As of Tuesday 10 April 2012, The Highland Council's out of hours calls for emergencies relating to council housing repairs, property and homelessness, as well as roads, street lighting and environmental services will now be managed by Northern Constabulary working in partnership with The Highland Council. Calls will be dealt with by specialist staff from Northern Constabulary at the Force's Operations Centre, Old Perth Road in Inverness.
A Sutherland based luxury chocolate manufacturer which started in a small kitchen has expanded into new international markets. Cocoa Mountain is based in Durness, the most north westerly village on mainland Britain where they produce a range of handmade, preservative-free chocolate products which are dispatched same-day direct to customers.
Today Northern Constabulary joins Scotland's other Police forces for three days of action, coordinated by the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland, to target those who drive without suitable insurance. The campaign runs from Tuesday April 3 and concludes on Friday April 6, 2012.
Energy Minister Fergus Ewing today welcomed the launch of the Department for Energy and Climate Change's (DECC) Carbon Capture and Storage Competition. Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said:"I welcome the launch of DECC's Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) Competition despite two previous false starts, and am keen to work with DECC as part of the competition process to ensure that it results in the development of CCS.
Social housing in Scotland entered a new era today, as Housing and Transport Minister, Keith Brown MSP, launched Scotland's first Social Housing Charter. Affecting over 600,000 households, the Social Housing Charter sets 16 standards and outcomes that all social landlords should be achieving for the tenants and other customers.
The Scottish Government has published details of the referendum consultation responses as at first thing this morning, which show that only 414 responses out of a total of 11,986 were anonymous - just 3.5 per cent of the total. The figures demonstrate there is no evidence that the process is being skewed by anonymous contributions, Cabinet Secretary for Parliamentary Business Bruce Crawford said.
Warning - phone scam Northern Constabulary has received information from members of the public that a bogus finance company is calling and stating that they have a substantial refund to pay and are requesting the last numbers of a visa/debit card along with other personal details. Police advise members of the public that they should not provide any personal information over the phone to unknown individuals.
With the backing of BADA-UK, the charity behind Tick Bite Prevention Week, leading Scottish life sciences company Xeroshield is looking for your help with the completion of a major new study about ticks and Lyme disease in Scotland. Members of the public are being encouraged to take five minutes to complete a short online survey asking them some straightforward questions about their own experience of ticks and Lyme disease in Scotland.
Businesses in the Highlands and Islands are encouraged to take advantage of business opportunities in Ireland at a free event in Inverness this month. Ireland is the UK's fifth largest export market and the UK's largest export market in sectors such as food and drink, fashion and footwear.
Police warning about use of mobile phones whilst driving. Drivers across the Highlands and Islands are being warned to concentrate on driving and not to use handheld mobile phones or other communication devices behind the wheel.
Retailers in Caithness and Sutherland are being issued with guidance on the sale of solvents following an increase in the number of solvent abuse cases being reported among young people in the north. The Highland Council's Trading Standards campaign follows concerns raised by NHS Highland Youth Action Service and the Caithness and Sutherland Drug and Alcohol forums to an issue of solvent misuse reported in the area.
About the Energy Saving Scotland advice centre Highlands and Islands The Energy Saving Scotland advice centre Highlands and Islands is funded by the Scottish Government and provides free, impartial advice and support in Highland on all matters relating to energy efficiency. Householders Householders can call the advice centre for free, impartial advice to enable them to reduce their fuel bills and carbon footprint.
One month's countdown for entry to Scotland's Finest Woods Awards 2012. Woodland owners and managers are being urged to prepare their entries for this year's prestigious Scotland's Finest Woods Awards and compete for a share of the £7,500 prize money.
The Highland Council's Countryside Rangers, in partnership with the Rangers from Moray Council, have launched their 2012 brochure featuring over 400 guided walks and events to encourage everyone to get out and explore the great outdoors and find out more about the animals that share it with us. Some highlights in the programme of walks and events, that covers the whole of the Highlands and Moray, include Gruffalo children's activity days, long distance walks, mountain conservation days, whale and dolphin spotting, wild food foraging and gentle wildlife walks.
In these days of austerity there is one businessman who is delighted to be able to bring a sparkle of childhood back to life. That is Highland magician Clive Grewcock who is based in Golspie, Sutherland but has the privilege of taking his magic throughout Scotland.
Green energy developer Infinergy is set to showcase its plans for the Limekiln wind farm, near Reay, which could bring in £9.75million to support community initiatives over its lifetime. The proposed wind farm of up to 26 turbines would have a generating capacity of around 78 megawatts (MW), enough to power around 43,600 homes - equivalent to 43% of Highland households.
Northern Constabulary has completed its draft Gaelic Language Plan for the period 2012-2013 for consultation prior to its submission to Bòrd na Gàidhlig in April. The plan, which has been developed in accordance with the Gaelic Language ( Scotland) Act 2005, outlines Northern Constabulary's commitment to the sustainability of the Gaelic language.
The Highland Council has taken an important step towards securing the highest level of benefit possible for local communities across the Highlands from renewable energy developments by agreeing a policy on how future funds are allocated. Council Leader Michael Foxley and Councillor Isobel McCallum, Chairman of The Highland Council's Rural Affairs and Climate Change Strategy Group, highlighted the Council's commitment to community benefit at a conference in Inverness on Friday 24th February 2012 organised by the Council.
Tick-borne disease charity BADA-UK (Borreliosis and Associated Diseases Awareness-UK) and its Patron, TV Bushcraft and Survival expert Ray Mears, are warning both outdoor workers and outdoor-pursuits enthusiasts to be vigilant about a potential increased risk of tick bites this spring. The charity is using its annual awareness campaign Tick Bite Prevention Week (26 March - 1 April) www.tickbitepreventionweek.org to highlight the health risks that ticks pose, especially following the recent EU ban of the herbicide Asulam.
The Highland Council has confirmed the appointment of the two directors who will lead the integration of services for children across the authority from April. Bill Alexander, Director of Social Work, has been appointed as the Director of Health and Social Care and Hugh Fraser, Director of Education Culture and Sport, has been appointed to a position with the same title with extended responsibilities.