February 2007

The visit to the new Fas DevelopmentTour of Gaelic College Development

The final Gaelic Select Committee of the current Highland Council took place at Sabhal Mor Ostaig College of the Isle of Skye and Members were given a tour of a new development part-funded by the Council.

Local group promotes Skye and Lochalsh wildlife.

A leaflet highlighting the wildlife of Skye and Lochalsh that also directs visitors where and when to see it, has been published by a local biodiversity group.

The turf cuttingWork starts on new Kinlochleven schools

Work began today (Wednesday) on an eagerly awaited £10.5 million new school at Kinlochleven which will accommodate the primary school and high school.

International Recognition For Councillor’s Work

The work undertaken on behalf of the UK regions by The Highland Council’s Kathleen Matheson was formally recognised last Friday by Claudio Martini, President of the Conference of Peripheral and Maritime Regions (CPMR).

National Awards To Acknowledge Work Of Young Volunteers

Eighteen young people from Highland will this year receive the accolade of Young Quality Scot for their contribution to their communities.

Launch of “Touchwood”

To celebrate Highland 2007 – the year that Scotland celebrates Highland culture - Forestry Commission Scotland today (Wednesday 28 February) launched 'touchwood' - an inspirational programme of events that will run throughout the year involving art, astronomy, cultural history, education and a new environmental festival.

New Chairman of The Nevis Partnership

Cameron McNeish, internationally known mountaineer and journalist, has been appointed Chairman of the Nevis Partnership.

Repairs To Newton Rail Bridge

Drivers are warned that there will be a temporary road closure to through traffic on the B9039 Newton - Castle Stuart - Ardersier Road at Newton Rail Bridge from 8am on Saturday 3 until 9am on Sunday 11 March

Local Action Grants for Young People

Young people in the Inverness area are being encouraged to apply for grants of up to £500 for projects aimed at helping them become more involved in their local communities.

A Tramp to Glen Tromie

The Highland Council’s Countryside Rangers have organised a guided walk to explore the habitats and wildlife of Glen Tromie

HMIe report on Mount Pleasant Primary School, Thurso, Caithness

A recently published HMIe report on Mount Pleasant Primary School, Thurso, has praised the good standards of attainment, particularly in mathematics, together with teachers’ high expectations of pupils’ overall achievements.

Inverness Footbridge Inspection

Greig Street pedestrian footbridge in Inverness will be closed between 9:30 am – 4.30 pm on Thursday 1st March to allow inspection works to take place.

Childs play helps to launch Highland strategy for young people.

A strategy published by The Highland Council this week sets out an action plan for developing and improving play experiences for children and young people in the Highlands.

Council Introduces New Measures To Protect Children and Young People

In a move to ensure the safety and wellbeing of pupils, The Highland Council is sending a letter to all parents giving details of its new policy to manage unexplained absences.

Highland school welcomes Hedrons.

One of the country's foremost emerging rock bands the Hedrons - a four-piece girl band originally from Glasgow - have taken time out of their busy UK tour schedule before they head for North America to play at a Highland secondary school near Loch Ness.

Public Urged To Be On Guard Against Rogue Salesmen

Householders in Inverness are being warned to be on their guard against salesmen known to be operating door-to-door offering to carry out window replacement work.

Big Hearted Pupils Raise Money For Gambian Learning Centre

Today is the third Highland Big Heart Day and primary and secondary pupils across the Highlands are busy raising as much money as they can through fundraising activities of their choice.

Charleston Academy gets more ambitious

Highland Council today (23rd Feb) welcomed the Scottish Executive’s announcement to extend funding for the Schools of Ambition programme.

Roadworks On Cromarty Bridge

On Monday (19th February) traffic lights on the Cromarty Bridge will restrict the flow of traffic to single lane for 8 weeks. Delays for drivers travelling north and south are expected, especially during peak travel times.

Acting Director of Education Culture and Sport

The Highland Council has appointed Donnie MacDonald, Head of Education Services, as Acting Director of Education Culture and Sport.

Corporate Managers Appointed

The Highland Council has made the first of a number of senior appointments as it moves towards a new management structure to accommodate the 22 new multi-member wards that will take effect from the Council elections on 3 May.

Update on Cairngorms National Park Elections

Postal ballot papers for the election of four community representatives to serve on the Cairngorms National Park Authority will be arriving on Friday at the homes of 10,861 electors within the Park boundary.

