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COUNCIL COMMITS MORE
FUNDING TO COMMUNITY PROJECTS
The Highland Council has made a short and long term commitment to
fostering community projects. It is to allocate £900,000 over the
next two years to deal with the backlog of replacing play equipment and
upgrading surfaces in Council-owned play areas as well as providing
matching capital funding for appropriate community play and skateboard
projects. It is also to spend £150,000 annually to support the
maintenance and ongoing costs of community projects, supplementing
existing Council funding streams, and to examine how best to provide
insurance cover for community projects, which are supported or endorsed by
COUNCILLORS WILL RESIST
ANY PLAN TO MAKE HIGHLAND A NUCLEAR WASTE REPOSITORY
Highland Councillors sent out a very clear message today (Thursday) that
they will strongly oppose consideration of any site in Highland for a
national nuclear waste repository. They were responding to a report
by John Rennilson, Director of Planning and Development, advising them of
recent developments regarding radioactive waste management. Mr
Rennilson reported that, in response to a Freedom of Information request,
UK Nirex Ltd had confirmed recently that their short-list of sites for a
deep radioactive waste repository compiled in the 1980s had included
Dounreay and Altnabreac in Caithness. This site selection exercise was
subsequently abandoned in 1997.
New Microlight Flying Record - John
O'Groats To Land's End And Back
Mark Jackson and Chris Copple, two flying instructors from Manchester set
a new record on Tuesday by flying from John O'Groats to Lands End and back
again in the same day, the first to achieve such a journey by Microlight.
NHS HIGHLAND COMMENDED FOR INVOLVEMENT OF THE
NHS Highland is being commended - in a national report published on 9
June 2005 - for its work in involving staff, patients, carers and the
public in decisions about the future of healthcare in the Highlands.
COUNCIL SAY GHOST SHIPS ARE
NOT WELCOME IN THE HIGHLANDS
The Highland Council has made it clear that it will not entertain plans to
scrap toxic "ghost ships" from America at the disused oil fabrication yard
at Nigg, East Ross. Convener Alison Magee said the Council could not
possibly support the breaking up four decaying and ageing ships at the
prime location in the Highlands. She said: "The Highlands is
renowned for its clean image and wonderful environment. Breaking up
rusting and toxic ships from the United States is not compatible with our
aspirations for the Highland - nor our expectations for the reactivation
of the Nigg oil yard."
COUNCIL REAFFIRMS COMMITMENT TO PRE-SCHOOL EDUCATION
The Convener of The Highland Council, Councillor Alison Magee, has
made it clear that in reviewing pre-school education, the Council intends
to continue the very successful development of nursery classes and
playgroups across the Highlands. She said: “This is one of the most
important services the Council provides for its communities and I have
asked for a full report on nursery and playgroup provision to come to the
Council in the autumn. We will then ask our Area Committees to take the
matter forward.” Councillor Magee was speaking ahead of a briefing
of all councillors on Friday on the Council’s Early Years Review and in
the wake of concerns in some areas of the Highlands, notably Caithness,
about future provision. She gave an assurance that, other than in
very exceptional circumstances outwith the control of the Council, such as
the unit failing to meet health and safety or other standards, the current
network of pre-school provision in Highland, involving 150 nursery classes
and 100 playgroups, will operate at the current level of service following
the summer holiday break in August.
Inverness Economic Expansion Set To Continue
A 96 CORRIDOR MASTERPLAN
A new community, serving a population of 10,000-plus, should be created on
the A 96 Inverness ~ Nairn road at Dalcross South - between Tornagrain and
Drumine Farm, near Gollanfield - to meet the long term needs of the
growing Inverness city region.
This is the main recommendation of the first phase of the A 96 Corridor
Masterplan, which will be considered on Monday 6 June by members of The
Highland Council's City of Inverness and Area Committee and the Nairnshire
Area Committee at a joint briefing in the Town House, Inverness, by
consultants FG Burnett and Council planning officials.
The Masterplan, which sets out a long-term sustainable vision for the A 96
Corridor between Inverness and Nairn, earmarks 250 hectares of land in the
ownership of Moray Estates on the south side of the main road as a new
settlement which could be created to meet housing needs after 2011.
Volunteers Week Gets Going In Caithness
week got off to a nice start yesterday with the help of local young
people. The development officer for Volunteering Highland, Catherine
Patterson, organised for Wicks Riverside path to be upgraded with the help
of young volunteers and the support of Mr Hargrave and Mr Guest of the
Highland Council. The path had been identified as in need of
upgrading as it becomes
waterlogged and extremely muddy in places. The group managed to fill in
the potholes and tidy it up as much as possible before the weather took a
turn for the worse. The Path is extremely popular with local walkers
and many made comments in support of the work being done, especially as
the group consisted of mainly young people. Ms Patterson wishes to
thank the volunteers for all their hard work and also wishes to thank the
Council for providing materials, equipment and ongoing support. She is
keen to include projects in other areas within Caithness therefore
communities should come forward with suggestions of projects to be
considered in the future.
LEGAL CASE HIGHLIGHTS
LETHAL EFFECTS OF SMOKING
Dr Eric Baijal, the Director of Public Health for NHS Highland, is
disappointed that the widow, whose husband died of lung cancer, has lost
her landmark court battle against the cigarette giant Imperial Tobacco.
He thinks it is interesting that it comes on World No Tobacco Day but
hopes that it will wake people up to the fact that smoking kills you.
Dr Baijal said, "Smoking is far more than just unpleasant. It is time
people woke up to the facts - about 500 Highlanders die early every year
from smoking. In the US, Big Tobacco have all but admitted the effects of
smoking, but quibble over the detail and who is responsible." "All
credit to ASH Scotland, Mrs McTear and her Legal Team who have followed
this case through at great cost to themselves."
"It is really time to stop pussy-footing about.
It is very simple - if you smoke you'll shorten your own life. The same
will happen if you inhale the smoke of others."