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Drug & Alcohol Strategy Group
New Chairman
6 September 2001

Caithness.org News Index      

New Chairman of The Highland Drug and Alcohol Strategy Group

The new Chairman of the Highland Drug and Alcohol Strategy Group is Councillor
Ian Ross, Golspie, who has experience at the helm of the Sutherland drug and alcohol forum.  He will take over from Northern Constabulary Chief Constable Bill Robertson, who is retiring after two years as Strategy Group chairman. The co-chairman is Bruce Robertson, The Highland Councils Director of Education.

Councillor Ross said: "I am very pleased to have become the chairman of the Highland Drug and Alcohol Strategy Group, filling the shoes of Bill Robertson, who has been an active member of the Highland Drug and Alcohol Strategy Group
for five years and a very effective chairman for the past two years.  With the able support of Bruce Robertson, he has overseen and driven the development of the Co-ordinating Structure for Drugs and Alcohol and the underpinning  arrangements which enable the Strategy Group to generate annual Corporate Action Plans and report, to the Scottish Executive, on previous activity, progress, outcome and financial costs.

"There is clearly no room for complacency over the threat and challenges associated with drug misuse and the Highland Drug and Alcohol Strategy Group provides an effective framework for a united approach across public services and the voluntary sector. It allows the maximum to be gained from the additional resources made available by the Scottish Executive and provides an important line of accountability. I would intend to work with the Strategy Group partners and devote time and energy to the chairman's role."

Councillor Ross is the Highland Councillor for the Golspie & Rogart Ward in Sutherland. He chairs the Highland Councils Sustainable Development Select Committee and is a depute chair within the Roads Community and Protective Services Strategic Committee. He was the founding chair of the Sutherland Drug & Alcohol Forum and was a past member of the Highland Drug & Alcohol Strategy Group.

The Strategy Group was formed in October 1997, to enhance the focus and commitment given to both drug and alcohol issues.  A revised drug and alcohol strategy entitled Tackling Drug and Alcohol Misuse The Highland Way was developed in the latter part of 1999 and launched in February 2000. The Strategy Group accepts its leadership role within the Highland Area for setting the strategic direction to be followed by statutory agencies, the eight local Drug and Alcohol Forums and other relevant partnerships.  The distribution of the Spending Review Allocations for drugs in March 2001 has increased, significantly, the role and accountability of those bodies responsible for drug action and requires considerable commitment from all those involved.