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Local Authority News

Councillor Bill Fernie Endorses Support To Charities After Televisions Siezed
A number of televisions seized by Trading Standards have been sent to a local charity for recycling.   The televisions were amongst several items that Trading Standards Officers have seized over recent months.  
School decisions to be taken at school level
Schools will be empowered to make more decisions about their pupils' learning, Deputy First Minister John Swinney said today.   In a statement to the Scottish Parliament Mr Swinney announced a major review into the way Scotland's schools are run, which places at its heart the presumption that decisions will be devolved to school level.  
Public views sought on Parking Enforcement Officers wearing body cameras
The Highland Council is carrying out a public consultation - privacy impact assessment on Civil Parking Enforcement Officers wearing body video cameras.   The Council will begin enforcing on and off street parking restrictions throughout the region from October 2016 and as part of the technical specification; Parking Enforcement Officers will be equipped with body worn video cameras.  
Decriminalised parking enforcement
The introduction of Decriminalised Parking Enforcement (DPE) in the Highlands will allow responsibility for enforcing parking and waiting and loading regulations to be transferred from Police Scotland to The Highland Council.  The Council will also receive powers to uplift vehicles.  
Review of public toilet charges - Survey
The Highland Council is undertaking a review of how public conveniences are funded and propose to increase the number of sites where there is a charge for use.   The Council is consulting on the amount that will be charged for the use of the public toilets and is seeking views on the level of charges from service users and other stakeholders to assist in the decision making process.  
Stuart Black congratulated on achievement of Outstanding Business Ambassador Award
The Highland Council is proud to have their Director of Development and Infrastructure, Stuart Black, chosen to receive the SCDI Heathrow Airport Award for Outstanding Business Ambassador.   Chief Executive of The Highland Council, Steve Barron congratulated Stuart on his achievement saying: "I am absolutely delighted for Stuart and the Business Ambassador award is very well deserved.  
Highland Council signs up to Digital ParticipationThumbnail for article : Highland Council signs up to Digital Participation
Highland Council has made a continuing commitment to tackling digital exclusion in the Highlands.   The council has become the latest organisation to sign SCVOs Digital Participation Charter.  
Public to be consulted on CaSPlan changes
The Caithness and Sutherland Local Development Plan (CaSPlan) which sets out The Highland Council's vision and development strategy for the area over the next 20 years is to be modified and put out for public consultation.   In a Report presented to both the Sutherland and Caithness Area Committees last week the recommendations on the issues were to defend the Proposed Plan with only minor modifications, which would have seen the Plan progress to Examination as the next stage.  
Council calls for fair transitional pension arrangements for women
Members of The Highland Council have unanimously agreed the following motion at their meeting today, 8 September 2016.   "This Council calls upon the UK Government to make fair transitional state pension arrangements for all women born on or after 6 April 1951 who have unfairly borne the burden of the increase to the State Pension Age with lack of appropriate notification.  
Good progress reported as Highland Council meets 89% of Programme commitments
The latest Corporate performance report shows that the Council is meeting 89% of its Programme commitments with 64 out of 72 being either completed, on target or maintaining performance.   Council Leader Margaret Davidson said, "This is an excellent report and I would like to thank staff across the Council who have contributed to this outstanding performance.  
Nine candidates contest Inverness Ward by-election
Nine candidates are to contest the upcoming by-election to elect a councillor to represent the Culloden and Ardersier Ward of The Highland Council.   The candidates are: • Andrew JARVIE - Scottish Conservative and Unionist • Thomas LAMONT - Independent • Andrew James MACKINTOSH - Scottish Labour Party • Isla MACLEOD-O'REILLY - Scottish Greens • Duncan MACPHERSON - Independent • David MCGRATH - Independent • Pauline MUNRO - Scottish National Party (SNP) • Trish ROBERTSON - Scottish Liberal Democrats • John ROSS - Independent The by-election is being held after John Ford, one of four Councillors for Ward 18, sadly died.  
Public warned of algal bloom presence at Loch Watten, CaithnessThumbnail for article : Public warned of algal bloom presence at Loch Watten, Caithness
The Highland Council is warning the public of the presence of an algal bloom at Loch Watten, Caithness.   As a precautionary measure, environmental health have posted notices next to the water body, warning that contact with the algal scum or mat material should be avoided.  
New Community Partnership arrangements for CaithnessThumbnail for article : New Community Partnership arrangements for Caithness
At a meeting on 31st August 2016 meeting of the Caithness Committee councillors had the chance to discuss the work underway to create a new community partnership in the area to support local planning arrangements.   The Highland Community Planning Partnership Board agreed at their meeting on 30th June to establish 9 local partnerships across the Highlands, one of which will cover Caithness.  
Calum becomes tenth Highland Youth ConvenerThumbnail for article : Calum becomes tenth Highland Youth Convener
Calum Maclennan (18) from Alness took up the role of Highland Youth Convener this week and started the job by saying he was looking forward to spending the next 12 months working with the Highland Youth Parliament, Area Youth Forum and Pupil Councils in secondary schools across the Highlands.   As the tenth Youth Convener, Calum will be based at High Life Highland's Head Offices in Inverness fulfilling the bursary position until August 2017.  
Caithness Committee focuses on local prioritiesThumbnail for article : Caithness Committee focuses on local priorities
Members of the Caithness Committee have agreed a set of strategic Council priorities for the area and confirmed their commitment to working in partnership with others to improve the health and well-being of local people.   In the document, "A Vision for Caithness, Land of the Norse Yarls", the priorities are listed under a number of headings which include Infrastructure for Growth, Area Promotion, Health and Wellbeing, Transport, Education and Social Equality.  
Independent Councillor Gillian Coghill Is The New Civic Leader for CaithnessThumbnail for article : Independent Councillor Gillian Coghill Is The New Civic Leader for Caithness
The new Civic Leader of Caithness is Councillor Gillian Coghill who takes over the role from Councillor Gail Ross.   One of four councillors representing the Landward Caithness Ward, Councillor Coghill, who was appointed at the start of today's Caithness Committee, is delighted with her new role which is an honorary post and carries no remuneration.  
Highland families to benefit from further school clothing grant increase
Parents and carers of primary and secondary school children who are eligible to claim for assistance with school clothing for their children are to benefit from an 11% increase in the grant being made available by The Highland Council.   Members of the Highland Council's Resources Committee have agreed to increase the amount of school clothing grant per pupil to £90 for all applications received from 1 April 2016 for the 2016/17 academic year.  
Redesign Board set to agree a range of council functions for reviewThumbnail for article : Redesign Board set to agree a range of council functions for review
The Redesign Board of The Highland Council is preparing to agree a list of functions identified for review.   The Redesign Board, which is a partnership between Members and staff, was set up on 18 April 2016 to make proposals on redesigning The Highland Council, in the context of our new duties to involve communities more in local decisions and services affecting them.  
Leader welcomes delay in closure of Inverness Police Control Room
The Leader of the Council has welcomed the announcement by Police Scotland of their plan to delay the closure of the Inverness Control Room and transfer of command and control to Dundee until June 2017.   Leader of The Highland Council, Cllr Margaret Davidson said: "The HMICS (Her Majesty's Inspector of Constabularies Scotland) Report set the bar high for standards of assurance and we need to have a guarantee that all these standards have been met before any changes can take place.  
Highland Council To Join New Islands Strategic Group
All Scottish councils with responsibility for island communities involved.   A new Islands Strategic Group will be created, bringing all six local authorities with responsibility for Scotland's 93 inhabited island communities together.