, Fort William, Alness, Inverness, Aviemore, Grantown, Drumnadrochit and Newtonmore and will deliver 61 new homes targeted at young people working in the area.
The Highland Council is set to make it easier for the public to report incidents of fly tipping and be advised when action is taken. As part of an evaluation of its street cleaning service an in-depth LEAN review of how the council deals with fly tipping has been carried out to look at ways of improving responsiveness and customer satisfaction.
Highland Councillors agreed a council tax increase of 3% which will mean an increase of £35.93 per annum on a Band D property. Overall, the budget gap of £15,146 million has been met by a package of savings which includes increasing Council Tax income by £3.448 million, increasing income by £3,059 million, setting a target of £2,250 million to be saved through Redesign and reducing expenditure by £5.1 million.
Redesign is about the Council being more open-minded to new ways of delivering services, more commercially-minded to raise income to support services and jobs across the region and being more community-minded, listening locally and supporting more community-run services. The Highland Council is seeking to release over £2.2 million in savings this year through redesign projects.
An election will take place for Dunnet and Canisbay Community Council on Wednesday 21 February 2018. The maximum permitted membership for the Community Council is 7 and as 8 nominations have been received, the 1349 electors in the community council area are being invited to cast their vote via a postal ballot.
Over three thousand people visited Inverness Town House last weekend to see for themselves the completion of interior works on the public historic Grade A listed building following recent renovations. Around 2,000 visitors passed through the Town House doors on Saturday 10th and another 1,200 people on Sunday 11th February.
Nomination packs for prospective candidates for the Caol and Mallaig Ward by-election are now available from The Highland Council's website. The by-election is being held following the sad death of Councillor Billy MacLachlan who was one of three Councillors representing Ward 11.
Maps of the Council's gritting routes by priority and policy are available online at www.highland.gov.uk/gritting The information provided is a summary of reports from operational staff and is intended to give a general indication of typical conditions in each area at a point in time. It is not intended to imply that any individual route is entirely snow and ice free and drivers must be aware that conditions can change rapidly and make their own assessment of conditions for travelling.
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