Cabinet Secretary Addresses Highland Education Seminar
6th June 2012
Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning, Michael Russell MSP was guest speaker at a "16+ Learning Choices Seminar" held, in the Highland Council's headquarters, Inverness today at which around 100 delegates attended.
Delegates represented charities and the third sector, tourism, business and commerce, construction industries, energy and renewables and the public and education sectors.
Welcoming the Cabinet Secretary to the Highlands, Leader of The Highland Council, Councillor Drew Hendry said: "Young people are arguably our most precious resource and the support we can provide can make a real difference. It was great to be able to welcome the Scottish Government's Cabinet Secretary, Mike Russell to discuss initiatives for our young people. There is much we can work to achieve together."
The conference aimed to reinforce existing partnership working between the Council's education service and the business sector and to inform partners of a sustainable Highland 16+ Action Plan that will link all partners reflecting their individual contributions.
Moira Forsyth, Highland Council's Lead Officer More Choices, More Chances said: "In practical terms the things we want to continue and to develop further through the actions plan include: the provision of university level courses for S5 and S6 students; vocational options open to all school pupils through Skills for Work; the Bridge to Employment Programme rolled out with other businesses; and the continuation of Activity Agreements which provide tailored support that engage the young people who are most vulnerable such as care leavers, those with Additional Support Needs, and many others."
THE Highland Council is renewing its call upon the UK Government to reinstate adequate coastal protection measures for the Highlands and Islands. Leader of the Council, Drew Hendry raised the matter at the Convention of the Highlands and Islands earlier this week, and asked for the support of the full council, strategic partners and the Island Councils, in asking the UK Government to reinstate an Emergency Towing Vessel in the Minches without further delay and to commit to extending the lease for the Emergency Towing Vessel based in Kirkwall.
A major public consultation has now started to help prepare a new 20 year Local Development Plan for the Caithness and Sutherland area, to be known as CaSPlan. The Main Issues Report which has now been published is the first formal stage of preparing the new CaSPlan.
Highland Council has agreed further investment in LED street lighting programme to cut carbon emissions and generate £35k per year. The Highland Council has agreed further investment in LED street lighting programme to cut carbon emissions, reduce energy consumption and generate savings of £35k per year.
The Highland Council has launched a consultation paper with detailed proposals for saving over £15 million towards a total budget cut of £64 million over the next five years. The Council has already achieved over £77.7m of cuts, including some through efficiency savings over the past 5 years.
Highland and Islands Councils have signed a multi-million pound contract on behalf of the Pathfinder North Partnership, led by The Highland Council, for the provision of Network Services starting in March 2016. The deal is part of the Scottish Wide Area Network (SWAN) Framework agreement awarded to CAPITA in February 2014 and has a potential value of around £33m (over 7 years) across the five Partners for whom it is expected to generate significant cost savings.
Housing projects helping to support local construction sector and wider economy. Finance Secretary John Swinney has announced a deal to deliver new affordable homes for rent in Inverness, providing a boost to the local construction sector and wider economy.
The Highlands and Islands Convention was welcomed to the Merkinch Community Centre in Inverness today (Monday) by Councillor Drew Hendry, Leader of the Highland Council, who stressed the importance of ensuring a highly skilled workforce that would contribute to the continuing economic growth of the Highlands and Islands. He also highlighted the need for partners to be working together to deliver good quality services to local communities and to sustain and enable those communities in the Highlands and Islands to flourish.
The Highland Council's Trading Standards Officers are backing local Citizens Advice Bureaux in their campaign to ensure that Highland consumers get a fair deal over private car parking. Both agencies have seen an increase in consumer complaints about private parking in recent times, with a range of problems being encountered by motorists, as David MacKenzie, Team Leader at Highland Council Trading Standards explained: "Sometimes the problem is poor signage resulting in drivers being unaware of large penalty charges and the scale of such charges can also be controversial.
The Caithness District Partnership next meets in Wick on Friday 31 October 2014 and the agenda will feature an update on the progress made in the implementation of a Family Team for Caithness. The meeting will also feature updates from Bob Silverwood, the NHS Area for Caithness and Sutherland the Manager.of Scottish Ambulance Service will also deliver a presentation on Public Access Defibrillators.
The Leadership of Highland Council has turned up the heat on OFGEM and called for action against unfair surcharges which make electricity costs higher for consumers in the Highlands and Islands. The Highland Council Administration is responding in support of action being taken by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar and will be writing to OFGEM to call for fairer energy charges in the Highlands and Islands.
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