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Local Authority News

23/2/2017
Making it easier to pay - automated telephone payments launched
Highland Council has launched the 1st step in automated telephone payments for customers.   From 22/02/2017 customers will be able to contact the Service Centre on the payments line 01349 886605 to make a rent payment and get a rent balance.  
21/2/2017
The Pilot Pentland Firth And Orkney Waters Marine Spatial Plan Is Nominated For Prestigious Planning Industry AwardThumbnail for article : The Pilot Pentland Firth And Orkney Waters Marine Spatial Plan Is Nominated For Prestigious Planning Industry Award
The Plan was developed by a working group consisting of Marine Scotland, Highland Council and Orkney Islands Council who are a finalist in the category for Excellence in Plan Making Practice at the Royal Town Planning Institute's (RTPI) Awards for Planning Excellence (external link) 2017.  The RTPI Awards are the most established and respected awards in the UK planning industry.  
20/2/2017
2017/2018 Council TaxThumbnail for article : 2017/2018 Council Tax
From 1 April 2017 the Scottish Government is changing the basis on which properties are assessed for Council Tax and this will increase the charge for Council Tax properties that are banded E to H.   The Highland Council has no discretion in this matter and must apply these increases to the Council Tax charges from 1 April 2017.  
18/2/2017
New Polling Scheme Approved For Council Election
Members of the Communities and Partnership Committee have approved a new Polling Scheme to come into effect for the Election to Highland Council on the 4 May 2017.   The decision comes after a review of Polling Places during which the public, politicians, community groups and those with expertise in access to premises for disabled people were invited to comment on the existing and proposed changes arrangements for Polling Districts and Polling Places.  
18/2/2017
Pentland Spatial Plan Nominated for Award
The pilot Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters Marine Spatial Plan is nominated for prestigious planning industry award.   The Plan was developed by a working group consisting of Marine Scotland, Highland Council and Orkney Islands Council who are a finalist in the category for Excellence in Plan Making Practice at the Royal Town Planning Institute's (RTPI) Awards for Planning Excellence (external link) 2017.  
16/2/2017
2017/2018 Council Tax Levels Set For Highland
From 1 April 2017 the Scottish Government is changing the basis on which properties are assessed for Council Tax and this will increase the charge for Council Tax properties that are banded E to H.  The Highland Council has no discretion in this matter and must apply these increases to the Council Tax charges from 1 April 2017.  
16/2/2017
The Highland Council has agreed a budget for 2017-18
The Highland Council has agreed a budget for 2017-18, which includes a council tax increase of 3%.   A package of £10.689m savings were agreed for 2017-18, on top of £5.824m savings agreed in previous budgets.  
14/2/2017
Improved safety measures for Miller Academy pupils
Member of the Caithness Area Committee have given the go-ahead to a project to improve the safety of pupils walking and cycling to and from Miller Academy in Thurso.   £20,000 will be spent creating a footpath and installing a barrier with linings on the ground to make the usage of the drop off area at the school safer for pupils.  
14/2/2017
My World of Work Live! cutting-edge careers spaces open in Church StreetThumbnail for article : My World of Work Live! cutting-edge careers spaces open in Church Street
New cutting-edge careers spaces aimed at inspiring youngsters have opened in Inverness.   Skills Development Scotland (SDS) Chair John F.  
14/2/2017
Schools Budgets To Be Protected In Highland Budget Proposals
In another challenging financial year, the Highland Council Administration has pledged to protect education services in the 2017/18 budget.   The Highland Council will consider next year's budget at its meeting on Thursday 16 February.  
14/2/2017
Leader Welcomes News Of Expanded Amsterdam Connection
The Leader of The Highland Council, Margaret Davidson (Independent), has welcomed KLM's announcement today of a second daily service from Inverness to Amsterdam starting from 15 May 2017 to complement the existing service.   Cllr Davidson said: "This news of a second daily flight between Inverness and Amsterdam is splendid news! This expanded service means we are better able to make the most of global connections between Schiphol and key markets throughout the world.  
13/2/2017
Sale unlocks the next chapter for Harbour Quay, WickThumbnail for article : Sale unlocks the next chapter for Harbour Quay, Wick
The long-term future of a section of Harbour Quay in Wick was secured last week when The Highland Council sold the historic buildings to Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Limited (BOWL), ahead of plans to develop the disused buildings as part of the Operations and Maintenance (O&M) Base for the Beatrice offshore windfarm development.   This landmark transaction welcomes significant investment and job creation within the Conservation Area of Lower Pulteneytown.  
13/2/2017
Awareness briefing sessions for Highland Council election candidates
Prospective candidates at the forthcoming Highland Council elections on 4 May 2017 and their agents are being invited to attend one of a series of six awareness briefing sessions being held by the Returning Officer, Steve Barron, Chief Executive of The Highland Council.   The sessions will take place in Inverness, Fort William, Portree, Dingwall, Golspie and Wick.  
13/2/2017
Keeping the Highlands beautiful - Street Cleaning cuts reduced by two thirds
Proposals going before The Highland Council on Thursday propose a reduction of £220,000 from a total budget of £3.029 million.   Budget Leader, Cllr Bill Fernie said: "In our original proposals were looking at a cut of £660,000 from the street cleaning budget, so the cut we are now proposing is significantly less by two thirds.  
11/2/2017
Rangers retained in Council budget proposals
Highland Council Leader, Cllr Margaret Davidson is pleased that the authority's Countryside Ranger and Access Team will be retained in the council's budget proposals for 2017/18.   The Council has listened to representations from members of the public and organisations about the authority’s Countryside Ranger Service and Access Team.  
10/2/2017
Highland Council Budget - Independent Councillors Protect Vital Services Despite CutsThumbnail for article : Highland Council Budget - Independent Councillors Protect Vital Services Despite Cuts
The Council's budget gap for 2017/18, the difference between required expenditure and income, is £20.344m.  Budget proposals include increasing the rates of Council Tax by the maximum allowed 3%.  
6/2/2017
Wick Campus further update
Highland Council has today confirmed that the planned decant and operational date for the new Wick Campus will be pushed back, with the facilities now to open following the Easter 2017 school holidays.   Having assessed the building following handover by Hub North Scotland and Morrison Construction, the Council has reached the conclusion that the level of snagging and other works still to be completed does not allow it to commence its February decant plan, as had previously been advised to stakeholders.  
3/2/2017
Pay and display parking starts at Council HQ on 13 February 2017
Motorists are being advised that pay and display parking at Highland Council's headquarters car park comes into force on Monday 13 February 2017.   The pay and display scheme is part of the Council's Decriminalised Parking Enforcement across the Highlands.  
3/2/2017
Council seeks to balance the budget with fewer job losses
The Administration of The Highland Council is hoping to balance the council's budget with far fewer job losses and cuts to services than previously feared.   Following considerable analysis of potential savings and consultation with staff and opposition groups, the Administration have developed a package of proposals to take to the Council meeting on 16 February for approval.  
1/2/2017
Coghill Bridge, Wick Costs RiseThumbnail for article : Coghill Bridge, Wick Costs Rise
Highland Council continues to work with consulting engineers, Aecom, to find an affordable solution for the refurbishment of the Coghill Footbridge, Wick.   New information on ground conditions, received in December 2016, has resulted in design changes and impacted significantly upon construction cost estimates, now in excess of the capital budget of £505,000 available to the project.