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 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.
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.
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‚Äôs Care and Learning Service. The plan titled, "For Highland‚Äôs Children 4" (2014-2019) also incorporates as far as possible the contribution of children‚Äôs services delivered by NHS Highland.
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.
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.
Over the last year The Highland Council gained approval of ¬£634k of EU grant funding, drew down a further ¬£1m of grants for existing projects, processed ¬£4.33m of grants through its LEADER project and another ¬£481,000 via the EFF Axis 4 Programme. In an annual report considered today (Wednesday 20 August 2014) at the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Committee, it was highlighted that the Council has also been successful, together with its partners, in making the case for control of ‚ā¨192 Transition Funds.
In the Highlands over the last 3 months 149 employment opportunities have been created through the Council's advisory and business support services. During a meeting of the Council's Planning, Development and Infrastructure Committee held today (Wednesday 20 August) members heard that 71 new businesses have been supported by Business Gateway to start up and a further 122 Highland businesses already serving local markets have accessed advice over the last quarter.
On Tuesday 19 August 2014 members of The Highland Council's South Planning Applications Committee have refused to grant planning permission to RWE Innogy UK Limited for a 20 turbine wind farm at Glen Kyllachy near Tomatin. The motion, moved by Councillor Bill Lobban and seconded by Councillor Carolyn Caddick was that the application be refused on the grounds that it contravenes Policy 67 of the Highland Wide Local Development Plan in that the development will have a significant detrimental visual impact, both taken cumulatively with Farr Wind Farm and on its own, at areas of regional and local significance, notably, as viewed from the Slochd, Strathnairn, Loch Ashie, Abriachan , and consequently, the Great Glen Way.
Dr Michael Foxley has taken up his post as chair of the University of the Highlands and Islands' new further education regional board. The Post-16 Education (Scotland) Act makes the University of the Highlands and Islands, through a further education regional board, accountable for all college and university-level education in the Highlands and Islands.
The Highland Council's Community Services have commissioned Public Health England (PHE) to test around 1,150 Council houses in Highland at the highest risk from radon gas. PHE is writing to 1,150 Council tenants in parts of Badenoch and Strathspey; Wester Ross Strathpeffer and Lochalsh; Caol and Mallaig; Landward Caithness; East Sutherland and Edderton; Dingwall and Seaforth; and Aird and Loch Ness Wards during the week commencing 18 August 2014.
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