Local Authority News
The 2017 Highland Council election has been officially called today (Monday 13 March) with the Returning Officer seeking nominations from candidates wishing to stand in the local government elections which take place on Thursday 4 May. A total of 74 Councillors will be appointed to represent the Council in 21 electoral wards, each with three or four elected members.
Wipro has opened a new delivery centre in Inverness as part of our growth plan and service delivery for the Highland Council. 40 to 50 staff will be based at Moray House in the city centre.
The Highland Council has agreed all the recommendations made by the Redesign Board. The Board proposes a significant shift to localism.
On Thursday 9th March, the Council approved £1million additional capital monies to be spent on Highland roads. The Scottish Government, announced on 2 February 2017, an additional Capital Grant for Highland Council of £2.046m for 2017/18 and members have agreed to allocate £1million of this to roads.
The Highland Council has agreed to extend funding to two CAB projects of up to £50,000. The Mental Health and Midwifery projects provide money and welfare advice to pregnant mums and those experiencing mental ill health.
A paper going to the Council meeting on 9 March will propose a £1 million spend of additional capital monies on roads infrastructure. The Scottish Government, announced on 2 February 2017, an additional Capital Grant for Highland Council of £2.046 million for 2017/18 and a paper to council will ask members to consider whether to allocate £1 million of this to roads.
The first of the central beams to connect the north and south side of the West Link bridge, Inverness were put in place today, 6 March 2017. The centre span beams are 70m in length and weight 70 tonnes each.
The Highland Council has won a national award for a project aimed at cutting the cost of heating Highland homes. The Scottish Energy Efficiency and Health Homes Award, presented during an award ceremony held in Glasgow, recognised the Council's work to assist with reducing energy use in Highland homes through the Home Energy Efficiency Programme for Scotland - Area Based Scheme (HEEPS-ABS) and the particular drive to identify and assist homes that are in fuel poverty or vulnerable to the cost of energy.
The Redesign Board met on 28 February to agree its recommendations on the redesign of the Council. The Board proposes a significant shift to localism.
People looking for shortcuts to their most used pages on Highland Council's website via their Smart phones can now use Emoji to take them there faster. Used in electronic messages and web pages, Emoji are used much like Emoticons and exist in various symbols including facial expressions, common objects, places and types of weather, and animals.
The Highland Council progresses to third and final stage of multi-million pound active travel competition, Community Links PLUS. The ‘Inverness Active Travel Network' design submitted by the Council impressed Sustrans Scotland’s Community Links PLUS competition panel with its dynamic and strategic infrastructure proposal that aims to double the current level of cycling in the city and become the active travel leader in Scotland.
At a Special Meeting of The Highland Council on 16th February 2017, the Council's elected members agreed to introduce a £30 per annum charge to participating householders for the collection of garden waste in brown bins to generate an estimated £660,000 to help meet the Council's £20 million funding gap. Cllr Allan Henderson, Chair of Community Services Committee, explained: "Savings made by charging for brown bins helps to sustain around 25-30 jobs and protect services.
Highland Council has issued reassurance on the provenance of ingredients in its school meals following recent national media reports this week. Cllr Drew Millar, Chair of the Council's Education, Children and Adult Services Committee said: "Our catering service is proud to provide good value meals using quality ingredients carefully sourced.
Members of The Highland Council's Education, Children and Adult Services Committee have approved a management proposal for the Farr (Sutherland) associated school group. The new management entitlement covering Farr High and its associated Primaries of Farr, Altnaharra, Melvich and Tongue will include 1 Head Teacher (3 ‐18), 2 Depute Head Teachers (3 ‐18), and 5 Principal Teachers.
Highland Council has confirmed move-in arrangements for the new Wick Campus. The Wick Stakeholder Group met last night (Tuesday 28 February) and had a tour of the new Wick Campus facility which encompasses Wick High School, Newton Park Primary School, and sports and community facilities to be operated by High Life Highland.
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.
The Caithness and Sutherland Local Development Plan (CaSPlan) remains on track for eventual adoption in final form in spring 2018. Yesterday the Sutherland County Committee considered the results of public consultation on the Modified Proposed Plan and agreed that the Plan be progressed to the Examination stage.
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.
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.
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.