Gold Medallists Sought For Blooming Road Verges
The Highland Council wants members of the public to let them know where the most flowery road verges are in their local area with a view of looking to change cutting regimes to maximise the variety of flowers growing there.
Chairman of TEC Services Committee, Councillor Graham Phillips said: "Safety is of course of paramount importance on roads, so cutting regimes will only be altered when it is safe to do so. All the verges along sightlines and at junctions will remain cut short, however there are lots of other areas that could have their cutting regime altered to benefit the wildflowers there, which will in turn the insects that feed on them. We are not asking for a detailed report, just a quick and easy survey of the variety of colours you see as you pass by in a car or walking."
The proposed changes in management are having a single cut with either an early, or a late summer cut and also varying the height of the flail so that low growing species aren't cut but the taller, more competitive species are. The changes in management are likely to be cost neutral, but will benefit the biodiversity of the verges particularly the plants and their pollinators such as; bees, butterflies and moths.
Scotland TranServ who manage the verges on the trunk roads in Highland have altered their cutting regime and some sites such as the A830 at Corpach and the A9 Causeymire, have had fantastic displays of wildflowers in the verges due to this. There has also been a trial on some of the Council maintained roads in Caithness through an initiative between the Caithness Biodiversity Group and The Highland Council, which again has resulted is some great displays of wildflowers on the verges.
Anyone wishing to take part should send the information about the best road verges in their area to the Council's Biodiversity Officer, Jonathan Willet. He said: "Most verges have white and yellow flowers on them, but there are also red, blue, violet and pink that are commonly seen. If you know of verges that are good for orchids or Cuckoo Flower or other flowers that are out earlier in the year then you can let us know about them as well."
Jonathan will need details on the location, either a name or number, the road junction it is nearest to, or a grid reference and a description of the variety of colours or species of flowers found there. He can be contacted by telephoning 01463 702274 or e-mailing email@example.com
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’s Care and Learning Service. The plan titled, "For Highland’s Children 4" (2014-2019) also incorporates as far as possible the contribution of children’s 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 €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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