A bill to replace Air Passenger Duty in Scotland has been passed by the Scottish Parliament. The Air Departure Tax (Scotland) Bill sets the structure of the new tax and how it will be collected and managed by Revenue Scotland.
Rod Mackenzie has been appointed as Convener of the Crofting Commission by Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing. A life-long crofter, Mr Mackenzie is one of the six commissioners recently elected to the board by crofters from across the Highlands and Islands.
The list of contents for Scotland's Baby Box is now available online as registration for the nationwide roll out begins. All babies due on or after 15 August 2017 will receive a box of essential items to support parents and promote a fair and equal start for all children in Scotland.
For information, the agenda and reports in respect of the Sutherland County Committee on Friday 23 June 2017 at 10.30am are now available on the Council's website and can be accessed using the following link:- http://www.highland.gov.uk/meetings/meeting/3853/sutherland_county_committee.
The North Coast 500 (NC500) tourist route, launched in 2015, has had a positive impact on both visitor numbers and business trade. This is according to a new report commissioned by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).
Marine mammals and seabirds will continue to use the waters around operational wave and tidal renewable energy devices, finds a report published on Tuesday 13th June 2017 by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH). A major study of wildlife observations collected over ten years around wave and tidal energy test sites in Orkney has found little evidence of any long-term effects on the use of surrounding seas by the birds and marine mammals living in the area.
A planning application will be submitted to Highland Council later this year to cover the next phase of planning at the Dounreay site. Planning permission from 2018 to the shutdown of the site, also known as the interim end state, is the third phase of the planning required for the Dounreay decommissioning programme.
A new £2.5 million fund will improve the help delivered to people looking to access employment and training. The Employability Innovation and Integration Fund will look to join up employment support with health and social care, justice and housing services, making sure people receive the level of support they need to find sustainable employment.
Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) has appointed a new chief executive. Charlotte Wright, who is currently the agency's Director of Business and Sector Development, has held the role of Interim Chief Executive since the end of August last year.
A major exhibition opened this week at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh focusing on the Flow Country, one of Europe's last wild places. The Flow Country is a vast open landscape in the far north of Scotland, dominated by blanket bog, a rare type of peatland.
Changes in the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2016 - Tenants' Improvements Amnesty: Farm Advisory Services events will say "use it or lose it" Event: Use it or lose it - FAS Tenants' Improvements Amnesty. Date: 17.45 - 21.00, Tuesday 11 July 2017 Location: Jurys Inn, Millburn Road Inverness, IV2 3TR The Scottish Government's Farm Advisory Service (FAS) is holding a series of events across Scotland this summer to inform tenant farmers and landowners about important changes to tenancy legislation including the current Tenants' Improvements Amnesty.
More than 160,000 homes and businesses in the Highlands and Islands are now part of the high speed fibre broadband network, thanks to the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband (DSSB) roll-out. Residents in more than 230 Highlands and Islands towns and villages can access the benefits of high speed services following the £146m investment in a next generation broadband network for the region.
The legacy of an IT programme set up to deliver financial support to rural businesses still presents significant risks and costs for the Scottish Government. Audit Scotland has reviewed the progress made in resolving serious issues with the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) Futures programme, created to enable the Scottish Government to provide financial support to farmers and rural businesses in line with European Commission (EC) reforms.
Welfare Support provided by The Highland Council helped customers to a record financial gain of £4.651 million over the past year (2016-17). Over this period, the Welfare Support team supported 1,560 customers to maximise their benefits.
Members of The Highland Council's Places Committee have today (Thursday 15 June 2017) agreed proposals to transfer the Highland Council Ranger service to High Life Highland. The Council's Ranger Service is one of the largest local authority ranger services in Scotland with staff running many events and guided to raise awareness and encourage the appreciation of the scenery, wildlife and heritage of the Highlands.
The Highland Council has moved to reassure Council tenants on the fire safety of the Council's housing stock, following the tragic fire in London. The Council owns a number of multi-storey flatted properties but does not have any high rise buildings (above 5 storeys), including schools, & council homes.
The Highland Council is pleased to introduce the third, iteration draft Gaelic Language Plan 2017-2022 which is being submitted for a 6 week public consultation. The Highland Council draft Gaelic Language Plan has been prepared as a statutory document for submission to Bòrd na Gàidhlig in response to the formal notice of requirement to prepare a Gaelic Language Plan and with regard to the requirements set out in Section 3 of the Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005.
People living in the Highlands who are thinking of a career change to Primary teaching are being urged by The Highland Council to consider a distance learning course (DLITE) with the University of Aberdeen. Training for the Postgraduate Diploma in Primary Education DLITE (Distance Learning ITE) starts on 20 January 2018 and the deadline for applications is 21 August 2017.
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).