Local Authority News
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.