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Firm Appointed To Create Scotland's First Newton Room In ThursoThumbnail for article : Firm Appointed To Create Scotland's First Newton Room In Thurso
Young people in Caithness will be the first in Scotland to benefit from new Norwegian style learning centres.   A network of ‘Newton rooms' in Norway and one in Denmark are used to inspire more young people into careers in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).  
Businesses Take Action To Improve Productivity And CompetitivenessThumbnail for article : Businesses Take Action To Improve Productivity And Competitiveness
A survey of more than a thousand businesses in the Highlands and Islands has shown that almost all of them (95%) have taken action in the past 12 months to become more productive and competitive.   This is according to the findings of the latest business panel survey published today (Wednesday 21 February) ) by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).  
Graduated Driving Licence For New Drivers CloserThumbnail for article : Graduated Driving Licence For New Drivers Closer
North MSP and Road Safety Campaigners eight year campaign for a form of Graduated Licence closer to being introduced.   Highlands & Islands Regional MSP and Road Safety Campaigner, David Stewart, has welcomed news from the UK Government that they plan to seriously now consider introducing a form of Graduated Driving Licence later this year.  
Reporting fly tipping to be made easier
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.  
City Region Deal funding for new homes across the Highlands
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.  
Scottish Tax Rates Being Set Today In The Budget Debate
See the BBC article for full details of the changes today.  
Statement from Rhoda Grant MSP on details of Raigmore whistleblower - following CHAT's media releases at weekendThumbnail for article : Statement from Rhoda Grant MSP on details of Raigmore whistleblower - following CHAT's media releases at weekend
Labour MSP Rhoda Grant has spoken out over Caithness Health Action Team (CHAT) revelations over the past few days.   "It appears that the health authority and the Scottish Government rode roughshod over the concerns of a whistle blower whose only interest was the safety of hospital patients," said Highlands and Islands Labour MSP Rhoda Grant.  
Highland Council has agreed a budget for 2018-19.
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.  
"Significant risks" to delivering early learning and childcare plan by 2020Thumbnail for article :
There are "significant risks" surrounding the Scottish Government's ambition to double early learning and childcare hours by August 2020, say auditors.   Councils are preparing to provide 1,140 funded hours for all 3 and 4-year-olds -- and eligible two year-olds -- to improve outcomes for children and to support parents to work, study or train.  
A fair budget for the Highlands say Independent Councillors
Independent councillors have delivered a fair budget for the Highlands today.  It's a fair budget that has limited the impact on council services, protected the provision of frontline education, and minimised the rent increase for council house tenants.  
Caithness firm Ashley Ann set to expandThumbnail for article : Caithness firm Ashley Ann set to expand
The biggest private sector employer in Wick in Caithness is to strengthen its presence in the area and create more jobs.   Family run Ashley Ann Limited (AAL), which designs and manufactures kitchens, bedrooms and bathrooms, has secured a funding package of up to £190,000 from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).  
Highland Council Seek More Savings From Redesign of Services
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.  
Dingwall & Highland Marts Ltd - Sale 14 February 2018
DINGWALL, Dingwall & Highland Marts Ltd., (February, 14th) sold 574 store cattle, 6 adult head of breeding cattle.   Bullocks (312) averaged 240.4p, (229.9p last year) and sold to 300.3p per kg twice for a 303kg a single Charolais cross and a pair Charolais crosses from Creagmhor, and £1,500 for a single 835kg Limousin cross from Ashley, North Kessock.  
Radiologist Recruitment Drive
NHS Scotland has launched a campaign to increase the number of consultant grade radiologists in post by 10%.   Nine Health Boards are teaming up to fill 32 vacancies through targeted advertising across the globe.  
Social Tenants In Scotland, 2016 - Housing FlowsThumbnail for article : Social Tenants In Scotland, 2016 - Housing Flows
Housing Flows-2.   In 2016/17 there were a total of 52,924 social rented housing lets, a drop of 1,108 lets, or 2%, on the 54,032 lets in 2015/16.  
Social Tenants In Scotland, 2016 - Characteristics of Social TenantsThumbnail for article : Social Tenants In Scotland, 2016 - Characteristics of Social Tenants
Characteristics of Social Tenants-2 30% of social rented households in 2016 were single working age adults, an increase from 18% in 1999.  19% of households were single pensioners, a decrease from 25% in 1999.  
Early Years Apprentices
Increases to fuel roll-out of funded childcare.   A record number of early years apprenticeships are expected to start this year as part of the expansion of free nursery and childcare, Deputy First Minister John Swinney has said.  
Highland Council winter road condition and school closure report for Tuesday 13 February 2018
Maps of the Council's gritting routes by priority and policy are available online at 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.  
Budget proposals for protecting road maintenance in Highland
In recognition that roads are a high priority for communities in Highland the Administration at The Highland Council will be putting forward a budget on Thursday (15 February) that protects the budget for local roads.   Chair of the Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee, Councillor Allan Henderson said: "We have nearly 7,000 kilometres of roads in the Highlands and this network is vital to our rural communities and lifeline services.  
Views sought on Shopfront Design Guide
The Highland Council is asking stakeholders and members of the public for feedback on new draft guidance aimed at ensuring high quality designs for traditional, replacement and new shopfronts.   Not only does the draft Shopfront Design Guide: Planning Guidance provide advice to help promote good quality applications but it encourages developers and applicants to consider design at the earliest stage in their proposals.