Council Identifies Preferred Bidder for Sandown Land, Nairn

The eagerly-awaited development of farmland at Sandown on the western outskirts of Nairn took a major step forward today (Thursday) when The Highland Council revealed that it has identified a preferred bidder - in Deveron Homes.

Joy For Nova Scotia!

The Nova Scotia community of Mabou is getting ready to welcome Scottish Gaelic speaker Joy Dunlop as part of a project to rejuvenate the language in the once strongly Gaelic-speaking west coast of Cape Breton.

The Crown Estate in Scotland – New Opportunities for Public Benefits

A major report, published today (Wednesday), sets out the case for a review of the Crown Estate in Scotland so that the resources involved, including Scotland’s seabed and much of its foreshore, produce greater benefits for local communities.

Highland agencies drive home road safety education to young people

Fifth and Six year pupils at Invergordon Academy and Golspie High Schools will this week take part in a pilot road safety education programme called ‘Driving Ambition’.

Grantown Grammar Community Sports Complex

The keys to a £2.4 million Community Sports Complex at Grantown Grammar School were today (Thursday) handed over from Les Taylor Construction (Northern) Ltd. to The Highland Council to mark completion of works.

North Kessock footpath upgrade

A £30,000 project to upgrade a popular public footpath in North Kessock is due to get underway next week beginning Monday 26th February for a period of six weeks.

Temporary Road Closure in the City

View Place in Inverness will be closed to northbound traffic from its con-junction with Haugh Road and its junction with Castle Street on Monday 26 February and will remain closed until midnight on Sunday 18th March.

Highland Candidates Sought for SYP Elections

Young people in Highland are being encouraged to get involved in active citizenship by either seeking election to the Scottish Youth Parliament or voting for the candidate of their choice.

Drivers urged to go slow near rural schools.

Motorists on the Isle of Skye and in Lochaber are being warned that part time 20mph speed restrictions are being introduced near two more schools for children’s safety.

Works starts on new Millburn Academy

Work began today (Thursday) on the eagerly awaited £26 million new Millburn Academy.

Affordable Homes For Sale In Dornoch

Work began this week to build four two-bed roomed semi-detached houses in Dornoch which will go on sale at a fixed price of £60,000 each.

Tackling Global Warming

Tackling global warming and reducing carbon emissions has emerged as a key priority for Highland Councillors, who intend to lead by example in “greening” their own schools and offices by improving their energy efficiency and using renewable energy sources.

Launch of Golden Broom Tartan at Strathpeffer

Pupils from Mulbuie Primary School in the Black Isle will launch the official tartan of Highland 2007 at a celebration on Friday night.

Child Protection Info Line Launched

A one-stop-shop - designed to complement Scottish child protection services - was launched today.

Streamlining Will Save £1 Million Per Year in Management Costs

Highland Councillors are being advised that more than £1 million will be cut from management costs as the result of the first phase of management restructuring, which will see the Council reduce the number of Services from nine to seven, reduce the number of areas it operates from eight to three and cut the number of managers by 20%.

Service Point Network Retains Charter Mark Status

The Highland Council has retained its Charter Mark Standard for excellence in customer service delivery at its network of 37 Service Points and its new Service Centre at Alness.

Council Ranger leads walk on Nairn riverside.

Members of the public are being invited to join John Orr Highland Council’ Ranger as he leads a guided walk along the banks of the River Nairn on Sunday 18th February.

Council Calls for Review of Safety at Rail Level Crossings in Highland

The Highland Council has called for a review of safety at level crossings in Highland following the latest in a number of tragic accidents – at Delny in Easter Ross.

Recruitment of new Chief Executive

The Highland Council agreed today (Thursday) to proceed immediately with the recruitment of a new Chief Executive, following the announcement that Arthur McCourt will retire in July of this year.

Council Confirms 2.5% Council Tax Rise

In setting the Council Tax for 2007/8, The Highland Council has approved a rise of £28 at Band D, a 2.5 % increase.

Mind The Gap At Ness Islands

The improvement of the Ness Islands, Inverness, continues on Monday (12 February) when work starts to replace two of the older footbridges so access from Ladies Walk will be temporarily suspended for approximately four weeks.

Cairngorms National Park Elections

Elections for five community representatives to serve on the Cairngorms National Park Authority has attracted 11 candidates. The Park area has been divided into five wards – three in Highland; one in Moray/Aberdeenshire and one in Aberdeenshire/Angus – with one community candidate being elected to represent each area.

