Royal Visit – MSPs visit Aberdeen – Midnight crash on A96 – Litter pick – School video

Her Majesty the Queen and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh arrives fresh from a weekend entertaining the Prime Minister and his wife at Balmoral to open a new library in Aberdeen today. They will also visit Marischal College to view Aberdeen City Council’s new headquarters.

The council have the following news about road and council office closures today:-

“Broad Street will be closed from 12.30pm until 7pm. Alternative routes are available via Littlejohn Street, West North Street, King Street and Castle Street, or Upperkirkgate, Schoolhill, Rosemount Viaduct, Union Terrace, and Union Street, or vice versa.

First Aberdeen and Stagecoach will have diversionary routes and alternative bus stops in place during the road closures.

There will be no through route for pedestrians on the Marischal College side of the road from 1.30pm. Viewing areas will be available on both sides of Broad Street. A pipe band will entertain the crowds on Broad Street from about 4pm

Some of Aberdeen City Council’s services will be affected during the event. The details are as follows:
•The Customer Contact Centre and switchboard will operate as usual on 08456 080910.
•The Customer Service Centre in Marischal College will close at noon and reception will close at 12.30pm.

The following alternative arrangements have been put in place for customers for the rest of Monday afternoon:

Social Care and Wellbeing Services from 12.30pm until 5pm
Drop-in queries and face-to-face interviews will take place on first floor of Exchequer House. Phone queries will be dealt with as normal. Call 01224 522055.

Homelessness and Housing Services
Services will continue as usual. While the Customer Service Centre is closed, homelessness services will be provided at Bon Accord Hostel at 77-79 Crown Street and at 95 Crown Street.
Phone queries will be dealt with as normal. Call 01224 522210.

Registrars
The registrar service will be closed for the afternoon of 24 September.
Normal business hours and operations will resume on morning of the 25 September.”

***

Community sport facilities that have been described as ‘unrivalled’ will be showcased to MSPs from the Health and Sport Committee, as part of their inquiry into grassroots sport.

MSPs will visit Aberdeen Sports Village, a leading sport and exercise facility and host to Scotland’s first disability sports hub today.

Deputy Convener of the Health and Sport Committee Bob Doris MSP, said:

“The major sporting events of the summer have inspired communities the length and breadth of the country. Now that momentum is building for Glasgow in 2014, the Committee is looking to determine if we have the people, the facilities and the investment to support involvement in sport at the grassroots.

“Our Committee will hear from a number of local sport groups that not only get a health benefit from involvement in sport, but also a social benefit, not only for the individual but the community as a whole.”

The Committee will hear from a number of Aberdeen based sports clubs including Street Sport, Scottish Disability Sport and Aberdeen Amateur Athletics Club.

The Committee has already heard evidence from 20 organisations and had over 50 written responses from organisations up and down the country.

Member of the Committee and member for North East Scotland, Nanette Milne MSP said:

“The facilities at Aberdeen Sports Village are outstanding. As the inquiry is looking at the quality of facilities across the country, this visit will give us an understanding of what is possible.

“The inquiry will also look at the accessibility of facilities and how community groups are engaging with community sport hubs, a key part of the legacy of Glasgow 2014.”

***

Three men have been taken to hospital after a midnight crash involving only the car they were travelling in on the A96 near Alford reports the BBC.

***

An Aberdeen company specialising in industrial cleaning will take its expertise to the streets tomorrow for a community litter pick with Aberdeen City Council’s team of Countryside Rangers.

MITIE Cleaning and Environmental Services, based at East Tullos Industrial Estate, will join forces with the Rangers to wage war on the litter around the coast of Aberdeen, south of the Torry Battery.

The clean-up is part of MITIE’s corporate social responsibility commitment, which sees staff being offered a day to help with a community project in the local area.

The area that will be the focus of tomorrow’s event is a gem in Aberdeen’s coastline but is regularly blighted by litter. Some of it is washed in by the sea or blown in by the wind and gets trapped on the beaches. Other rubbish is left by visitors.

John Morgan, Contract Manager with MITIE, said many of the firm’s staff live in the Torry area so they will see direct benefits of their hard work.

He added: “The main thing is that we do our bit for the local community that provides us with the majority of our Aberdeen workforce. We are delighted to have the support of the Countryside Rangers for this fantastic project.”

The Countryside Rangers will be on hand to assist and offer advice.

Aberdeen City Council Countryside Officer Ian Talboys said: “We are so lucky to have such a great stretch of coast on our doorstep, an area where you can often spot dolphins and porpoises right in the harbour entrance.

“It is a shame, however, that people are not more responsible with their litter, often choosing to drop it as they walk away or dump it from their cars.

“If this litter is blown into the sea the dolphins and porpoises are likely to try and eat it mistaking it for food. A single plastic bag can kill one of these beautiful and iconic creatures. With the help of staff from MITIE we hope to reduce this risk and make the area more attractive for the local community.”

