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Local Authority News


22/12/2016
Highland Council prepares for Storm Barbara
Highland Council is reminding pupils, parents and carers how to find out if their local school is closed or school transport is affected in anticipation of Storm Barbara hitting the north west of Scotland.   Information on school closures is uploaded to the Council's school closures website www.highland.gov.uk/schoolclosures from 7am each morning School closure messages can be heard on the ‘school closures information line' by phoning 0800 564 2272 (with a school PIN number) to get the latest pre-recorded message from the head teacher of r child's school.  
18/12/2016
Highland Council Budget Leader Disappointed With Scottish Budget Announcements
Reacting to the Scottish Government's Budget Settlement for 2017-18, Budget Leader of The Highland Council, Cllr Bill Fernie said:"Disappointingly, our worst predictions are realised in that there has been a real cash cut to councils of £350 million.  The devil will be in the detail, but an early analysis equates this to a significant cut in the grant to our core budget.  
16/12/2016
Inverness Parking Permits
Since the introduction of Decriminalised Parking at Highland Council in October, the demand for Inverness Parking Permits has increased dramatically.   This has seen the number of applications and permits issues increase from around 80 per month, to an average of 210 per month in October and November.  
14/12/2016
Pay And Display Parking At Highland Council HQ Car Park
Highland Council is introducing pay and display parking at its headquarters car park as part of its Decriminalised Parking Enforcement Schemes.   Cllr Allan Henderson, Chair of the Council's Community Services Committee said: "This change has come from a savings proposal agreed by Council in the December 2014 budget for implementation in 2015/16 to save £20,000 per year.  
13/12/2016
Highland Leader Calls For Flat Cash Settlement
Speaking after attending today's COSLA meeting, Leader of the Council, Margaret Davidson said: "The Highland Council’s services, along with other Local Authorities’, have been cut to the bone after years of real terms reduction in funding from the Scottish Government.  Since 2010/11 the Council has made savings of £135m, with £39m in this year alone.  
13/12/2016
Highland Education Stars Sought For National Awards
Nominations now open for Scottish Education Awards 2017.   The search for the Highlands' brightest education stars is underway as nominations are open for the Scottish Education Awards 2017.  
10/12/2016
Highland Council proposes scheme to make workforce reductions
Members of The Highland Council will be asked to approve a proposed scheme to make workforce reductions at the Council meeting on 15 December.   The Employee Early Release Scheme (EERS) is designed to make reductions in the council workforce in a way that is affordable and in line with the reductions in funding available for the 2017/18 budget.  
30/11/2016
Further delay to Wick Campus handover and opening
The Highland Council has been notified by hub North Scotland Limited that the expected handover date for the Wick Campus facility is now Thursday 8 December 2016, slipped from Friday 2 December as previously notified to stakeholders.   The Council is deeply disappointed by this further delay, and has escalated concerns with hub North Scotland Limited and Morrison Construction Limited to understand reasons for the delay, and seek assurances on the revised handover date.  
27/11/2016
Brown bin service stops for winterThumbnail for article : Brown bin service stops for winter
With the onset of winter, householders are reminded that The Highland Council garden waste collections will cease for a period of 3 months from the beginning of December.   There will be no brown bin collections in December 2016, January or February 2017.  
27/11/2016
Review into capital projects identifies recent improvements
The initial findings of a review into the delivery of educational capital projects have identified a number of recent improvements and recommendations are being developed for future arrangements.   The review commenced in October at the request of the Council Leader following a number of issues with programming and quality in capital projects for new schools.  
25/11/2016
Council Leader outraged at scrapping of HIE Board
Leader of The Highland Council, Cllr Margaret Davidson is seeking clarification from Depute First Minister John Swinney about reports claiming that the Board of Highlands and Islands Enterprise is to be scrapped and replaced with a centralised committee.   Councillor Davidson said: "If it is correct - it is totally unacceptable that the Scottish Government is to centralise the decision-making powers of Highlands and Islands Enterprise.  