Update of the Temporary Lane Closure On Bridge Street, Inverness

The single lane closure on Bridge Street which came in to place on Monday is causing delays to drivers in the city so they are being advised to use an alternative route until the temporary restrictions, which are in place until Wednesday 14 February, are lifted.

New Head Teacher for Kingussie High School

A new head teacher has been appointed to Kingussie High School. He is Mr John Tracey, currently Depute Head Teacher at Fortrose Academy, a post he has held since December 1997.

Bus Service between Treslaig and Ardnamurchan High School

Parents and guardians from the Fort William areas who choose to send their children to Ardnamurchan High School rather than Lochaber High School – their designated school – are being advised that bus fares between Treslaig and Corran Ferry and the school will be maintained at their current level until the end of the school session in July.

Inspectors praise management improvements at Lochaber High School

HM Inspectorate of Education has published an interim follow-through report praising the acting head teacher, Jim Sutherland, and school managers for recent improvements in Lochaber High School.

Highland Primary puts out call to former pupils.

A Highland primary school is inviting former pupils and staff to help celebrate the 140th anniversary of the school.

New Coach's goal to develop skills of young footballers

In an innovative move to encourage the development of football skills amongst young people in the Highlands, Peter Budge from Caithness has been appointed Football Development Officer with The Highland Council, based at The Highland Football Academy.

Seeking three new virtues for Inverness

Faith Hope and Charity were virtues associated with the Victorian age and for many years a sculpture of the virtues was prominently displayed in Inverness.

Council ranger leads walk on Nairn riverside

Members of the public are being invited to join John Orr Highland Council’ Ranger as he leads a guided walk along the banks of the River Nairn on Sunday 18th February.

Local children get up and go for it

Children in Ross and Cromarty will be given the opportunity to ‘Go for It’ and get fit in an initiative being supported by The Highland Council and Ross County Football club.

Inverness Courier chief reporter named as journalist of the year

Issued by Highlands and Islands EnterpriseVal Sweeney, Chief Reporter of the Inverness Courier, has been named Journalist of the Year for the Highlands and Islands. Val received her award from Jack McConnell, First Minister, at the Highlands and Islands Press Ball which was held at Nairn on Friday (2 February).

Big Hearted Highland Pupils To Raise Funds For Gambian Skills Centre

The Big Heart charity fundraising event to be held in all Highland schools later this month will raise money to fund a new Skills Centre for young people in The Gambia.

Delays For Motorists During Gas Works

Scotland Gas Works are to carry out the replacement of existing gas main works on Culduthel Road and View Place, Inverness, commencing on Sunday18th February 2006.

Public Question and Answer Session In Fort William

People living in Lochaber will have the chance to put questions to their local Councillors during a public question and answer session to be held in Fort William on Monday 19 February.

Temporary Road Closure in Croy

A section of the Kerrowgair to Croy road will be closed on Monday 12 February for a period of up to 12 weeks to allow sewer and storm water outfalls from a new housing development site to be installed in the village of Croy.

Local access forum smoothes the path to romance

A local access forum is hoping to smooth the path to healthy hearts and romance for people in the Inverness and Nairn area in the run up to Valentine’s Day.

Chief Executive Announces His Retiral

The Chief Executive of The Highland Council, Mr Arthur McCourt, has announced his decision to retire, with effect from July, this year, after 12 years at the helm.

Council Seek Two New Strategic Directors

The Highland Council is seeking two new members of its senior management team – a Director of Education Culture and Sport and a Director of Housing and Property.

Temporary Traffic Lights Along Millburn Road, Inverness

As part of ongoing works at Millburn Academy, temporary three-way traffic lights will be in place on Millburn Road from Tuesday 6 February.

Council Asked To Consider 2.5% Council Tax Rise

Highland Councillors will be asked to approve a rise of £28 at Band D, a 2.5 % increase, when they meet on Thursday (8 February) to set the Council Tax for 2007-2008.

A first for Scotland as Highland Housing Fair gets under way

Scotland’s first housing fair gets under way today (Thursday 1 February 2007) as a unique housing design competition opens for entries.

2007 Blas Festival shaping up to be the best yet

Today the line up for this year’s Blas Festival is announced and, featuring a rich blend of local, national and international talent, both young and not-so-young, it is confidently predicted that this year will be Blas’ best yet.

Golden Broom Tartan Launch at Strathpeffer

Pupils from Mulbuie Primary School in the Black Isle will launch the official tartan of Highland 2007 at a celebration on Friday night.