Local Authority News
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.
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.
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.
Highland Councillors have given their backing to the business case for bringing air services to the Isle of Skye and are to continue lobbying the Scottish Government and its agencies at the highest level. Following assessment of the business case at the Isle of Skye and Raasay Committee, members of the Council's Planning, Development and Infrastructure Committee had the opportunity to discuss the wider economic and social benefits of having an airport on Skye and examined the short-term action plan to take forward some key development activities.
The Highland Council's Community Services have recently completed a recruitment drive for apprentice mechanics. Over 250 applications were received and nine new apprentices have just started their 4 year training programme.
A paper going to Community Service Committee next week on 3 November, will recommend the establishment of an in-house operation that can provide Amenity Services, including grass cutting throughout the Highlands from next year. Members of the Community Services Committee agreed on 18 August to the preparation of an options appraisal for the Council's grass cutting services.
The Highland Council today agreed the following motion to Council by Leader of the Council Margaret Davidson and Provost of Inverness Helen Carmichael: "The Highland Council believes that local taxes raised locally should stay locally and this is in accordance with the European Charter of Local Self-Government. The Highland Council calls on the SNP Scottish Government to ensure that the full amount (£5m) of Council Tax multiplier will stay in Highland for Highland Education and will not be redistributed to other Local Authority areas.
Following work starting this week on the Inverness West Link route at Tommahurich Bridge in Inverness, road users are being advised that next week the project enters the final stages although a further two overnight closures with local diversions and temporary daytime traffic control measures are required. The first of the overnight closures will be on Monday evening when the A82 at Tomnahurich Bridge will close to all road traffic from 7pm and not reopen until 7am on Tuesday 1 November.
The Highland Council agrees the recommendation of the Redesign Board to retain Catering, Cleaning and Facilities Management/Janitorial Services (CCFM) within the Council. The Council will continue to manage these services in-house under a new Property Management Service within the Council.
Highland Council has agreed the following motion on free personal care:. "The Council notes that, currently, legislation enables personal care to be provide free for people in Scotland aged over 65, provided they are assessed as needing it.
A paper on Funding allocations for third sector culture and leisure services went to The Highland Council's Education, Children and Adult Services Committee on Wednesday 26 October 2016. Previously, the Council agreed reduced funding for third sector culture and leisure services at its meeting in December 2014.
The Highland Council welcomed a visit from Jeane Freeman MSP, Minister for Social Security, on Thursday 20 October. The purpose of the visit is to discuss the Scottish Welfare Fund and Universal Credit and the visit presented an opportunity for senior members and officers to demonstrate best practice in Highland and to put forward views towards the consultation on devolved Social Security in Scotland.
The Highland Council is anticipating it may have to make savings of £47 million to £72 million over the next 3 years, with a budget gap of some £26 million next year (2017-18) The financial environment is very challenging, with an unprecedented degree of uncertainty which makes planning very difficult. There will be a very short timescale to react and provide options for budget savings once the Scottish Government settlement is made known on 15 December.
Dornoch is the only Scottish finalist in the Great British High Street Awards and local Councillor Jim McGillivray is calling for people to cast their vote to give the Sutherland village a chance of winning. He said: "Across all fourteen categories of the awards, Dornoch is the only Scottish finalist, and we're up against Leominister and Stockton on Tees in the Rising Star category, both of which have much larger populations than we do.
The Redesign Board of The Highland Council will recommend keeping Catering, Cleaning and Facilities Management/Janitorial Services (CCFM) in house within the Council. Options for the future management of Catering, Cleaning and Facilities Management/Janitorial Services (CCFM) were considered by the Redesign Board today.
The Highland Council is asking people in the Highlands - ‘Are you ready for winter?'. The Council is again supporting the Scottish Government's Ready Scotland campaign at www.readyscotland.organd urges people in the Highlands to take some time to get ready for winter and all kinds of severe weather.
Trish Robertson has been elected as Culloden and Ardersier Ward Member for Highland Council. The by-election for a councillor to serve the Culloden and Ardersier Ward (No 18) on The Highland Council has been won by Trish Robertson - Scottish Liberal Democrats.
Voluntary organisations and personal licence holders who obtain occasional licences for the sale of alcohol under the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 for events they are organising may shortly also require to obtain a public entertainment licence under the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 for the same event. Premises with a premises licence or an occasional licence for the sale of alcohol under the 2005 Act have both up till now been exempt from the requirement also to hold a public entertainment licence ( PEL) under the 1982 Act.
Business cases totalling a value of around £48 million have been submitted as part of the City-Region Deal. If approved, the money will be drawn down so that work can start on progressing a number of exciting projects in the Highlands.
The timing of the Scottish Government's 2017-18 Budget has been confirmed to Parliament. Finance Secretary Derek Mackay has told MSPs that, subject to Parliamentary approval, the Draft Budget 2017-18 will be introduced to Parliament on 15th December 2016.