Inverness and Highland City Region Deal projects delivered as governance improved
27th March 2019
Highland Council's Leader has acknowledged the findings of an internal audit report into the progress of the Inverness and Highland City Region Deal.
The report examines three projects including the Science Skills Academy; Innovative Assisted Living (FIT House) and Inverness Castle.
Councillor Margaret Davidson said: "The Inverness and Highland City Region Deal is delivering on the ground. Earlier this week (Monday March 25) in Thurso, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and partners officially opened the first Norwegian style learning centre or ‘Newton Room' in the UK; and the second Newton Room will be opened on the 2nd April in Caol at Fort William. These Newton Rooms are designed to inspire more young people to become interested in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics also known as STEM subjects."
The Inverness and Highland City Region Deal is also providing new affordable ‘FitHomes' for people in Highland and free WiFi, called "High-Fi" has rolled out in 15 towns across the region including: Alness, Aviemore, Dingwall, Dornoch, Drumnadrochit, Fort Augustus, Fort William, Invergordon, Inverness, Nairn, Portree, Tain, Thurso, Ullapool and Wick.
Cllr Davidson added: "The internal audit has identified valid concerns about financial and other governance issues. These have been addressed by additional staff help and financial controls. The wider governance matters will be discussed as soon as is practicable by Group Leaders and the Chair and Vice Chair of Audit and Scrutiny."
Cllr Graham MacKenzie, Chair of the Audit and Scrutiny Committee said: "I am heartened to hear of the continued scrutiny of this project and we can be assured that improvements have been made since the report was written. Myself (as Chair) and the Vice Chair of Audit and Scrutiny (Cllr Peter Saggers) welcome the invitation to discuss this report further with the Leaders' Group and to bring it back to the Audit and Scrutiny Committee following discussions with the Service."
The Inverness and Highland City-Region Deal is jointly funded by the Scottish and UK Governments. The Scottish Government have committed up to £135 million in the Deal, the UK Government has committed up to £53 million, and the Highland Council and regional partners have committed up to £127 million over 10 years.
Road users are advised that on Saturday 22 June 2019 part of the C1112 Glen Affric Road will be temporarily closed to vehicles from 11am to 5pm during the Highland Cross 2019 event. The area affected is between the road's junction with the C1110 Cannich - Fasnakle - Kerrow Wood Road and its end at the north side of the road bridge over the Abhainn Gleann nam Fiadh.
People working in Highland trades businesses are being urged by The Highland Council to attend a supplier briefing roadshow event near them coming soon across the region if they wish to tender for future Council contracts. The Council has created a new Trades Services Framework for repair, maintenance and minor works to maintain and improve the Council estate and to help deliver the Council's property maintenance programme for domestic and non-domestic properties.
Steve Walsh OBE has been appointed as the Chief Executive designate for High Life Highland, it was announced today by Donald McLachlan, the Chair of the charity's Board. Mr Walsh will take up post in early September 2019, following the retirement of current Chief Executive, Ian Murray.
Highland Council Trading Standards have been made aware that cold call telephone scammers have recently changed tactics and are now targeting individual bank customers to gain access to bank accounts and clear bank accounts of cash. The so-called "authorised push payment scam" involves a fraudster impersonating a bank representative and phoning an unsuspecting potential victim by telephone.
The Highland Council is asking communities and other stakeholders for their thoughts and opinion on a draft strategy to improve the town centres of Brora, Dornoch, Golspie, Thurso and Wick. The draft Caithness and Sutherland Town Centre Strategy presents several potential actions for each of the town centres.
Highland schools and Police call on people to share information on suspected anti-social, alcohol and drug activity. Highland Council secondary schools in the Mid Highland area and Police Scotland are writing to parents and carers urging them to share any concerns or information related to possible anti-social behaviour, alcohol and drug activity in their areas.
William Gilfillan, Director of Community Services will be leaving the Council on Friday, 7th June 2019. William joined Highland Council from Fife Council in 2000 to lead the New Community School development in Alness Academy.
Highland Council is to seek the views of local communities on a proposal to establish a Gaelic Medium catchment area for Mount Pleasant Primary School. The change is being proposed in line with Statutory Guidance on Gaelic Medium Education.
Re- opening on the horizon for Caithness. Highland Council's Care Learning and Housing Committee today agreed a package of revenue and capital funding which is a major milestone towards the re-opening of Caithness Horizons, Thurso.
The Highland Council's new Education Transformation programme is taking shape with various initiatives put in place to deliver better educational outcomes for young people, as detailed in a presentation to the Care, Learning and Housing Committee today (29 May 2019). The Education Transformation programme has the dual purpose of improving outcomes for all children and young people whilst ensuring that resources are used wisely and efficiently.
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