Members have today approved proposals to expand the Inverness and Highland City-Region Deal funded free open public Wi-Fi system to 14 towns across the Highland. Towns recommended for the free Wi-Fi programme are Alness, Aviemore, Dingwall, Dornoch, Drumnadrochit, Fort Augustus, Fort William, Invergordon, Nairn, Portree, Tain, Thurso, Ullapool and Wick.
The Council has agreed to updated developer contributions for the delivery of new schools in the Inverness area. Taking account of the forecasted phasing of housing sites, school roll forecasts indicate that 13 Primary Schools in Inverness will be under pressure within the next 5 years.
One hundred and forty two probationer teachers who are on the Teacher Induction Scheme and a few probationer teachers on the Flexible Route were recently welcomed to the Highlands (on Friday 11 August 2017) at an induction course held in Smithton Free Church Hall. Bill Alexander, Highland Council's Director of Care and Learning welcomed the probationers saying: "It's really good to see so many young people starting their careers in education here in the Highland and I wish them all well.
The Council is to review developer contributions for schools in the Inverness area. Taking account of the forecasted phasing of housing sites, school roll forecasts indicate that Primary Schools in Inverness are under pressure and require significant additional capacity to support growth.
High Life Highland (HLH) and The University of the Highlands and Islands have signed an agreement to work together to benefit individuals, communities and businesses across the Highland area. Both organisations already have a track record of collaboration with a number of programmes across various HLH services and study programmes, but have now formalised the arrangement through a memorandum of understanding that will see the relationship expanded to include initiatives in the fields of health and wellbeing as well as archives and museums.
Members of The Highland Council have unanimously agreed to the establishment of a joint Committee with Aberdeen City Council, Aberdeenshire Council, Angus Council, Argyll and Bute Council, Comharlie nan Eilean Siar and Moray Council to be known as ‘The Northern Roads Collaboration Joint Committee'. Cllr Allan Henderson, Chair of the Council's Places Committee commended the formation of the new Joint Committee, he said: "I commend this initiative which will help Highland Council and our partner Northern Authorities address the ‘big ticket' roads' issues that affect us all.
During a debate about the future of Highland Council finances, Leader of the Council, Margaret Davidson, has challenged the Scottish Government to be more open about the funding they provide for local councils across Scotland. "In recent years' we've seen too much smoke and mirrors when it comes to the Scottish Government handing out their annual grant to local councils.
Highland council will hear from the finance director Derek Yule on Thursday 29th June 2017 when he speaks on his paper "Financial Outlook 2018 - 2023". The outlook for council finances as set out in the paper Financial Outlook 2018 - 2023 is for five years of cuts and reductions in services as the forecast is for reduction in grant income of 2%, 3.5% or 5% which would produce a budget gap of £129 million to £187 million over 5 years.
A new service for the bereaved in Highland is launched today by The Highland Council called ‘Tell Us Once'. The service will ensure that when a death is registered in the Highland area, a notification is automatically issued to most government agencies which removes the need for grieving families to notify multiple public bodies.
Rural communities will have a stronger voice thanks to funding for the Rural Parliament announced by Environment and Land Reform Secretary Roseanna Cunningham. The £200,000 funding for Scottish Rural Action (SRA) will support delivery of their 2017-19 Action Plan, which contains five policy areas debated and chosen by rural communities at the 2016 Rural Parliament in Brechin.
Update Week commencing 19 June 2017 Tourism Food & Drink: · CNSRP partner Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) this week published a baseline report on the economic impact of the North Coast 500 route which covers the whole of the north mainland. The report highlights the impact of the route's global profile, and suggests that 200 new jobs could be created as a result.
Taskforce will consider steps to ensure better representation. A new group to ensure women are better represented in farming has been announced by the First Minister.
Caithness & North Sutherland Fund's latest grant assessment round has awarded over £17k to community projects throughout the Caithness & North Sutherland area. The Caithness Broch Project was granted £10,000 towards costs of holding a Caithness Broch Festival, consisting of a programme of participative archaeological activities that will be held throughout the year focusing around two selected Caithness broch sites.
The Highland Council's People Committee has agreed membership of the Council's new Adult Services Development and Scrutiny Sub-Committee. The Adult Services Development and Scrutiny Sub-Committee will ensure specific consideration is given to the delivery of adult social care services, as part of an integrated approach to all community care services, and will oversee on behalf of the People Committee, the commissioning of social care services for adults from NHS Highland.
The first meeting of a Ministerial Working Group, convened to examine building and fire safety regulatory frameworks, has taken place this week. The meeting was chaired by Communities Secretary Angela Constance with Housing Minister Kevin Stewart and Community Safety Minister Annabelle Ewing.
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).