September 2011

Highlands and Islands local authorities joint statement on tugs

Leaders of the four Highland, Western Isles, Orkney and Shetland Councils - Councillors Dr Michael Foxley, Angus Campbell, Stephen Hagan and Josey Simpson issued a joint statement today (30 September 2011) on tugs.

Delayed start on Beauly improvement works

A £200,000 package of improvements will start in Beauly on Monday 17 OctobA £200,000 package of improvements will start in Beauly on Monday 17 October 2011.

Closure of Fort William Primary

The 30-pupil Fort William Primary School was closed today (Thursday) as the result of overnight vandalism.

Schools to battle it out for 2011 Trophy

Up to 70 young people from schools across Scotland will gather this coming Saturday to challenge for Cuach na Cloinne 2011, a football competition for Gaelic-speaking primary school pupils.

Twitter 24 voted a success

The Highland Council is pleased with the response from the public to its participation in a national Twitter 24 initiative, which saw the Council send tweets to its 1,167 followers over a 24-hour period from noon on Tuesday 27 September.

High Life Highland takes over community learning and leisure services

From Saturday (1 October) High Life Highland, an arms length company with charitable status, takes over the management and delivery of community learning and leisure services from The Highland Council.

Council attracts £385,000 funding for home insulation schemes

The Highland Council has been successful in attracting a further tranche of grant aid from the Scottish Government for a Universal Home Insulation Scheme aimed at helping private householders to reduce their fuel bills and their carbon footprint.

Still time to book spaces in Traditional Music Classes

Chanter, fiddle, whistle or ceilidh dance tuition is still available in some of The Highland Council’s Inverness Traditional Music Classes.

Fusion nights are back

This Saturday, 1st October 2011, will see the start of the winter 2011/2012 ‘Fusion’ nights at Charleston Community Complex.

Crown Estate – devolving powers to a local level

The Leader of The Highland Council, Councillor Michael Foxley has called on the Scottish Government to devolve the management of the Crown Estate’s property and revenues to as local a level as possible.

Community Council nomination deadline looms

Candidates considering serving on their local Community Council for the next four years are being reminded that the nomination deadline for election is only one week away.

Supporting the transport needs of local communities

The Highland Council has awarded new public transport contracts which will run from 1 January 2012 until December 2016.

Inverness South by-election timetable unveiled

The timetable for the election for the return of a councillor for Ward 20 (Inverness South) of The Highland Council has been confirmed today (Monday).

Fixed penalty notices served in under-age tobacco sales exercise

As a result of a test-purchase exercise undertaken across the Highlands that used the services of a young volunteer, The Highland Council Trading Standards has recently issued two fixed penalties for under-age sales of cigarettes.

New Refuse and Recycling Service begins in Ross-shire and parts of Wester Ross next week

New refuse and recycling collections in Ross-shire, Ullapool and the Achiltibuie and Lochcarron areas of Wester Ross come into effect on Monday 3rd October.

Work to start on Beauly improvements

A £200,000 package of improvements will start in Beauly on Monday 3 October 2011.

Alexandra footbridge safety warning

The 3 Councillors representing Highland Council’s Tain and Easter Ross Ward have issued a warning to the public asking them not to use the Alexandra Footbridge, which has been closed for safety reasons.

Council sets date for follow-up flood meeting in East Inverness

The Highland Council has set a date for a second public meeting to discuss flooding on the East side of Inverness. The meeting will be held on Thursday 24 November 2011 at Culloden Academy, Inverness, starting at 7:30pm.

11th hour plea to save Scotland’s tugs

The UK Government will be leaving the Highlands and Islands exposed to catastrophic environmental damage and the possible loss of life if it does not reverse its decision to withdraw the two emergency towing vessels which police the area from the Western Isles to Shetland.

West Ross pupils are winners of Golden Boot Award

Pupils at a West Ross Primary School are the winners of the Golden Boot Award

Street lighting pilot extended

Trials to save energy on street lighting are to be extended over the winter months in a number of Highland communities.

Archive Centre hosts symposium for Highland Archaeology Festival

Speakers from four partnership organisations will be talking at a Symposium during Highland Archaeology Festival on how archives can assist archaeology.

Ri Chèile – Scotland/Ireland 28 – 30 September

On 28th September, 5 Scottish Secondary Schools are travelling to Clondalkin in Ireland, where they will meet up with scholars from schools from Northern Ireland and Southern Ireland, where they will all take part in the flagship event – Ri Chèile – that commemorates the links between Ireland and Scotland.

