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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.  
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.  
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.  
Nominations sought for Lochaber by-election
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.  
Social Tenants In Scotland, 2016 - Housing Costs And IncomeThumbnail for article : Social Tenants In Scotland, 2016 - Housing Costs And Income
Housing Costs and Income-2.   The average weekly rent for a social sector property in Scotland in 2016/17 was £74.44, an increase of 2.1% on the previous year.  
Social Tenants In Scotland, 2016Thumbnail for article : Social Tenants In Scotland, 2016
Scotland's Chief Statistician today released Social Tenants in Scotland 2016, the second annual statistical compendium publication on social tenants and social rented housing in Scotland, covering topic areas such as stock, household characteristics, housing flows, and rents and income levels.  The publication is based on an analysis of a range of existing data sources, and includes trend data for earlier years and comparisons with other housing tenures and with other parts of the UK where possible.  
Thousands turn out to see Town House, Inverness transformation.Thumbnail for article : Thousands turn out to see Town House, Inverness transformation.
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.  
Election For Dunnet and Canisbay Community CouncilThumbnail for article : Election For Dunnet and Canisbay Community Council
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.  
Farming Loans Scheme Confirmed
Hill farmers and crofters will be offered a nationally-funded loan for Less Favoured Area Support Scheme 2017.   The loan scheme will inject up to £55 million into some of our most remote and rural communities, safeguarding jobs and local agricultural businesses.