Briefing board

PEOPLE

FIVE local councillors have been appointed to the board of the Cairngorms National Park Authority: Jaci Douglas, of Highland Council; David Fallows, of Highland Council; Drew Hendry, of Highland Council; Ian Mackintosh, of Angus Council; and Fiona Murdoch, of Moray Council.

Five councillors have also been re-appointed: Stuart Black, of Highland Council; Marcus Humphrey, of Aberdeenshire Council; Bruce Luffman, of Aberdeenshire Council; Sandy Park, of Highland Council; and Richard Stroud, of Aberdeenshire Council.

COUNCILLOR Michael Cook has been elected as the strategic human resources management spokesman for the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA). Cook is Scottish Borders Council's executive member for corporate improvement and represents the East Berwickshire ward.

RODERICK Macdonald, a former Western Isles councillor, has died at the age of 76. He represented the Barvas ward from 1986 to 1999 and was chairman of the education committee for seven years. He was also a justice of the peace.

NEWS

MEMBERS of East Renfrewshire's 11 community councils will continue to serve after November, following councillors voting to keep them running until the Scottish Government issues guidance on the grass roots bodies.

PORTLETHEN and District Community Council is to be re-instated after a two-year gap. Enough local people have come forward to serve, according to Aberdeenshire Council, which will now reconvene the community council.

HOMEHAPPENING, South Lanarkshire Council's house modernisation programme, which is believed to be the largest in Scotland, has raised 2,500 for three homelessness charities. The donation - which will be shared among Blue Triangle Housing Association, the Lanark Project, Hamilton Churches Drop-in Centre for the Homeless and YMCA Glasgow - was raised during a golf competition. The project has re-fitted 12,500 homes.

A NEW agreement has been launched to boost partnerships between Renfrewshire Council and the voluntary sector. The "Renfrewshire Compact" outlines approaches to improve joint working between the council and the voluntary sector, increase the amount of external funding to voluntary organisations and increase the number of volunteers.

CLYDESDALE Housing Association (CHA) has made dramatic improvements in its services to tenants, according to Communities Scotland. CHA has been awarded "B" or "good" grades for its housing management and its property maintenance after a re-inspection by the regulator. After an inspection in November 2004, CHA was awarded "D" or "poor" grades in housing management and property maintenance.

CUMBERNAULD Housing Partnership (CHP) has launched a consultation with its tenants over its possible alliance with Sanctuary Housing Scotland. CHP proposes to become a subsidiary of Sanctuary. A helpline has been set up for tenants on 0800 731 3772.

HIGHLAND Council has agreed to extend its current information technology (IT) contract with Fujitsu Services until June 2009. The council signed a ten-year agreement with Fujitsu Services in 1998 when it outsourced all of its IT provision (with the exception of its schools curriculum).

EVENT

SHEENA Wellington, who sang at the opening ceremony of the Scottish Parliament in July 1999, is due to perform at a peace festival in Dundee today to mark international peace day. The festival is organised by the Dundee branch of UNISON, the public service union.

AWARDS

ABERDEEN won the city category at the Beautiful Scotland awards for the 40th successive year. Perth won the large town award; Forres, in Moray, scooped the medium town prize and the small town trophy went to Alness, in the Highlands.

North Berwick won three awards, including the Rosebowl Trophy, which is the top prize. Aberdeen City Council won the Royal Caledonian Horticultural Society Trophy; Perth and Kinross Council took the ISPAL Scotland Trophy, while the CIWM Scottish Centre Trophy was awarded to Moray Council. Dundee City Council won the Wright Sustainable Development Award. The Scottish Natural Heritage Biodiversity Award went to Comrie, in the Perth and Kinross Council area. The full list of results can be found at www.bsib.org.uk

THE Scottish Qualifications Authority has presented professional development awards to 26 members of Argyll and Bute Council. The awards were given to 14 special educational needs assistants and 12 classroom assistants from schools in Oban, Lorn, Mull and Tiree.

WEST Dunbartonshire Council has been given a green award by ScottishPower. The council says that all the electricity it uses now comes from renewable sources.