Sustainable tourism features at European conference

Over 140 delegates from across Europe will be arriving in Inverness next week to take part in a conference looking at ways European destinations can promote the growth of sustainable tourism in mountain areas.

Grantown Grammar girls are in the pink.

A team of rugby playing pupils at Grantown Grammar school recently took delivery of their new team strip and sported the colour of their choice – pink – for the team strip.

Potential November closure of section of A82

Forestry Commission Scotland is urging transport companies, tour operators, haulage contractors and all other road users to be aware of a proposed closure of the A82 south of Fort William in late November / early December.

Cairngorms National Park consultation

The Cairngorms National Park Authority is asking people to picture how they want to see their National Park in the future and think about what we can all do to make it happen.

Budget Leader’s response to public spending announcement

The Highland Council is close to balancing its budget for next year (2012/13) but will have to find savings of £27 million in each of the following two years.

Council to consult on draft supplementary guidance for small-scale wind turbine proposals

The Highland Council, in recognition of the demand and potential of small-scale wind turbine developments has produced Draft Supplementary Guidance and now wishes to consult over the proposals.

Recognising the importance of biodiversity to the Highlands

To underline The Highland Council’s commitment to protecting the natural environment, members of the PED committee have approved a Biodiversity Duty Delivery Plan 2011-14 that will raise awareness and build on the protection and promotion of biodiversity of the Highlands.

West Highland College UHI and The National Centre of Excellence in Traditional Music to launch new joint venture.

West Highland College UHI and The National Centre of Excellence in Traditional Music (NCTEM) at Plockton are getting ready to launch their new joint venture – a range of taster sessions, weekend courses and a brand new full time course for 2011-12, aimed at those interested in Traditional Music.

Gaelic story telling and information on bilingual education in Lochaber

A Gaelic story-telling session for under 5’s will take place in Fort William Library at 10.30am on Tuesday 27th September.

Shared services begin at Muir of Ord

Muir of Ord’s new Service Point opened this week, providing a service to members of the public who need information and advice on services provided by both The Highland Council and Northern Constabulary.

Council take part in a 24-hour “What we do” Twitter event

The Highland Council is taking part in a 24-hour Twitter event next week called ‘What we do’ which is designed to raise awareness about the range of services Councils provide across Scotland.

Consultation over Aviemore pitch surface

Residents are being asked to have their say on proposed changes to the new playing field at the £11.9 million Aviemore Primary School, which is currently under construction.

Contemporary art event transforms multi-storey car park into sublime cinema experience.

A sublime experience is on offer to Highland filmgoers next week when a multi-storey car park in Inverness will be transformed into a cinema with a difference on 22 - 24 September.

The Vikings are coming!

Vikings will be invading Fort William as part of Highland Archaeology Festival on Saturday 1st October.

Highland Archaeology Festival, 1 – 16 October 2011

A new packed programme of special events has been launched for the eighteenth Highland Archaeology Festival, which gets underway on 1 October for two weeks.

Caithness countryside volunteers learn to collect seeds

Members of the Caithness Biodiversity Group and Caithness Countryside Volunteers recently learned about the best techniques to collect and store wild flower seeds.

New tourism campaign promotes autumn and winter in the Highlands

Inspiring ideas are part of the national tourism organisation’s marketing campaign, Surprise Yourself, which aims to highlight the more surprising aspects of the Highlands to visitors in the coming months.

Exhibition by leading willow artist to tour Highland galleries

An Exhibition featuring large scale suspended and wall based willow works by leading artist Lizzie Farey is currently on display at Inverness Museum and Art Gallery before visiting the Swanson Gallery in Thurso.

Inverness South by-election date confirmed

A by-election will be held in The Highland Council’s Ward 20 – Inverness South - on Thursday 3 November.

“Hurdy-gurdy” spectacle at city museum

There is a rare treat in store at Inverness Museum and Art Gallery this autumn. In a magnificent spectacle of light, sound and movement, the extraordinary work of Sharmanka Kinetic Theatre, returns by popular demand with a new show.

High Life Highland fees set

A £7.961 million six month services fee has been set for the arms length organisation “High life Highland” which will deliver community learning and leisure services for The Highland Council.

New yachting marina open for business

Friday 9th September, 2011 was a red letter day for the west coast port of Mallaig as the much vaunted and anticipated yachting facility was declared open for business.

Highland tobacco retailers urged to register

The Highland Council’s Trading Standards is reminding all businesses selling tobacco that they have less than three weeks to register with the Scottish Government if they wish to continue to sell tobacco products.