***

Aberdeenshire Council have responded to an FOI request and subsequent appeal to the Information Commissioner by publishing a copy of a film about rural schools which we also show you below. The background is also explained by the council here:-

 

In September 2011, members from the Commission on Rural Education visited Aberdeenshire Council and invited officers to make a presentation on the challenges faced by large rural authorities in delivering educational provision.

To aid that presentation, officers from the council developed video footage which gave the Education Service’s view of rural school life and the situation facing Aberdeenshire’s schools and pupils.

On September 28, 2011 the Commission on Rural Education met and saw a copy of the film in full.

The film production was covered by the general filming and photography consents our schools have in place.

This issue centres on two scenes within the production which were altered only as part of an evolutionary process of it being shown to different audiences, as well as responding to a parent’s wishes under the Data Protection Act.

The film was shortened for the purpose of showing it to members of Aberdeenshire Council’s Education, Learning and Leisure Committee on October 27, 2011. In this version, a scene with a head teacher giving views on small schools was deleted.

A parent then contacted the council concerned over a pupil’s inclusion in the film and withdrew consent for the footage of the pupil to be used. This section was removed from the footage to comply with the parent’s request.

The council subsequently received a Freedom of Information request for a copy of the original DVD. The applicant was advised that the original footage had been deleted. Whilst the footage had been withdrawn from use, it was still in the possession of the Council. The person who prepared the response to the FOI supplied the information in good faith. Whilst there was no intention to mislead the applicant, it is clear that the advice given was incorrect. For that, Aberdeenshire Council unreservedly apologises.

The issues over how the information was edited and stored have raised concerns and we will address these, as well as the way we deal with FOI requests.

From an educational perspective Aberdeenshire Council, alongside other local authorities, has to take a realistic view of its school estate, the quality of teaching and environment in which our pupils learn, grow and develop. The film was intended, in its time, to provide a perspective on the challenges for a local authority in providing rural education.

We are required to comply with the decision of the Information Commissioner. (A link to the decision notice is available here)

Having carefully considered the Commissioner’s decision in detail, we have decided it is in all our best interests not to appeal the decision. Instead we will learn lessons from this experience.

It is important that we are open and transparent in our dealings and, given that we are not appealing the decision, we will comply with the instruction from the Commissioner’s office and release the copy of the film with footage of a child removed (in line with the Data Protection Act).

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Published On: Mon, Sep 24th, 2012 at 11:57am

Five things you need to know today

Royal Visit – MSPs visit Aberdeen – Midnight crash on A96 – Litter pick – School video

Her Majesty the Queen and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh arrives fresh from a weekend entertaining the Prime Minister and his wife at Balmoral to open a new library in Aberdeen today. They will also visit Marischal College to view Aberdeen City Council’s new headquarters.

The council have the following news about road and council office closures today:-

“Broad Street will be closed from 12.30pm until 7pm. Alternative routes are available via Littlejohn Street, West North Street, King Street and Castle Street, or Upperkirkgate, Schoolhill, Rosemount Viaduct, Union Terrace, and Union Street, or vice versa.

First Aberdeen and Stagecoach will have diversionary routes and alternative bus stops in place during the road closures.

There will be no through route for pedestrians on the Marischal College side of the road from 1.30pm. Viewing areas will be available on both sides of Broad Street. A pipe band will entertain the crowds on Broad Street from about 4pm

Some of Aberdeen City Council’s services will be affected during the event. The details are as follows:
•The Customer Contact Centre and switchboard will operate as usual on 08456 080910.
•The Customer Service Centre in Marischal College will close at noon and reception will close at 12.30pm.

The following alternative arrangements have been put in place for customers for the rest of Monday afternoon:

Social Care and Wellbeing Services from 12.30pm until 5pm
Drop-in queries and face-to-face interviews will take place on first floor of Exchequer House. Phone queries will be dealt with as normal. Call 01224 522055.

Homelessness and Housing Services
Services will continue as usual. While the Customer Service Centre is closed, homelessness services will be provided at Bon Accord Hostel at 77-79 Crown Street and at 95 Crown Street.
Phone queries will be dealt with as normal. Call 01224 522210.

Registrars
The registrar service will be closed for the afternoon of 24 September.
Normal business hours and operations will resume on morning of the 25 September.”

***

Community sport facilities that have been described as ‘unrivalled’ will be showcased to MSPs from the Health and Sport Committee, as part of their inquiry into grassroots sport.

MSPs will visit Aberdeen Sports Village, a leading sport and exercise facility and host to Scotland’s first disability sports hub today.

Deputy Convener of the Health and Sport Committee Bob Doris MSP, said:

“The major sporting events of the summer have inspired communities the length and breadth of the country. Now that momentum is building for Glasgow in 2014, the Committee is looking to determine if we have the people, the facilities and the investment to support involvement in sport at the grassroots.

