Green Light For Two New Wick Primary Schools
The Highland Council has been given the go ahead to proceed with plans to replace the four primary schools in Wick with two new purpose built schools serving the North and South of the town.
Scottish Education Cabinet Secretary, Michael Russell, who called in the Council's proposals, has confirmed he is content for the Council to amalgamate Hillhead and North Primary Schools in a new school building on land available within North Primary School and to join the South and Pulteneytown Academy Primary Schools in a new school to be built on the site of the existing High School playing field site and the site of Pultneytown Academy PS.
The school to the North is estimated to cost £10.5 million and cater for approximately 390 pupils. The new school serving the south of the town would cater for 340 pupils at an estimated cost of £9.225 million. The Council hopes to progress the new primary school plans at the same time as building a new community High School for Wick - on the existing site of the secondary school - at a total estimated cost of more than £50 million.
Hugh Fraser, Director of Education Culture and Sport, The Highland Council, contacted local stakeholders of the good news.
He said: "I am very pleased to advise you that we have been informed that the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning has agreed that the projects to replace the current Wick primary schools with two new primaries can proceed. There will be a condition regarding traffic safety but we would expect this to be overtaken in the Traffic Impact Assessment which is part of the next stage in any school replacement project."
Councillor Bill Fernie, Chairman of the ECS Committee who is a Ward Member for Wick, said: "This is is a very positive outcome and I am very pleased that we are now able to progress these projects and hopefully have them opened by 2015. When completed these projects mean that Wick will have one of the best provisions for educational facilities in the Highlands and they will go a long way to promote regeneration.
"When combined with the new Wick High school and new community facilities such as the swimming pool and library we will have created one of the best learning and recreational environments in Scotland."
Councillor Gail Ross, Wick, said: "This is great news for Wick not just for parents and children in the area but for the wider community as well. We have to make sure now that the builds are kept within budget and delivered on time."
The Highland Council’s snow clearing / gritting route policies and area maps are online for 2013/14 at www.highland.gov.uk/gritting. Road condition and gritting treatment reports by The Highland Council’s, Transport, Environmental and Community Services for Thursday 5 December 2013 are as follows: Caithness, South Sutherland and East Ross U2126 Oykel Bailley Bridge Road closed due to flooding.
The Highland Council and Police Scotland are to work together to ensure parking management is maintained in the Highlands when the traffic warden service – currently provided by the police - ends. Police Scotland have given notice of the completion of their phased withdrawal from the service from 3 February, next year.
Today (5 December 2013) 56 schools, 7 Service Points and council offices were closed due to lack of power, bad weather or loss of water. There were issues with the Council’s website and school closures online which are being investigated.
Currently firms are contacting businesses asking for support for an educational programme on cyber bullying. The line is that councils have cut back on their funding and they can offer help to classes in your local school if you donate to the programme.
Mr Neil Gillies, The Highland Council’s Director of Transport Environmental and Community Services, has announced his decision to retire from the Council, with effect from the end of January, next year. Mr Gillies joined the former Highland Regional Council in 1978 and worked on a wide range of civil engineering projects including roads, bridges, harbours and coast protection works, and road maintenance.
The by-election for a councillor to represent the Landward Caithness Ward (No 4) on The Highland Council has been won by Matthew Reiss, who will join the Independent Group on the Council Mr Reiss was one of five candidates who contested the vacancy, created by the resignation of Alex MacLeod. He joins Councillors David Bremner (Independent), Willie Mackay (Independent) and Gillian Coghill (Independent) in representing the Landward Caithness Ward.
The Highland Fisheries Local Action Group (FLAG) has been successful in securing further funding to support coastal communities as part of the European Fisheries Fund Axis 4 programme. There is now over £200,000 still available to assist projects which contribute to the sustainable development of fisheries areas around the Highlands.
A key piece of work to maximise the onshore benefits in Caithness and North Sutherland from the anticipated upsurge of marine renewables has been updated to highlight progress already made and to set new targets for the year ahead. The North Highland Onshore Vision was produced by The Highland Council in 2011 to support the development of marine renewable energy developments.
“The North Highlands are ready for winter” was the message given at the Caithness and Sutherland Area Committee yesterday (18 November 2014) with staff, vehicles and a plentiful supply of salt in place to treat roads and footpaths over the coming winter months. The Highland Council has increased its winter maintenance budget to £5.6 million this year and has introducing an improved service with 45,500 tonnes of salt in storage in readiness for winter.
At yesterday’s (Monday 18 November 2014) Caithness and Sutherland Area Committee, members heard about the work been done by the North Highland Initiative to develop tourism in the Area with Tom Campbell, Chief Executive outlining some of the exciting destination development projects planned over the next 12 months. The North Highland Initiative (NHI) was launched in August 2005 to promote and develop the economy and to support the rural communities of the North Highlands bringing together the farming community, local businesses and the tourism industry to try to address some of the challenges facing rural communities in the far north of Scotland by creating a powerful regional identity for the area through marketing.
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