Highlands and Islands Labour MSP, Rhoda Grant, says she is dismayed to learn that the Bank of Scotland is proposing to close its branch in Dornoch on 9 September. The MSP has previously raised concerns about cuts to rural banking services as the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) announced its decision to drastically cut its services in the Highlands and Islands.
New research conducted on behalf of the Scottish Research Society (SRS) by Walbrook Economics concludes that the cost of Scottish independence has risen from a minimum of £850 for the average Scot in 2014 to at least £2000 in 2017. The evidence is revealed in a new report "Saving Scotland from Financial Meltdown" published by the SRS, which is an update of its previous report "Much cost - Little benefit" published in advance of the independence referendum of 2014 The large rise in cost is explained by the dramatic fall in oil revenues that an independent Scotland could be expected to receive (from £6660 million in 2014 to £60 million in 2016) and the poorer performance of the Scottish economy - which is on the brink of a recession - relative to the UK economy, which is the fastest growing in the top seven economies of the World (G7).
Two more projects in Sutherland are set to benefit from funding from the Highland LEADER Programme. The Sutherland Local Area Partnership has recently approved additional funding totalling £72,061.
A new three-year partnership agreement between North Highland College UHI and Nigg Skills Academy has been signed to deliver engineering skills and qualifications to the Ross-Shire area at their academy in Nigg. Nigg Skills Academy works with employers and industry bodies to deliver engineering skills to meet today's industry demands, has established a memorandum of understanding with North Highland College UHI to continue to provide opportunities for those seeking careers within the engineering and energy industry.
The Highland Council has elected Councillor Margaret Davidson as Council Leader at its meeting today, 18 May 2017. Councillor Alasdair Christie was elected Depute Leader and Councillor Bill Lobban was elected Convener of the Council.
Two brothers are celebrating as the first spirit at their new micro distillery in Dornoch began to flow this month. Phil and Simon Thompson's dream of opening their own distillery has become a reality as the Dornoch Distillery opened for business producing hand distilled gin, vodka, rum and whisky.
Due to the number of visitors in the area Dunrobin Castle have decided that on Sundays they will open from 10.30am instead of midday. The castle is now open from 10.30 every day and last entry at 16.00.
Simon Wilkinson has taken his experience and skills north to Sutherland and the move could not have come at better time with the North Coast 500 attracting a growing number of cyclists. Siomn said,"I've been a bike mechanic for 28 years running the family business.
The Highland Council has awarded a contract to a world leading engineering design firm to carry out comprehensive flood protection studies for two Highland coastal towns. Thurso on the north coast and Golspie on the east coast have both suffered from flooding incidents over the years that has affected domestic and business properties and resulted in both towns being identified as Potentially Vulnerable Areas (PVAs) in the Highland and Argyll Local Flood Risk Management Plan.
The elections for the 74 seats on The Highland Council, being held on Thursday 4 May, will involve 165 candidates contesting all of the 21 multi-member wards. The breakdown of candidates is as follows: - Independent - 59 Labour and Co-operative party - 3 Liberal Democrat Focus Team - 1 Scottish Christian Party "Proclaiming Christ's Lordship" - 1 Scottish Conservative and Unionist – 21 Scottish Green Party – 8 Scottish Labour Party – 15 Scottish Liberal Democrats – 19 Scottish Liberal Democrat Focus Team - 1 Scottish Libertarian Party – 1 Scottish National Party (SNP) – 31 Scottish Socialist Party – 2 UKIP – 1 No description – 2 Councillors are elected using the single transferable vote system so electors will be asked to mark their ballot paper, ranking candidates in preferential order.
Wipro has opened a new delivery centre in Inverness as part of our growth plan and service delivery for the Highland Council. 40 to 50 staff will be based at Moray House in the city centre.
The Highland Council has agreed to extend funding to two CAB projects of up to £50,000. The Mental Health and Midwifery projects provide money and welfare advice to pregnant mums and those experiencing mental ill health.
The Highland Council has agreed all the recommendations made by the Redesign Board. The Board proposes a significant shift to localism.
On Thursday 9 March 2017, The Highland Council resolved to discontinue the provision of education at Kinbrace Primary School, which has been mothballed since the summer of 2013. The school's catchment area will be divided between those of Helmsdale and Melvich Primary Schools.
On Thursday 9th March, the Council approved £1million additional capital monies to be spent on Highland roads. The Scottish Government, announced on 2 February 2017, an additional Capital Grant for Highland Council of £2.046m for 2017/18 and members have agreed to allocate £1million of this to roads.
A paper going to the Council meeting on 9 March will propose a £1 million spend of additional capital monies on roads infrastructure. The Scottish Government, announced on 2 February 2017, an additional Capital Grant for Highland Council of £2.046 million for 2017/18 and a paper to council will ask members to consider whether to allocate £1 million of this to roads.
Members of The Highland Council's Education, Children and Adult Services Committee have approved a management proposal for the Farr (Sutherland) associated school group. The new management entitlement covering Farr High and its associated Primaries of Farr, Altnaharra, Melvich and Tongue will include 1 Head Teacher (3 ‐18), 2 Depute Head Teachers (3 ‐18), and 5 Principal Teachers.
High speed fibre broadband is now available to order in Ardgay. Fibre services are completely different to existing broadband services, and download speeds in the village will see a boost from a previous maximum of 8Mbps, to up to 76Mbps.
Highland Council has launched the 1st step in automated telephone payments for customers. From 22/02/2017 customers will be able to contact the Service Centre on the payments line 01349 886605 to make a rent payment and get a rent balance.
In another challenging financial year, the Highland Council Administration has pledged to protect education services in the 2017/18 budget. The Highland Council will consider next year's budget at its meeting on Thursday 16 February.