Work to address coastal erosion issues at the Graemeshall Road, in Holm, got under way this week.
Severe weather coupled with exceptionally high tides in December 2013 and early January this year led to a breach in the sea wall. The road was closed for a number of days while temporary stabilising work was carried out using over 3000 tonnes of rock and barrier blocks.
In advance of bad weather this winter, the council have started more permanent repairs, which will see the temporary materials removed, excavation down to bedrock and the construction of a new retaining wall. The barrier blocks will then be redistributed for additional protection.
The work will be carried out in phases over the next two months. Phase one started this week and will see the section of road between the Graemeshall Road and Moss Road closed for the duration.
Scottish Water is hosting a public meeting in Kirkwall today to discuss the utility firm’s performance and their future plans in Orkney.
The meeting will take place at 5.30pm at the Ayre Hotel, Kirkwall.
The company has said that much of the meeting will be a question and answer session, and so are looking to hear from a broad range of Orkney residents.
Ronnie Mercer CBE, Chairman of Scottish Water, said: “We would very much like to have the opportunity to meet Orcadians who are interested in our local activity and plans for the future.”
An incident that saw an ambulance sent to an address in Aberdeen, rather than Kirkwall, was “due to human factors” and is currently being reviewed, according to a Scottish Ambulance Service spokesman.
On Saturday, October 18, there was a delay of around 20 minutes in responding to a 999 call to assist a patient in Great Western Road, Kirkwall — a delay caused by an ambulance being sent to Great Western Road, in Aberdeen, by mistake.
The spokesman said that as soon as the error was picked up, the Kirkwall crew responded and the patient was transferred safely to hospital.
He added: “The incident is currently being reviewed and any further failsafe enhancements required to current systems and processes will be implemented. We will be contacting the patient to apologise for any anxiety or discomfort caused by the delay.”
The board of NHS Orkney has approved the establishment of a “body corporate” model to take forward the integration of certain health and social care services with Orkney Islands Council. The aim is to draw up plans for jointly managing the services.
At its meeting this morning, the board reiterated its preference for a “lead agency” model, but chief executive Cathie Cowan said that NHS Orkney had already demonstrated its commitment to partnership working and should do so again by adopting the “body corporate” model.
It would, she said, address any uncertainty for patients, carers and partners, and the board would remain responsible for assuring clinical safety and encouraging strong clinical leadership.
She added it would help address existing capacity issues by reducing delayed discharges, avoiding unnecessary admissions and readmissions to hospital. It would also remove uncertainty for staff which would have a positive impact on recruitment and retention.
Mrs Cowan reminded members that Orkney is a small board, contracting around 20 per cent of its budget with neighbouring health authorities, and that certain acute and hospital services and functions may not be included in the new arrangements.
Health boards and councils across Scotland have been asked to submit plans to Scottish ministers by April 2015 for moving towards a single system which is intended to improve outcomes for people using these services.
Orkney Islands Council has advised that, due to a staff shortage, from November 1, officers of the development management team will not be available to offer in-person planning advice on planning applications and proposed developments to customers on Fridays.
Once there is no longer a staff shortage, a Monday-to-Friday service will be resumed.
Planning officers are still available, during office hours, on all other days of the week and responses will be continue to be given to emailed queries sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Orkney Islands Council looks set to welcome its first fully electric public bus in coming months, after the Scottish Government confirmed it will allocate up to £97,560 of match funding from its Scottish Green Bus fund.
Further match funding towards the bus from the Scottish Government’s Future Transport Fund Low Carbon Vehicle fund has recently been agreed in principle.
Once the OIC has written confirmation of these offers, it will be able to place an order for a new ‘Optare Solo SR’ electric bus, which will run on the Kirkwall to Airport route.
The Council received £78,000 from Transport Scotland earlier this year towards electric vehicle charging points, with another £110k for the 2015-16 financial year also recently confirmed.
A passenger flight, which was on its way from Kirkwall to Edinburgh yesterday morning had to return to Orkney after suffering a “technical fault” whilst airborne.
A Loganair spokesman said today that the flight left at 7.45am, carrying three crew and 32 passengers, and developed the fault shortly after take-off.
They added: “Our engineers carried out the necessary repairs and the flight departed at 11am. We would like to apologise to our passengers for the inconvenience caused.”
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