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[Local Authority]8/9/2014
Praise for top apprentice plumberThumbnail for article : Praise for top apprentice plumber
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.  
[Local Authority]8/9/2014
Energy Innovation award for CouncilThumbnail for article : Energy Innovation award for Council
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.  
World's largest tidal project surges forward
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.  
Free Wifi Hot Spot For BroraThumbnail for article : Free Wifi Hot Spot For Brora
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.  
Council Area Leader Welcomes Review of Armed Police Policy
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.  
Reviews of Police Scotland Standing Firearms Authority Announced
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.  
Licensing Board concern at poor compliance on refresher training
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.  
Government Takes Action to Promote the Provision of Affordable Credit Through Credit Unions
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.  
Proposed Tax Raid Would Trigger British Expats to Cut Ties With the UK
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.  
Growth of Private Sector Hits Six-Month High in July
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.  
Generation Entrepreneur: This Year's Students Want to Go It Alone
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.  
Thinking Of Joining The Police? - Candidate Briefing Sessions to be held
Police Scotland in the Highland and Islands will be running information sessions to assist people thinking of becoming a police officer or special constable with their applications.   The candidate briefing sessions are open to anyone who is interested in applying to become a police officer or special constable.  
Business development clinics - meet the experts in Brora, Thurso or Lochinver
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.  
New Minibus for Helmsdale Community TransportThumbnail for article : New Minibus for Helmsdale Community Transport
Helmsdale Community Transport takes another step forward with the arrival of a new community minibus.   The group responsible for the new bus are inviting the community to the launch.  
SERCO closes Brora operation with loss of 21 jobs
Area Leader Deirdre Mackay said, ‘I was absolutely shocked to hear this news which came out of the blue.  It is a tragedy for anyone to lose their job, and 21 jobs under any circumstance is significant but in a community such as ours, where opportunities are so limited, this is truly devastating.  
Financial boost for start-up ventures in Highland and Moray
Entrepreneurs in Highland and Moray are now able to access personal loans to help start their own business thanks to the new government-funded Start-Up Loans scheme which is locally delivered by Business Gateway and Highland Opportunity.   For Moray businesses, this is an especially important development.  
New temporary Ward Manager for North Sutherland
The Highland Council has appointed Garry Cameron to the post of temporary Ward Manager for North, West and Central Sutherland.   Garry, who previously held the position with Police Scotland as Area Commander for the North, will take up his post on Monday 11th August and be based in the Council Offices at Drummuie, Golspie..  
Major Children's Food Festival Announced for June 2015
A brand new children's food festival will take place in the North Highlands in the summer of 2015 it has been announced.   Created and organised by the North Highland Initiative (NHI) in partnership with Scotland Food & Drink, the festival will take place from 5 and 6 June 2015 and aims to highlight the importance of local food production, how to make great cuisine and good food choices and the variety of career opportunities in food production and service.  
Subsea cabling work started to create Scottish islands fibre broadband networkThumbnail for article : Subsea cabling work started to create Scottish islands fibre broadband network
The biggest fibre cable laying project undertaken in the UK in recent years has begun on the West Coast of Scotland to deliver superfast broadband to some of the country's most remote island communities.   Thousands of homes and businesses are set to benefit from the publicly funded digital network being built to bring world class connectivity to Scotland.  
Bicentenary of the Strathnaver ClearancesThumbnail for article : Bicentenary of the Strathnaver Clearances
This year Strathnaver Museum, with the help of the local community, are staging a programme of events to mark the bicentenary of the Strathnaver Clearances.  The Bicentenary Festival will commemorate the tragic events of the Clearances but also celebrate the heritage and culture of the north Highlands.  

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