Shell Springboard is now open for applications from the UK's most innovative low-carbon entrepreneurs. Shell is calling on SMEs with big ideas on reducing carbon emissions to enter Shell Springboard for the chance to win a no strings attached cash award.
Farmers are warned to be on their guard for lungworm this year. SRUC Veterinary Services is reporting that diagnostic submissions to its disease surveillance centres and feedback from farm animal veterinary surgeons across Scotland indicate a high number of recent cases.
SRUC's Veterinary Services has launched a new test for measuring levels of the essential trace element manganese in cows to help reduce long bone deformity (congenital chondrodystrophy) of their suckled calves. Long bone deformity in calves has been linked to manganese deficiency in the mother during pregnancy.
Passenger numbers at regional airport operator HIAL climbed to their highest ever level in the latest financial year, as the group stepped up its investment for the future. The company's annual report and accounts for the year 2013/14 show that almost 70,000 extra passengers used the group's 11 airports during the year.
Mark McGinty, a Highland Council Trading Standards Team Leader has been announced as the new Chairman of the Trading Standards Institute (TSI). Spending 22 years in local authority trading standards, Mark began his career in the Lothian region as a trainee assistant enforcement officer following brief spells as a student in the Fife and Tayside regions.
Highland Councillors have given the go ahead for a major public consultation to help prepare a new 20 year Local Development Plan for the Caithness and Sutherland area, to be known as CaSPlan. The Caithness and Sutherland Area Committee agreed the Main Issues Report which will be the first formal stage of preparing the new CaSPlan.
A rise in the minimum wage rate for agricultural workers has been confirmed by the Scottish Agricultural Wages Board (SAWB). The wage rates agreed by the Wages Board on August 20, 2014 were in line with those announced at the SAWB's negotiation meeting held in May.
You can find out more about the local services which Highland Council provides at a series of events across the Highlands, beginning on 1 October. Community Services is a new directorate of The Highland Council that delivers many of the Council's everyday services, with staff in regular contact with the people of the Highlands.
The Highland Council's Energy and Sustainability team have won the best innovation prize at the annual Energy North Awards which were held in Inverness last week. The Council has embarked on a project entitled Carbon Saving Capital Works for Council Buildings and Properties, with a specific emphasis on biomass, and in doing so has become an innovative leader in the renewable energy and low carbon sector.
The success of an apprentice plumber from Dornoch who won the Student of the Year 2013/2014 title for SVQ 3 Domestic Plumbing 2nd Year from Inverness College has been recognised by Highland Councillors. At the start of the recent Community Services Committee, members learned of Andrew Fraser's success and took the opportunity to congratulate him and pay tribute to the support and training given by council staff.
The green light has been given today (August 21) to kick off the first phase of the MeyGen project - the world's largest tidal power development which will be installed in the Inner Sound of the Pentland Firth. Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) is backing the project with a £3.3m grant.
The beautiful village of Brora in Sutherland is set to become a digital gateway for tourists and locals, as part of a community broadband pilot project being supported by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE). An open access wifi zone is scheduled to go live in the centre of the village by the end of the month.
Caithness and Sutherland Area Leader Cllr Deirdre Mackay has welcomed the announcement of two reviews into the decision by Police Scotland to allow a number of its officers to carry handguns. It was announced that both the Scottish Police Authority (SPA) and the HM Inspectorate of Scotland (HMIS) will both hold reviews looking at different areas of the policy. The HMICS will assess the current practices for the issue and the carrying of firearms by armed response vehicle crews. It will aim to provide assurance that Police Scotland's approach is compliant with guidance, procedures and recognised best practice. SPA has announced that its review will consider the public impact of Police Scotland's decision around firearms deployment.
Two of the bodies responsible for oversight of policing in Scotland are today announcing a complementary programme of review and inquiry into the decision of Police Scotland to give a small number of firearms officers a standing authority to carry firearms. HM Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland (HMICS) is today publishing the full terms of reference for its planned assurance review to independently assess the current practices for the issue and carriage of firearms by armed response vehicle (ARV) crews under the standing authority.
The Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Andrea Leadsom, today encouraged employers and voluntary sector organisations to engage with credit unions to help them provide affordable credit and responsible financial services in their communities. Following the launch of the government's call for evidence on credit unions in June, the Economic Secretary today visited London Mutual Credit Union to hear first-hand how credit unions are providing a payday loan product at a fraction of the costs charged by payday lenders.
Licensing Board concern at poor compliance on refresher training Members of The Highland Council's Licensing Board were today (12 August 2104) informed that a very large number of Personal Licence holders have still to notify the Board that they have undertaken refresher training which is required if they are to retain their Licence. As at 12 August, of 1,559 Personal Licences needing to be refreshed only 688 (44%) had notified the Board that they had completed their refresher training.
Nearly a quarter (24 per cent) of young people starting university this Autumn want to work for themselves when they graduate, according to research from HSBC. This year's students have grown up with the backdrop of recession and difficult employment conditions and as a result almost half (47 per cent) say this has made them want to work for themselves more.
A growing number of British expats are likely to "sever financial ties with the UK" should the UK government introduce plans to make them pay tax on UK-earned income, forecasts the boss of one of the world's largest independent financial advisory organisations. The prediction from Nigel Green, founder and chief executive of deVere Group, which has 80,000 mainly expatriate clients, comes as it is reported that British Chancellor George Osborne is preparing to prevent non-residents from offsetting income generated in the UK against their £10,000 personal allowance.
The recovery in Scotland's private sector economy continued into the second half of the year, July's Bank of Scotland PMI report showed. Business activity rose at the fastest rate in six months, helping to sustain solid employment growth across both the manufacturing and service sectors.
Three Business Gateway advisers specialising in helping businesses to develop through accessing finance, winning public contracts, and recruiting staff will be available for one-to-one clinics in Brora, Thurso or Lochinver on 26 August, 2 September and 3 September, respectively. Local small to medium sized enterprises can book one-hour meetings with these advisers throughout these days to get advice and practical guidance tailored to their business.