Local Authority News
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.
For publication on Friday 30 September when consultation portal becomes "live" The Highland Council has today (30 September) launched a modified version of the Proposed Caithness and Sutherland Local Development Plan (CaSPlan), which sets out the vision and strategy for the area over the next 20 years. Following a report presented to the Sutherland County Committee and Caithness Committee on 30 and 31 August 2016, the Caithness Committee decided to propose the removal of two site allocations in Thurso - Site TS12 East of Burnside for Community/public park use and Site TS14 Land West of Caravan Park for Business, Tourism and Leisure which was intended to provide opportunity for hotel development.
Public opinion is being sought by The Highland Council on BT's proposal to remove 178 public payphones from across the Highland region. The Council has today (30 September) launched an online consultation.
Speaking after the first meeting of the Islands Strategic Group co- chaired by Humza Yousaf, Minister for Transport and the Islands and Kevin Stewart, Minister for Local Government and Housing, the Highland Council Leader, Margaret Davidson (Independent) said: "I was delighted to take part in this first meeting of the Islands Strategic Group as it meets to consider the strategic issues affecting all the inhabited island communities of Scotland. I am keen that we help identify and design solutions to the unique needs and challenges these communities face.
The Highland Council will be taking over responsibility for enforcing parking restrictions across the whole of the Highlands from Monday 3 October 2016. Money raised through Penalty Charge Notices will be spent on maintaining this new service.
At a Wick stakeholders meeting held on Monday 19 September at Wick High School, representatives from Hub North Scotland and Morrison Construction gave an update on reasons for the delay and outlined a revised programme for the Wick campus delivery. The meeting was chaired by Highland Councillor for Wick Bill Fernie who expressed the Council's disappointment at the delay, and re-stated the Council's priorities to ensure that the flagship facility is completed to the standard expected, and accepting handover only at that point.
The Highland Council has awarded a 7 year ICT Services contract to WIPRO Holdings UK Ltd. The Council has procured a cost effective, value for money, corporate Information and Communications Technology (ICT) solution that will deliver excellent operational performance and contribute to the continuous improvement of services.
Leader of The Highland Council, Margaret Davidson (Independent Councillor) has written to The Rt Hon Michael Fallon MP, Secretary of State for Defence, to express her concerns about the future of Fort George. In her letter she said: "I am deeply concerned at the continued uncertainty around the future of Fort George as an active military barracks.
The Highland Council has informed staff, parents and pupils of ongoing issues with the new Inverness Royal Academy building and the actions being taken to address them. The Council is working with, Hub North Scotland Limited, Morrison Construction and its sub-contractors, to resolve issues which include: problems with the school's gas installations and the impact this is having on some classes; intermittent power and ICT issues; and management of pupil flow during lunch breaks.
The Highland Licensing Committee has agreed changes to the activities which are required to have a public entertainment licence so the Highland Council is advising community groups, members of the public, event organisers, charities and businesses to make sure they are aware of the different requirements so not to face the disappointment of having their event or activity cancelled. In particular organisers of public Hogmanay events are being asked to check if their event now falls within the revised definition and, if so, they are being encouraged to submit their applications early.
Officers from the Environmental Health Service have been contacting food businesses, retailers, suppliers and hoteliers across the Highlands following the Food Standards Scotland ban of cheese made by Errington Cheese Ltd, which has been linked to an E.coli 0157 outbreak in which a three year old child died. The recent cheese ban relates to Dunsyre Blue, Dunsyre Baby, Lanark Blue, Lanark White, Maisies Kebbuck, Cora Linn and Sir Lancelot.
The Highland Council is seeking public opinion on Draft Traffic Regulation Orders for the introduction of Decriminalised Parking Enforcement (DPE) in the Highlands. The Draft Traffic Regulation Orders are available now on the council's website at www.highland.gov.uk/parking www.highland.gov.uk/parking The public have until 30 September 2016 to submit any objections in writing to The Legal Manager, The Highland Council, Glenurquhart Road, Inverness IV3 5NX Decriminalised Parking Enforcement will allow responsibility for enforcing parking and waiting and loading regulations to be transferred from Police Scotland to The Highland Council.