25/11/2016
Audit makes recommendations to improve collection of rental income
An audit report to Audit and Scrutiny Committee today, 24 November 2016, has made recommendations to improve the collection of rental income.   Audit findings estimated that up to £10,000 rental income could potentially have been lost, however this is against a context of total rental income in excess of £3 million per annum.  
23/11/2016
Review into capital projects identifies recent improvements
The initial findings of a review into the delivery of educational capital projects have identified a number of recent improvements and recommendations are being developed for future arrangements.   The review commenced in October at the request of the Council Leader following a number of issues with programming and quality in capital projects for new schools.  
20/11/2016
Housing officer showing compassion is Council's Employee of the YearThumbnail for article : Housing officer showing compassion is Council's Employee of the Year
Gail Ward, a Housing Policy officer with The Highland Council has been named Employee of the Year for the care and compassion she has shown in welcoming Syrian refugees to the Highlands and her work to ease the impact Welfare Reform has had on individuals.   In nominating Gail, Head of Housing David Goldie said:: "Although Gail has always been a strong member of the team and displayed a genuine commitment and enthusiasm for the work she does, my reason for nominating her for this award relates to her willingness to take on and embrace the challenges associated with two of our most significant areas of work over the last year." The first area relates to Welfare Reform.  
20/11/2016
Partners clamp down on illegal shellfish operations in Highland
A multi-agency enforcement operation took place in the Lochaber area of the Highlands of Scotland on Wednesday 16 November 2016.   The operation, led by Highland Council's Environmental Health Service, included participation by a number of partner agencies, including HMRC, Gangmasters Licensing Authority, Police Scotland, Borders Agency and Marine Scotland Compliance.  
10/11/2016
Commission wants your views on local democracy in the Highlands
The Commission on Highland Democracy has published its Call for Evidence, and wants the public's views on local democracy in the Highlands.   The Call for Evidence states: "The Highland Council, like every other Council in Scotland, makes daily decisions about everything from home care to bin collections and from building schools to cutting grass.  
5/11/2016
"Right To Licence" checks for taxi and private hire car drivers
Under provisions of the Immigration Act 2016 which comes into force on 1 December 2016, The Highland Council will be unable, from that date, to grant a taxi driver or private hire car (PHC) driver licence to any person unless a check has first been made to verify that the person is not disqualified by reason of his or her immigration status from driving a taxi or private hire car (PHC).   This will mean that all applicants for taxi or PHC driver licences, including UK passport holders, will require to attend their nearest licensing office in person with original documents (passport or other acceptable documents) demonstrating that they have the right to work in the UK.  
5/11/2016
Highland Council is ready for winterThumbnail for article : Highland Council is ready for winter
The Highland Council's Community Services Committee has confirmed that the local authority if ready for winter with respect to its gritting service of council roads.   Members have been assured that the council has adequate salt stocks for the region which were replenished in September and October; that the authority will have around 60,000 tonnes in stock for the start of the main winter season and that there are no concerns about future provision of deliveries from the council's supplier.  
3/11/2016
Consultation period coming to a close on Modified Plan for Caithness and Sutherland
The Highland Council is reminding everyone that the opportunity to have a say on the modified version of the Proposed Caithness and Sutherland Local Development Plan (CaSPlan) is coming to an end, with the consultation closing at midday on Friday 11 November 2016.   The Council is urging anyone with an interest in Caithness and Sutherland to have their say on the Modified Plan, which focusses on where development should and should not occur in the Caithness and Sutherland area over the next twenty years.  
3/11/2016
Council to take grass cutting service in-house
Amenity Services including Grass cutting for The Highland Council will be provided by an in-house service from the beginning of the financial year 2017/18.   Members of the Council's Community Services Committee have agreed to establish an in-house operation with a revised management structure and new performance management system.