3378 Volunteers Cleaned Up Highland
Keep Scotland Beautiful mobilised 3,378 volunteers to clean up Highland as part of Scotland's National Spring Clean.
2,612 children and 766 adults from Highland were amongst 117,734 volunteers from across Scotland who gave their time between 1 April and 31 May to support National Spring Clean, run by Scotland's leading charity for the environment, Keep Scotland Beautiful.
In Highland, groups from community councils, schools, student volunteer groups, youth groups, businesses, guides and scouts, environmental trusts, council staff, and churches all pulled on their yellow Keep Scotland Tidy tabards and spent time cleaning up different locations. The result of all the hard work is that 65 public gardens, school grounds, woodlands, nature reserves, rivers/canals/loch-sides, beaches, country parks, road verges, villages and town centres in Highland will be litter free for summer.
Picking up thousands of discarded juice and alcohol bottles, cans, crisp bags, cigarette ends, filled dog poo bags and fast food wrappers, volunteers in Highland also uncovered some more unusual items - these included a windscreen wiper, a pair of glasses, TVs, tyres, a harbour fender, a rusted spring mattress, and rope.
Across the nation, using litter pickers and gloved hands each person collected on average one and a half black bags of waste - this means that 120 bags of litter were collected during every hour of every day of National Spring Clean.
Many groups also recycled the litter they collected this year, helping reduce the amount going to landfill and supporting Scotland's zero waste targets. Zero Waste Scotland provided funding to support the campaign.
Helen Darvill, Environmental Quality Coordinator at Keep Scotland Beautiful, said: "I am astounded by the number of people who have given up their time this year to keep their own parts of Scotland beautiful. It is a real achievement that 3,378 people from Highland came out in force to take part in National Spring Clean 2012, and I am sincerely grateful to everyone who has been involved - from the local authorites, businesses, schools and nurseries, community councils, and enthusiastic individuals - you all deserve a massive pat on the back. Keep Scotland Beautiful shares the government's vision for Scotland to be cleaner, greener, safer and more sustainable, and everyone involved in National Spring Clean is helping Scotland achieve this."
National Spring Clean 2012 may be over but people can still organise and take part in clean up events throughout the rest of the year. Clean Up Kits can be ordered online at www.keepscotlandbeautiful.org/cleanupkit. In addition, Zero Waste Scotland has also today launched a new Ł250,000 fund to give community groups, as well as local authorities, businesses and landowners an opportunity to trial innovative projects to prevent littering in the first place. For more information about the fund, visit www.zerowastescotland.org.uk/litterfund
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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