Council budget blog launched
15th May 2010
A budget blog opened on Monday 10th May 2010 on The Highland Council's web site: www.highland.gov.uk, giving the public the chance to have their say on options for achieving major savings over the next three years.
The blog, fronted by the Council's Budget Leader Councillor David Alston, is an important part of the Council's budget consultation which will run until the end of June.
The blog begins with discussion topics on education and will continue with new topics every 10 days.
The Council aims to make decisions on the budget savings in the autumn of this year.
Councillor Alston said: "We have posed some big questions in our consultation documents and intend engaging with as wide an audience as possible in addressing the budget challenges we will face over the coming years.
"This is the first time we have used the web to engage with the public on the Council's budget and I am sure we will attract a large number of constructive suggestions as to how we can achieve the savings required over the coming years. Already some very good ideas are coming forward."
The Council has already held budget consultation meetings at Lairg and Wick and these will continue throughout the Highlands until the end of June as follows:-.
24 May: Tain and East Ross Ward Forum - Tain;
31 May: Joint Lochaber Ward Forum - Nevis Centre, Fort William;
1 June: Inverness Landward Ward Forum - Culloden Academy;
9 June: East Sutherland Edderton Ward Forum - Brora
14 June: Skye Ward Forum - Portree
16 June: Dingwall and Seaforth Ward Forum - Dingwall
17 June: Cromarty Firth Ward Forum - Ardross
18 June: Highland Youth Voice - Sleat, Skye
21 June: Wester Ross, Strathpeffer and Lochalsh Ward Forum - Lochcarron
22 June: Inverness City Ward Forum - Town House, Inverness
23 June: Badenoch and Strathspey Ward Forum - Boat of Garten
30 June: Nairn Ward Forum - Nairn
In addition, a new Citizens' Panel will be asked for its views. Already more than 2,000 people have indicated a willingness to take part.
Council staff and trade unions will continue to be encouraged to identify where savings can be made.
The Council has a legal duty to provide certain advice and information services on debt, welfare and housing for local residents. Employment rights advice is also provided but there is no statutory duty on the Council to provide this.
Highland Council is fully supportive of the aim to close the poverty-related educational attainment gap between children and young people from the least and most disadvantaged communities. In Highland, 1537 Primary and 1006 Secondary School children live in the most deprived data zones.
Last week, The Highland Council issued rent suspension orders (RSO) in relation to a number of properties being operated as unlicensed houses in multiple occupation (HMO). The orders, which have been served on the owners and tenants, mean that the tenants are no longer under any obligation to pay rent to their landlord.
The Leader of The Highland Council Councillor Margaret Davidson welcomed the First Minister's announcement of a Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund to deliver much needed improvements to tourist infrastructure to support the rising numbers of visitors to the Highlands. This comes the week after figures were published for August which showed Highland visitor attractions were performing 17% higher compared to August last year, a result that is backed by accounts from residents and businesses that the area has been hugely popular with visitors this season.
The Highland Council is ready for winter and prepared to grit council roads as the council's winter maintenance programme starts on 14 October. Trunk roads in Highland are the responsibility of Transport Scotland and their operators Bear Scotland.
Trading Standards are looking for young people to take part in test purchasing exercises. We want to find out which shops are breaking the law by selling age restricted products to young people under 18.
Caithness Civic leader Cllr Willie Mackay (centre) cuts the tape at the opening of the newly refurbished half mile Killimster Moss stretch of the B876 Wick to Thurso road. Looking on are some of the Highland council workers praised for the project which was done on time and within budget.
Caithness Civic Leader Cllr Willie Mackay has welcomed the reopening of the B876 Killimster Moss Road. A stretch of the Caithness Wick to Thurso road at Killimster Moss was refurbished over a four week programme of improvement and reopened on Friday 29 September.
A chance to have your say. Voters are being invited to have their say on a review of polling places throughout the Highland Council area The Council has today (Monday 2 October 2017) launched a consultation over its review of election polling districts and polling places.
The Scottish Government is allocating £1 million to improve school libraries over the next three years. Launched today by the Deputy First Minister, the School Library Improvement Fund will be open for education authorities to apply for funding on behalf of school libraries in their area.
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