“Our Committee will hear from a number of local sport groups that not only get a health benefit from involvement in sport, but also a social benefit, not only for the individual but the community as a whole.”

The Committee will hear from a number of Aberdeen based sports clubs including Street Sport, Scottish Disability Sport and Aberdeen Amateur Athletics Club.

The Committee has already heard evidence from 20 organisations and had over 50 written responses from organisations up and down the country.

Member of the Committee and member for North East Scotland, Nanette Milne MSP said:

“The facilities at Aberdeen Sports Village are outstanding. As the inquiry is looking at the quality of facilities across the country, this visit will give us an understanding of what is possible.

“The inquiry will also look at the accessibility of facilities and how community groups are engaging with community sport hubs, a key part of the legacy of Glasgow 2014.”

***

Three men have been taken to hospital after a midnight crash involving only the car they were travelling in on the A96 near Alford reports the BBC.

***

An Aberdeen company specialising in industrial cleaning will take its expertise to the streets tomorrow for a community litter pick with Aberdeen City Council’s team of Countryside Rangers.

MITIE Cleaning and Environmental Services, based at East Tullos Industrial Estate, will join forces with the Rangers to wage war on the litter around the coast of Aberdeen, south of the Torry Battery.

The clean-up is part of MITIE’s corporate social responsibility commitment, which sees staff being offered a day to help with a community project in the local area.

The area that will be the focus of tomorrow’s event is a gem in Aberdeen’s coastline but is regularly blighted by litter. Some of it is washed in by the sea or blown in by the wind and gets trapped on the beaches. Other rubbish is left by visitors.

John Morgan, Contract Manager with MITIE, said many of the firm’s staff live in the Torry area so they will see direct benefits of their hard work.

He added: “The main thing is that we do our bit for the local community that provides us with the majority of our Aberdeen workforce. We are delighted to have the support of the Countryside Rangers for this fantastic project.”

The Countryside Rangers will be on hand to assist and offer advice.

Aberdeen City Council Countryside Officer Ian Talboys said: “We are so lucky to have such a great stretch of coast on our doorstep, an area where you can often spot dolphins and porpoises right in the harbour entrance.

“It is a shame, however, that people are not more responsible with their litter, often choosing to drop it as they walk away or dump it from their cars.

“If this litter is blown into the sea the dolphins and porpoises are likely to try and eat it mistaking it for food. A single plastic bag can kill one of these beautiful and iconic creatures. With the help of staff from MITIE we hope to reduce this risk and make the area more attractive for the local community.”

***

Aberdeenshire Council have responded to an FOI request and subsequent appeal to the Information Commissioner by publishing a copy of a film about rural schools which we also show you below. The background is also explained by the council here:-

 

In September 2011, members from the Commission on Rural Education visited Aberdeenshire Council and invited officers to make a presentation on the challenges faced by large rural authorities in delivering educational provision.

To aid that presentation, officers from the council developed video footage which gave the Education Service’s view of rural school life and the situation facing Aberdeenshire’s schools and pupils.

On September 28, 2011 the Commission on Rural Education met and saw a copy of the film in full.

The film production was covered by the general filming and photography consents our schools have in place.

This issue centres on two scenes within the production which were altered only as part of an evolutionary process of it being shown to different audiences, as well as responding to a parent’s wishes under the Data Protection Act.

The film was shortened for the purpose of showing it to members of Aberdeenshire Council’s Education, Learning and Leisure Committee on October 27, 2011. In this version, a scene with a head teacher giving views on small schools was deleted.

A parent then contacted the council concerned over a pupil’s inclusion in the film and withdrew consent for the footage of the pupil to be used. This section was removed from the footage to comply with the parent’s request.

The council subsequently received a Freedom of Information request for a copy of the original DVD. The applicant was advised that the original footage had been deleted. Whilst the footage had been withdrawn from use, it was still in the possession of the Council. The person who prepared the response to the FOI supplied the information in good faith. Whilst there was no intention to mislead the applicant, it is clear that the advice given was incorrect. For that, Aberdeenshire Council unreservedly apologises.

The issues over how the information was edited and stored have raised concerns and we will address these, as well as the way we deal with FOI requests.

From an educational perspective Aberdeenshire Council, alongside other local authorities, has to take a realistic view of its school estate, the quality of teaching and environment in which our pupils learn, grow and develop. The film was intended, in its time, to provide a perspective on the challenges for a local authority in providing rural education.

We are required to comply with the decision of the Information Commissioner. (A link to the decision notice is available here)

Having carefully considered the Commissioner’s decision in detail, we have decided it is in all our best interests not to appeal the decision. Instead we will learn lessons from this experience.

It is important that we are open and transparent in our dealings and, given that we are not appealing the decision, we will comply with the instruction from the Commissioner’s office and release the copy of the film with footage of a child removed (in line with the Data Protection Act).

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