Council commends Highland pupils’ SQA results

Member of The Highland Council’s Education, Culture and Sport Committee have welcomed a report on SQA exam results for Highland pupils in 2011.

Second Highland Lifestyle Survey of young people

The Highland Council in partnership with NHS Highland have conducted a survey for the second time that provides a snapshot of young people’s lifestyles in the Highlands.

Council seek views on new guidance to developers on flooding matters

The Highland Council is underlining its commitment to tackling flooding by issuing improved and more detailed guidance to developers on how to address flooding matters when they design and implement their proposals for development.

Pupils build bridges in Lochaber

Embracing the Olympic spirit, P7 pupils from Banavie, Caol and Upper Achintore Primaries recently took part in the Building Bridges Construction Challenge hosted at Lochaber High School.

Sharing services at Muir of Ord

A new partnership is being introduced in Muir of Ord on Monday (19 September) when the public will be able to source advice and information on police and Council matters from under the one roof.

Community Council elections called

Candidates wishing to serve their local Community Councils in the Highlands for the next four years have until 4 pm on Tuesday 4 October to present their nominations.

East Sutherland and Edderton Ward Forum

“Local Development Officers – the Helmsdale Experience” and “Community Payback Orders” are the themes for the next East Sutherland and Edderton Ward Forum to be held at 7.30pm on Tuesday 20 September in Helmsdale Community Centre.

Taxi and private hire vehicle inspections

The Highland Council is inviting suitably qualified and experienced contractors to apply for inclusion on a select list of tenderers for the statutory inspection and testing of taxis and private hire vehicles under one contract covering the entire Council area.

Glensanda incident highlights importance of ETVs

With only three weeks to go before the UK Government withdraws the emergency towing vessel that patrols the West Highlands, The Leader of The Highland Council Michael Foxley is highlighting a recent rescue in which the tug prevented a major environmental incident.

Invergordon Academy re-opens

Invergordon Academy re-opened today (Tuesday) following extensive repair and clean up work at the school.

Invergordon Academy Update

Work will continue through the night in an attempt to enable Invergordon Academy to reopen tomorrow (Tuesday) following a ceiling leak which has resulted in water penetration into the canteen and corridors. As a result of the water damage, the school, which has 440 pupils, was closed today (Monday).

Closure of Invergordon Academy

Invergordon Academy was closed today (Monday 12 September) on health and safety grounds as the result of damage to an area of ceiling caused by water penetration over the weekend.

South West Inverness Flood Relief Channel – Fourth and Final Phase

Highland Councillors have given the go ahead for the fourth and final phase of a £16 million scheme to protect 600 houses, which are at risk of flooding on the south side of Inverness.

Business Gateway set to attend Black Isle Gathering for the first time

Entrepreneurs from across Ross and Cromarty will be able to tap into the knowledge of an Internet wizard and a business expert when Business Gateway takes a stall at this year’s Black Isle Gathering.

Aird and Loch Ness Ward Forum discusses timber extraction and transportation

Communities on South Loch Ness are invited to The Highland Council’s Aird and Loch Ness Ward Forum to discuss timber extraction and the impact on local roads of transporting the felled wood to market.

Appointment of High Life Highland Director

Councillor Thomas Prag, Inverness South, has been elected as a Director of the Board of High Life Highland, the new arms length company which will deliver community learning and leisure services on behalf of the Council from 1 October.

Youth Award Successes

Pupils from St Duthus School in Tain have been taking part in a music project with Feis Rois which saw them developing new skills. In addition the group decided to work towards a Dynamic Youth Award.

Council reorganises mussel fishery operation

Falling sales and profitability have prompted the directors of Highland Fresh Mussels Ltd and The Highland Council to review the management structure of the Tain mussel fishery.

Inverness marks 30 years of town twinning with La Baule, France

Inverness will celebrate being twinned with the French holiday resort of La Baule for 30 years this weekend as a French delegation arrives in the Highland capital to attend a series of special events to mark the occasion.

Northern Community Justice Authority publishes its fourth MAPPA Annual Report 2010-11

The Northern Community Justice Authority (NCJA) has today published its fourth detailed annual report which outlines how agencies effectively work together to minimise the risk to the public of sex offenders in the community.

New Chairman for Comunn na Gàidhlig

A new Chairman has taken the helm at Comunn na Gàidhlig (CnaG) – one of the leading Gaelic development agencies – to help guide its activities in the months ahead.

Council response to reform of police and fire services in Scotland

The Highland Council is to constructively engage with the Scottish Government as a matter of urgency to ensure that a single police service and a single fire service in Scotland reflects the distinctive needs of the Highlands.

