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 Ł10.5 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 Ł9.225 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 Ł50 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 is this week launching a recruitment drive for 140 extra nursery staff as it prepares to implement an increase in childcare provision from August 2014. As part of the implementation of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014, all three and four year olds in Scotland will be entitled to 600 hours per year of early learning and childcare from August.
From 28th April 2014, The Highland Councilâ€™s Recycling Centres will no longer accept waste associated with commercial or trade activities (i.e. work carried out for business or profit) such as household clearances, furniture removals and handyman or gardening services.
Sam MacNaughton, The Highland Councilâ€™s Head of Transport and Infrastructure today (Friday) retires after 44 years service in local government during which time he has secured many millions of pounds of investment in the Highlands to improve the Highland transport network. Sam, who hails from Lochaber, is married to Anne and they have three daughters, Mairi, Sarah and Chirsty.
The Highland Councilâ€™s Trading Standards Officers are warning sun-lovers bound for Turkey not to be caught out by a new visa system which requires for a visa to be applied for before travel. Britons have always been issued with a visa stamp in their passports on arrival for a ÂŁ10 fee, but this will begin to come to an end from 11 April 2014, meaning visitors will have to apply online for an electronic visa (e-Visa) before travel.
Highland Councillors are united in their support for proposed new legislation aimed at cutting accidents on our roads involving young drivers. Leaders of all political groupings on the Council back the introduction of a Graduated Driver Licensing system for new drivers in Scotland, which would restrict their permissions in driving unsupervised until they have gained adequate experience.
The Highland Council has warmly welcomed publication of a report by The Care Inspectorate of their recent inspection of childrenâ€™s services in the Highlands. This inspection, which took place in October and November 2013, covered the range of services in the Council area that provide services to children, young people and families, including education, health, social work, police and the voluntary sector.
The Highland Council today (Tuesday 1st April 2014) welcomes the commencement of the High Hedges (Scotland) Act, which brings into being new powers to resolve high hedge disputes between neighbours. Subject to certain criteria, people across Highland are now able to apply to the Council for a 'High Hedge Notice' where a hedge on neighbouring property is having an adverse impact on the enjoyment of their home or garden as a result of loss of light.
The Leader of The Highland Council Councillor Drew Hendry has praised the â€śstunningâ€ť success of the Councilâ€™s Homeless Prevention team in achieving a 53% reduction in homeless presentations and a 33% reduction in the use of temporary accommodation since their creation in June 2011. Speaking at the Highland Homelessness conference in Nairn today (Wednesday) Councillor Hendry revealed that the team has worked with 4,269 households, recording a 65% "success" rate in terms of homeless presentations prevented.
A new leadership group has been set up to drive forward a Highland Science Academy that will be a catalyst for bringing new jobs and ground-breaking educational and IT advances to the region. The move brings together The Highland Council, Skills Development Scotland (SDS), Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and the University of the Highlands and Islands in a landmark partnership that will deliver a new and innovative programme of work-based learning, ranging from pre-school to higher education.
The Highland Council has reviewed its Community Challenge Fund one year after its introduction and agreed measures to encourage and support more community groups to bid into the ÂŁ1 million fund. Three community groups have applied successfully for funding.
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