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Latest News

[Local Authority]1/9/2014
Radon works to Council properties - Highland Council BriefingThumbnail for article : Radon works to Council properties - Highland Council Briefing
The Highland Council's Director of Education, Culture and Sport has updated school head teachers and local Council members on radon works in their areas.  The following briefing was issued on Friday 28 August 2014.  
Third of Scots have declined a wedding invitation due to costsThumbnail for article : Third of Scots have declined a wedding invitation due to costs
With the wedding season nearly over, many Scots will have witnessed another round of I Do's and celebrations.  However with ceremonies, and hen and stag parties becoming more elaborate, many are having to check their bank balances along with their calendars before agreeing to attend.  
New IfG research - How many civil servants are working in Scotland, and in which departments?
A new paper, ‘The Civil Service in Territorial Perspective' tells us: · How many civil servants who are part of the UK Home Civil Service are based in the devolved territories.   · Few departments would be unaffected by Scottish independence.  
Bonus Payments Up 4.9% on Last Year at £40.5 Billion
Total bonus payments received across the whole economy during the period May 2013 to April 2014 were £40.5 billion - an increase of 4.9% compared with a year earlier – according to the annual article on bonuses from ONS.  Of the total, £14.4 billion was paid in the finance and insurance industry, which increased by 2.9% over the year, and £26.1 billion in the rest of the economy, up 6.1%.  
The Living Wage Is Out of Reach for Most Women Working Part-Time in Many Parts of Britain
The majority of women working part-time earn less than the living wage in over 50 local authority areas across Britain, according to research published on Thursday 28th August 2014 by the TUC.   Today (28 August, two-thirds of the way through 2014) is effectively the last day this year that women working part-time get paid.  
[Local Authority]30/8/2014
Highland Council is a winner in the RoSPA Awards 2014
The Highland Council is among the winners in the RoSPA Occupational Health and Safety Awards 2014.   The Council's silver award in the prestigious annual scheme run by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) will be presented during a ceremony at the Hilton Glasgow on September 17.  
Consumers Frustrated by Unauthorised Overdraft Fees
Ahead of the publication of a wide ranging Which? report on the state of the credit market, Which? calls on banks to Stop Sneaky Fees and Charges on unauthorised overdrafts, as more than two thirds of users say charges are too high or unfair.   New Which? research reveals that around 2.5 million people, approximately the same number as those that have used a payday loan, say they have used an unauthorised overdraft in the last 12 months.  
[Local Authority]30/8/2014
Council welcomes fourth edition "For Highland's Children"
Members of The Highland Council's Education, Children and Adult Services Committee have approved the final draft of an integrated children's services plan for the Council’s Care and Learning Service.   The plan titled, "For Highland’s Children 4" (2014-2019) also incorporates as far as possible the contribution of children’s services delivered by NHS Highland.  
Dingwall & Highland Marts Ltd - Sale 28 August 2014
DINGWALL, Dingwall & Highland Marts Ltd., (August 28th) sold 10,788 store lambs at their annual sale including 986 on behalf of Lewis Livestock Producers (first sale).   Cheviot wedder lambs (5,430) averaged £47.60 and sold to £67.00 gross from Park Farm, Strathpeffer.  
[Local Authority]29/8/2014
Children's Services in Caithness
Children's services in Highland are moving forward with the creation of Family Teams as part of the community services to children, young people and families.   This means that most staff involved in providing services to children, such as social workers, health visitors and school nurses will all be part of the new Family Team.  
[Local Authority]29/8/2014
£200,000 funding for Highland Hospice refurbishment
Members of The Highlands Council's Resources Committee have pledged their support to The Highland Hospice's full refurbishment of Ness House and the new Netley Centre in Inverness by agreeing to contribute £200,000 of funding towards the total project cost of £6.500m.   The money comes from the Council's Capital Discretionary Fund for 2014/15 and at the committee (Wednesday 27 August 2014) members also agreed a further £285K of funding from this Fund to support four more projects.  