John Holden resignation confirmed

The Chief Executive of The Highland Council has confirmed that Mr John Holden has resigned his membership of the council following his conviction and one year jail sentence for benefit fraud.

Appointment of Depute Chief Executive

The Highland Council has appointed a new Depute Chief Executive. He is Steve Barron, the Council’s Director of Housing and Property.

Disruption to Council email service

The Highland Council has assured the public that it is doing everything it can to restore its email service, which has been disrupted for the past three working days due to a technical fault.

Police and fire reform in Scotland

First Minister Alex Salmond has announced that the Scottish Government will bring forward legislation to establish a single service for police and a single service for fire and rescue.

Highland children know the score in recycling competition.

Two of the three prize winners in a competition run by The Highland Council Waste Awareness Team at Highland Summer Shows were aged under ten!

Conservation Week kicks starts regeneration of historic Dingwall

Dingwall Conservation Week which starts on Saturday (10 September) is a celebration of the special historic environment of Dingwall Town Centre and will see the launch of The Dingwall Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (CARS), funded by Historic Scotland, LEADER and The Highland Council.

Head Teacher appointed for Maryburgh and Conon Bridge Primary Schools

The Highland Council has appointed Mrs Rita McDaid as cluster Head Teacher for Maryburgh and Conon Bridge Primary Schools.

Highlands Forestry International Film Festival and Conference

A three day celebration of forestry in the Highlands – and around the world – is set to take place in Inverness from 8th and to 10th of September 2011.

Blas schools programme creates Kenyan and Highland exchange of culture.

Pupils at a Highland primary school will take part in a cultural exchange of music and dance this week (Friday 9 September) when a troupe of Kenyan Maasai Warriors visit Bun-sgoil Ghàidhlig Inbhir Nis.

Dingwall Library gives a warm welcome to friends from Catalonia

A warm Highland welcome will be extended to a group of visitors from Taradell, Catalonia in North East Spain this weekend (Saturday 10 September) when they come to Dingwall Library.

Caithness and Sutherland nurseries celebrate awards for children’s communication

Staff from north Highland nurseries and playgroups will this week receive awards for their organisations from I CAN the Early Talk Scheme run by the national charity for children with speech and language difficulties.

Driving Ambition - Young Driver Intervention

Sixth year pupils from Lochaber High and Mallaig High will be attending a Driving Ambition road safety event at Lochaber High School on Wednesday (7 September) to gain information and guidance needed before, during and after they learn to drive.

The Highland Council appeals for positive change to help cut chewing gum litter

The Highland Council will launch a new campaign today, Monday 5 September 2011, to raise awareness of chewing gum litter in the Highlands and urge residents to dispose of their gum responsibly.

Retiral of long-serving community works manager

Iain Dyce, Community Works Manager for Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey, based in Kingussie, latterly in Aviemore has retired after 42 years in local government, the last 37 years in Badenoch and Strathspey.

Junior High Life try triathlon

Organisers of a Junior High Life Try Triathlon held at Grantown Grammar School playing fields and Craig Maclean Leisure Centre on Saturday 3 September have hailed the event as a resounding success.

400 year old Kirking ceremony is celebrated with many firsts.

A Bible which is as old as the historic annual event itself will be read from during this year’s Kirking of the Council service on Sunday 11 September.

ETV Task Group - update

The Emergency Towing Vessel (ETV) Task Group met in Inverness on Friday 2 September to agree urgent action to convince the UK Government to extend the contract for the 2 ETVs in the Highlands and Islands for 6 months.

Positive results from annual Council performance survey

Highland Councillors are being advised that not only is the public increasingly satisfied with the majority of key services provided by the Council, but that the Council is meeting the large majority of targets set out in its Corporate Plan and the Strengthening the Highlands programme.

New Area Commander for Lochaber, Skye and Lochalsh announced

Chief Inspector David Bushell this week took over as the new Area Commander for the Lochaber, Skye and Lochalsh areas.

Sports leaders get set go at Grantown Grammar

Grantown Grammar school pupils have been busy working on their leadership skills and volunteering.

Work begins on new Inshes District Park, Inverness

Work has begun this week on the first new public park to be built in Inverness for a generation.

Highland’s new Youth Convener

Stuart Davidson from Nairn this week took up his new role as Highland’s Youth Convener.

Highland Councillors dust off their trainers to support SPL FFIT

Members of The Highland Council have put aside their party and team differences to join forces with the Scottish Premier League Trust’s Football Fans In Training programme in the fight against male obesity.