Chair Appointed For Caithness And Sutherland Area Committee
Councillor Deirdre Mackay who represents the East Sutherland and Edderton Ward has unanimously been elected as Chairman of the Caithness and Sutherland Area Committee.
The committee met yesterday (Monday 20 August) for the first time at The Highland Council's Drummuie Offices in Golspie. Councillor Deirdre Mackay was nominated by Thurso Councillor Donnie Mackay and seconded by North West and Central Sutherland member, Councillor Linda Munro.
After taking the chair for the meeting she thanked her fellow councillors for their support and said: "I come from Caithness but live in Sutherland so this post has real meaning to me. Both counties are different in many respects but yet have so much in common. Local democracy was a key issue in the recent election so I am delighted that our Area Committee has been delivered so quickly and that local decision making has returned to Caithness and Sutherland in 12 short weeks.
Speaking after the meeting had ended Councillor Mackay added: "Today we approved capital projects worth over £8.5m and heard how a further £100m of public funding investment is getting ploughed into Caithness for energy sector projects and new schools and offices. We are now in a great position to really drive things forward and focus on what's important, that's the people we represent, and what we can do, through this committee, to improve their lives."
At the full Council on 31 May 2012 members agreed that a Caithness and Sutherland Area Committee be established along with the Inverness City Committee as part of a year-long pilot with a view for paving the way for a further three Area Committees.
Leader of The Highland Council Drew Hendry congratulated Councillor Deirdre Mackay on her new role. He said: "Today the Area Committee, and local democracy returned to Sutherland after five years and I am sure Deirdre will work hard to ensure the new Committee is a success with tangible results. This is a great opportunity to tailor how we do business taking into account local circumstances. As well as the area committee taking on the responsibility and scrutiny for local service delivery and deciding on how delegated budgets are spent, an important priority will be to work with partners to promote tourism and boost the local economy with a focus on making sure people are guaranteed efficient and effective services."
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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