Speaking at Highland Council’s Corporate Resources Committee  on 24 May 2018,  Budget Leader Cllr Alister Mackinnon said that the Council’s reported overspend showed the extent to which successive budget reductions and council tax freezes meant the authority had no wriggle room to manage significant pressures in demand-led services like supporting children with additional support needs. He said:

“We have done everything we can to protect front line services and particularly services to children and young people.  That is why our focus has been on finding ways to increase income, such as car parking, or ways to reduce expenditure in areas where we have no statutory responsibility.  
"I know not everyone supports these measures, but today’s report should leave no one in any doubt that we have to deliver these commitments and also look for additional ways in which we can meet current and future budget challenges.  

CalMac officials will be quizzed by a Scottish Parliament Committee next week after MSPs agreed to recall the ferry operator to Holyrood's Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee for further evidence.

Skye MSP Kate Forbes said she will be "looking for answers" following the recent disruption across the ferry network and particularly on the Mallaig to Armadale route – which clocked up over 100 cancellations in less than a month of this year's summer timetable.

It is understood that the REC Committee will take oral evidence from CalMac representatives at its next meeting on Wednesday 30 May.

Skye will once again be featured on television.

Scotland From The Sky explores how aerial photography has revealed Scotland’s hidden ancient past and uncovered secrets buried right beneath our feet. 

Presenter, James Crawford, reveals how our ancestors have written their story on Scotland’s landscape.  His journey in this third and final episode starts with what was just a non-descript field near Crathes…  until an aerial shot revealed a quirky set of holes which then emerged to be a Neolithic lunar calendar.

The ancient Viking canal complex at Glenbrittle will also be explored in this episode.

The episode will be shown on BBC One Scotland from 9pm until 10pm on Wednesday 30 May.

Firefighters came to the assistance of a cow stuck in a bog.

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service crews from Staffin and Portree headed to the scene on Saturday 19 May.

A spokesman said: “The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service was alerted at 2.01pm on Saturday, May 19 to reports of a cow stuck in mud in Portree, on the Isle of Skye.

“Operations Control immediately mobilised two appliances to the scene, near the B883 road.

“The crews, who are skilled in rope rescue, worked in partnership with local crofters to stabilise and secure the animal before assisting it to safety.

“Firefighters left the cow in the care of a local vet and left the scene at 3.20pm.”

Image from SFRS.

 

 

  

Over a tenth (14%) of people from Scotland plan to visit The Isle of Skye this year, as revealed in a survey about Britons' holiday plans by insurer NFU Mutual.*

The Isle of Skye can expect the most visitors to be coming from around the Edinburgh and Glasgow, as well as the Leeds region, for reasons including viewing the beautiful wild landscapes, ancient monuments, castles and Dinosaur footprints, for hillwalking and to visit friends and family.

Falkirk and Fort William have been voted among the most charming towns in Scotland in a survey by TravelMag.com.

And Portree, Ullapool, Stornoway and Tobermory figure in the top 20.

Primary and secondary schools across the Highlands will receive £1.2m from the Scottish Attainment Challenge fund in 2018/19 to help boost the attainment levels of the most deprived pupils. 

Nine local authorities in Scotland and an additional 74 individual schools will share £50 million funding from the Scottish Attainment Challenge fund for initiatives targeted at children living in communities affected by high levels of deprivation.

This brings the total Attainment Scotland Fund investment to £170 million this year.

The advertising watchdog's decision to crackdown on misleading broadband speeds promoted by internet service providers (ISPs) is welcomed by Kate Forbes MSP.

Until today ISPs could advertise "up to" download speeds so long as they are available to at least 10 per cent of customers, but under new Advertising Standards Agency guidelines coming into force today (Wednesday 23 May) that figure will change to 50 per cent of consumers at peak time (8pm to 10pm).

The Scottish Crofting Federation has welcomed the announcement that Scottish Government will continue to support the National Rural Mental Health Forum with a grant of £50,000.

"Mental health is something we don't talk enough about," said Patrick Krause, chief executive of the Scottish Crofting Federation, "and perhaps especially so in rural communities. Yet our mental health is of course just as significant to our well-being as our physical health.

The National Rural Mental Health Forum (NRMHF) has been raising awareness of mental health issues with great success and it is good that this work is recognised and supported by the Scottish Government."

Police in the Highlands and Islands are again appealing to the public not to drink and drive - with 12 motorists already having been charged with alleged offences this month.

Eight men and four women from across the Highlands and Islands will be the subject of reports to the Procurator Fiscal in relation to drink driving offences.

Five of these incidents occurred over the last weekend alone.