Looking To Develop Your BusinessThumbnail for article : Looking To Develop Your Business
Three Business Gateway specialist advisers are coming to Thurso next week (Tuesday 2 September 2014) to offer local businesses advice and practical guidance on three topics: Accessing Finance Winning Public Contracts Taking on Staff You can book a one-hour appointment with any or all of these advisers.  All appointments will be based at the Naver Business Centre in Thurso.  
Pension Tax Relief Cut Would Prompt Middle Class to Move Pensions Overseas
The scrapping of higher-rate tax relief on UK pensions would prompt more middle class earners to transfer their pension pots out of Britain, says the boss of one of the world's largest independent financial advisory organisations.   Nigel Green, the founder and chief executive of deVere Group, is commenting after speculation grows that after the next general election, this tax benefit will be cut - whichever political party takes power.  
Four in Ten More Likely to Bank With a New Entrant Than a Year Ago
- Consumers would trust supermarket brands such as Waitrose (45%), Morrisons (18%) and Aldi (12%) to do their banking[1] - Three quarters (77%) would trust John Lewis to manage their money[1]while three in ten (30%) would opt for Debenhams (30%) and a quarter (27%) would pick House of Fraser[1] - Consumers are most likely to pick a bank based on how financially secure it is (87%), its reputation (86%), and competitiveness of interest rates (85%)[2] - While 88% regard online banking as essential, nearly two thirds (62%) place an importance on telephone banking, and 45% value mobile banking.   - A quarter (23%) say new entrants have learned from the mistakes of traditional banks and offer better value for money (15%).  
Britain's Buses Broken by Deregulation
Britain's bus passengers have been let down by a lack of competition and a failure of deregulation, according to a new report from the think tank IPPR, published today.  The report calls for local transport authorities modelled on Transport for London to be rolled out across the country, with stronger powers to introduce London-style bus regulation.  
Sale of the century: Scots more likely to buy when there's a sale
*Three-quarters say they're more likely to make a purchase if they spot an item that's reduced *Being on holiday also found to loosen purse strings *1 in 5 respondents say payday increases the likelihood they'll spend Spotting a bargain is the thing most likely to convince Scottish people to spend their money if they had not already been planning to.   A new survey* conducted on behalf of Debt Advisory Centre Scotland revealed that nearly three-quarters of Scottish respondents (72%) admitted seeing an item was marked down or in the sale was the scenario that made them more likely than normal to get their spending money out.  
Petrol and Diesel Fall to a New Three Year LowThumbnail for article : Petrol and Diesel Fall to a New Three Year Low
This week's supermarket price war has brought drivers in the UK a bank holiday boost with the average prices of petrol and diesel falling to new three-year lows.   However, UK price falls have so far been lagging behind most of its European neighbours', the August AA Fuel Price Report reveals.  
Toyota Harvest Solar Energy to Power Uk Engine ProductionThumbnail for article : Toyota Harvest Solar Energy to Power Uk Engine Production
Toyota UK switch on almost 13,000 solar panels on Thursday (21 August 2014) to power the car manufacturer's Deeside factory in North Wales.  The solar array, designed and installed by British Gas, can produce up to 3,475,000 kWh a year - enough electricity to build up to 22,500 engines.  
UK Household Savings Rise by 500% in the Last 40 YearsThumbnail for article : UK Household Savings Rise by 500% in the Last 40 Years
* Average value of savings per household has increased from £27,896 in 1974 to £126,278.   * The savings ratio, proportion of income saved by households, has halved to 4.8% in 2014, down from 9.9% in the decade 1974 to 1984.  
Summer Engineering Programme Prepares Young AdultsThumbnail for article : Summer Engineering Programme Prepares Young Adults
Last week, fourteen North Highland College UHI students celebrated the completion of a new six week summer programme aimed to help young people into employment, by providing essential training to progress into sustained employment within the Engineering Sector.   From July to August the students have developed engineering employability skills, industry standard training and gained a suite of statutory certificates.