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News Archive

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.  
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).  
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).  
Scottish Tax Rates Being Set Today In The Budget Debate
See the BBC article for full details of the changes today.  
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.  
LEADER funding for projects in SutherlandThumbnail for article : LEADER funding for projects in Sutherland
The Embo Trust, Strathnaver Museum and Sutherland Community Sports & Recreation Hub are among projects in Sutherland set to benefit from funding from the Highland LEADER Programme.   The Sutherland Local Area Partnership has approved funding of £247,578 to date and is encouraging potential applicants to come forward for a share of the remaining funds which must be committed by early 2019.  
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.  
MSP calls for expansion of hydro power to help meet climate change targets
MSP David Stewart, Labour's Environment and Climate Change Shadow Minister, highlighted Highland's record of achievement in hydro power at an energy debate, calling for an expansion to meet climate change targets.   At the Scottish Government’s Hydro Nation debate in Parliament this afternoon (Thursday), Mr Stewart said hydro power was a key renewable that helped reduce reliance on imported gas and coal while increasing diversity of generation mix.  
Road closure B871 Syre - Kinbrace
Motorists are being advised of a partial road closure of the B871 Syre - Kinbrace road in Sutherland, North West Highland.   A 9km stretch of the B871 is closed for an estimated period of 6 weeks to enable contractors to undertake emergency repair works to the partially collapsed Lonigall Bridge which has made the road impassable.  
Simple tips to help cut those fuel costs...
Simon Henrick, Head of News at Green Flag, commented: "Statistics show that the price of petrol has crept up by over 3p per litre in the past three months.  This means owners of cars with 55 litre tanks are spending £1.65 more every time they fill up than they were in July.  
Local MSP Urges - voices Rarely Heard - To Speak Out On Scotlands EconomyThumbnail for article : Local MSP Urges - voices Rarely Heard - To Speak Out On Scotlands Economy
Households, workers, the unemployed, and small and large businesses in the Highlands and Islands are being called on by local MSP Jamie Halcro Johnston to share their views as the Scottish Parliament's Economy, Jobs and Fair Work Committee launches its inquiry into the performance of Scotland's economy since 2007.   In a year marking a range of anniversaries, including a decade since the financial crash, 20 years since the devolution vote; and the tenth anniversary of SNP Government, the Committee will scrutinise Scotland's economy, looking at issues such as the main drivers of growth and challenges to future growth; as well as average disposable income, and average weekly pay in Scotland.  
Beyond city deals
The Scottish Government will support the creation of regional economic partnerships across Scotland as a vehicle to drive inclusive economic growth, Economy Secretary Keith Brown has confirmed.   As outlined in the Enterprise and Skills Review, the expansion of the regional economic policy beyond city deals will pave the way for regional economic partnerships for every part of Scotland.  
Old Round Pound Stops Being Legal Tender On 15th October
Get those round pounds spent or to the bank to save before 15th October when they stop being legal tender.   You will still be able to return them to banks but maybe better to save the hassle and find them al wherever you have them now.  
Consultation On Review Of Highland Polling Stations
A chance to have your say.   Voters are being invited to have their say on a review of polling places throughout the Highland Council area The Council has today (Monday 2 October 2017) launched a consultation over its review of election polling districts and polling places.  
£1 Million For School Libraries Over 3 Year
The Scottish Government is allocating £1 million to improve school libraries over the next three years.   Launched today by the Deputy First Minister, the School Library Improvement Fund will be open for education authorities to apply for funding on behalf of school libraries in their area.  
Fish Landings Increase
The value of fish landed by Scottish registered vessels in 2016 increased by 25% in real terms, according to the latest statistics published by the Scottish Government.   Driven by an increase in the value of pelagic species, 453,000 tonnes of sea fish and shellfish was landed by Scottish registered vessels, with a value of £557 million.  
Sutherland members offer to work with Openreach to find solutions
Members of Sutherland County Committee have expressed their concern about the delays in the roll out of superfast broadband in remote parts of the Highlands.   Mr Bruce McClory, Senior Operations Manager from BT Openreach attended the meeting to hear concerns and provide an update.  
Worlds First Tidal-powered Hydrogen Generated At EMECThumbnail for article : Worlds First Tidal-powered Hydrogen Generated At EMEC
EMEC has generated green hydrogen gas demonstrating potential for a clean replacement for polluting fuels The European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) has produced hydrogen gas using electricity generated from tidal energy in Orkney.   This is the first time that hydrogen has been created from tidal energy anywhere in the world.  
SSSC Celebrates 100,000 Registrants
The Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) Register of Social Service Workers has reached a total of 100,000 people (13 September 2017).  This milestone means that approximately half the social service workforce which currently has around 200,000 workers is now registered and many more will join them when we open the Register to the 50,000 workers in care at home and housing support services on 2 October 2017.  
New Food Fraud Report Shows Almost Nine In Ten Consumers In Scotland Do Not Trust Foreign Food Chains
Food Fraud Report reveals UK food confidence is declining, with cases of food fraud such as the horse meat scandal most to blame - 74% of people believe there is an issue with food fraud in the UK - 33% of consumers are less trusting of food than they were five years ago.   - Only 12% have confidence in the European food chain and 3% in the global food chain.