New Extended Way Of Paying Council Bills
24th January 2011
Highland householders are being advised by The Highland Council of new and extended ways of paying their Council Tax, rent and other Council bills. The new payment system takes effect from 1 April - the start of the new financial year.
From then, the public will be able to pay by cash or cheque at any Post Office and more than 300 PayPoints and Payzones throughout the Highlands.
From 1 April, the public will NOT be able to pay by cash or cheque at a Council Service Point, although they will continue to be able to pay by debit or credit card.
As a result of the new arrangements, the HQ cash office on Glenurquhart Road, Inverness, is closing permanently on 31 March.
Already 67,400 people pay their Council Tax by direct debit, so they will not be affected by the change.
The Council is following a number of other Councils throughout the United Kingdom in modernising the way it accepts payments from the public to ensure it does so in the most efficient and effective way.
Leaflets advising the public of the changes will be included in the 116,500 Council Tax demand notices which will arrive on doorsteps ahead of the implementation date. The change will also be prominently featured on the Council's web site and posters are being displayed in public offices.
Councillor Carolyn Wilson, Chairman of the Council's Resources Committee, said: "The change to the way we receive payments is aimed at providing a service that is more efficient but fair to everyone. The new extended service will give the public a greater choice of where to pay and more flexibility about when to make payments. It is also cheaper to collect payments at the new outlets and this keeps our administration costs down.
"There will be outlets right across the Highlands, making it more convenient for many customers to make payment locally. There will be longer opening hours at many of the new outlets.
"The additional Council business will help post offices that are important to so many communities and help sustain small businesses, such as local convenience stores and garages."
The public can also pay by Direct Debit - the easiest way to pay bills or by debit or credit card at any Service Point; online via the internet at www.highland.gov.uk.
With Storm Caroline hitting the Highlands yesterday, today's heavy snowfall and the forecast for a drop in temperatures over the next 48 hours, the Highland Council's crews and winter vehicles have been busy in action. The fleet includes 105 gritters, 42 footpath tractors and over the coming months 200 plus staff will be providing winter maintenance services.
Wick Campus, including Wick High School, Newtonpark Primary School and High Life Highland Leisure facilities will remain closed on Friday 8 December 2017. The closure is due to high winds during Storm Caroline today which caused some damage to part of the roof of the Wick campus gym, causing the metal flashing around a roof light to become detached.
Following the high winds forecast and experienced this week due to Storm Caroline, The Highland Council is encouraging landowners to check trees and vegetation near to public roads which may have been damaged. Roads affected by fallen trees this morning were near Beauly; Achnagarron near Invergordon and Lochaber which staff are clearing.
The high winds during Storm Caroline today have caused some damage to part of the roof of the Wick campus gym, causing the metal flashing around a roof light to become detached. The school was already closed to pupils today due to the adverse weather.
Road condition reports by The Highland Council's Community Services for the morning of Thursday 7 December 2017 are as follows: Caithness and Sutherland: Most roads are affected by snow and ice. Treatment in progress.
The Highland Council expresses its deep disappointment at the news of further branch closures by the Royal Bank of Scotland. Leader of the Highland Council Margaret Davidson said: "This will cause real difficulties for many customers and small businesses.
Highland consumers who have lost money to a scam involving payment through Western Union wire transfer between 1st January 2004 and 19th January 2017, are being encouraged by Highland Council Trading Standards to file a claim for a refund with America's Federal Trade Commission in a bid to get some or if not all of their money back. In January 2017, Western Union agreed to pay $586 million for turning a blind eye to scammers and other criminals who used its service to trick customers into paying for bogus prizes, loans, jobs, discounted products and other financial rewards in exchange for money upfront.
The Highland Council and Department for Work and Pensions are implementing plans to improve accessibility to their services. This joint venture will see the jobcentre staff co-locating with the Council and other services in the council's new modern office developments in both Fort William and Wick.
City-region deal investment means that Inverness can now be branded a digital city. Ness WiFi, a free WiFi service, which was successfully piloted earlier this year, has now been rolled out across Inverness city centre, extending to and including areas such as the High Street, the Castle, Eden Court, and the bus and railway stations.
Leisure and cultural venues currently run by council arm's-length bodies will continue to benefit from charity relief from non-domestic rates. Following lengthy consultation with stakeholders, Finance Secretary Derek Mackay today confirmed that the Scottish Government will not be accepting the recommendation of the Barclay Review to end this benefit.
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