Council Revenue Budget Set For 2011/12
11th February 2011
The Highland Council has confirmed a freeze on the Council Tax for a fourth year in succession. The tax for 2011-12 is: Band A: £775.33; Band B: £904.56; C: £1,033.78; Band D: £1,163; Band E: £1,421.44; Band F: £1,679.89; Band G: £1,938.33; Band H: £2,326.
It has also confirmed a balanced revenue budget of £598.8 million for 2011-12. Spending includes £235 million on Education Culture and Sport; £23 million on Children and Young People; £106.55 million on Social Work; £62.8 million on Transport Environmental and Community Services; £9.25 million on Housing and Property.
The total savings now made and identified by the Council (2010-2013) is £55.763 million, leaving a gap of an estimated £3 million - £4 million to be agreed by February 2012.
Councillor David Alston, Budget Leader, said that as a result of recent budget announcements by the UK and Scottish Governments, the Council faced a 2.5% reduction in grant in the new financial year, equivalent to a cut of about 6% in real terms.
He said: "We have been faced with an enormously difficult situation. I think we have dealt with this as best we can. One just needs to look across Scotland, where many other councils are facing much worse decisions than us today.
"This is because we have prepared a three year budget plan and have been prepared to take some tough decisions. My thanks go to everyone in this Chamber who has been prepared to face up to difficult decisions. We have listened to the public through consultation and protected community centre, swimming pools and leisure centres and grants to voluntary organisations.
"I would like to pay tribute to a number of organisations, which have engaged with the council to agree different ways of doing things in a more cost effective way."
He said it was inevitable that there would be fewer jobs in the council in future. "By planning ahead, we have a much better chance of managing any reduction in posts through natural turnover we have in our staff."
The Council also pegged council house rents for 2011-12 to 3% - an average weekly increase of £1.92 per week. The increase will see the average council house rent increasing from £64.15 to £66.07 per week (over 48 weekly charges).
The budget for 2015/16 and the indicative budget for the following 3 years has been agreed following a meeting today of Highland Council. A package of savings totally Â£42.8 million was agreed.
â€˜Out with the old, in with the new' is an expression frequently heard over the Festive Season and this year The Highland Council's Waste Awareness Team are urging us all to make sure we don't just throw away the old but remember to reduce, reuse and recycle as much as possible. Remember to use your blue bin for all paper, cardboard, plastic bottles, food tins and drink cans (no glass or plastic bags - everything should be loose, dry and clean).
Today (Monday 15 December 2014) marks the introduction of revised planning permitted development rights for agricultural and forestry tracks. All proposed new, or alterations to existing, roads, tracks or footpaths (known collectively as â€˜private ways') on agricultural or forestry land must now go through a prior notification process with the Planning Authority before any development can commence.
People in Thurso are being advised by The Highland Council that the recycling banks at Thurso Lidl have been removed until February 2015 due to lack of space in the car park during the store's renovations. At this time of year householders have a lot of extra recycling, including glass in particular, and the Council is urging them to use other banks in the town.
Part-time distance learning primary teaching course. Building on an existing successful partnership between The Highland Council and the University of Aberdeen, the next Distance Learning Initial Teacher Education Professional Graduate Diploma in Education (DLITE PGDE) (Primary) begins on 7 February 2015.
The work of Highland Council's Countryside Rangers was welcomed at the Caithness and Sutherland Area Committee as Members gave their support for the wide range of work done by the Rangers and also gave their approval for the 2015/16 programme of events across the area. Highland Council's Countryside Manager George Duff informed members of the achievements made by the Rangers in the last financial year for 2013/14 and highlighted some local events they had been involved in: Â· In Caithness and Sutherland 162 events took place which were attended by 1865 people with 98% of participants saying it met their expectations and 59% saying it exceeded expectations.
With staff due to move into the new council offices in Wick in March next year, one of the items on the Area Committee today was to agree a name for the building which will house 140 members of staff. Local Councillors, keen to have a new name to encompass both the refurbished original listed building at Market Place and to reflect the new works to incorporate the adjoining building at Stafford Place put forward the suggestion of Caithness House which was unanimously agreed by the Committee.
No bags in Blue Bins recycling message. Clean, dry and loose, that's the simple message that The Highland Council is delivering to householders where it has been experiencing contamination issues with the blue recycling bins.
Proposal to end collections on February 1. A proposal to end the collection of Poll Tax debts from February 1 next year is contained within the Community Charge Debt (Scotland) Bill, which is published today.
CHANGES to a number of Polling Districts and Polling Places in the Highlands were agreed today at the meeting of the Community Safety, Public Engagement and Equalities Committee. The Review of Polling Districts and Polling Places in Highland commenced in November 2013, in line with duties under the Electoral Registration and Administration Act 2013.
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