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).
Highland Council's new Administration met with all elected members today to discuss their new Programme, which will be launched next week. The Programme is based on three main themes: A Community-Led, Well-Served and a Fairer Highland.
The Highland Council has announced a date for the Council's Ward 13: Aird and Loch Ness by election following the resignation of Councillor Drew Hendry (SNP). Ward 13 is a four-member ward.
Highland Council Trading Standards have issued a warning of a new twist on previous cold call telephone scams, which has been termed as the â€˜disconnection scam'. This recent type of scam can affect both businesses and consumers.
LEADER of The Highland Council, Margaret Davidson has called for a pause on the decision to close the Inverness Control Room to emergency calls in December this year, pending the outcome of the national review. Cllr Davidson attended a meeting with Police Scotland yesterday, where she was briefed on the plans to relocate the Inverness Area Control Room and Service Centre functions from Inverness to Central belt control rooms.
Following the resignation of Councillor Drew Hendry (SNP), a by-election will be held to elect a Member for The Highland Council's Ward 13: Aird and Loch Ness. Ward 13 is a four-member ward.
Two Ward Forums are being held in Thurso and Wick on 22nd July and 29th July to discuss the traffic management in both towns and its environs. Members of the public will be able to have their say on how they see the management of vehicles in both towns over the coming years.
A letter sent to residents across HighlandighlandHihepifn[AT]WK ALKJ;A Llaclj;cnx claiming they have won a 'postcode lottery' is a scam. Several people have reported the scam to Highland Council Trading Standards, many others will have realised it's a hoax and thrown the letter away but some may be more vulnerable and find themselves being tricked.
The Highland Council is considering the impact of the UK budget statement by the Chancellor George Osborne on 8 July 2015 in which he announced further cuts to the benefits and welfare system. Leader of The Highland Council, Councillor Margaret Davidson said: "We are currently considering the impact of the budget statement on Highland.
Sixteen Highland students graduated (Saturday 27 June) through the University of Aberdeen in partnership with The Highland Council following an eighteen month distance learning diploma in Primary Teaching. The course, Distance Learning Initial Teacher Education (DLITE) is completing its inaugural session in June 2015, seeing these students enter their Probation year in Highland schools this August.
The new Head Teacher of the new Lochaber Gaelic primary school, Bun-Sgoil GhÃ idhlig Loch Abar, received the keys to Highland Council's second purpose built Gaelic school in the Highlands today (Friday 3 July 2015). Frank Reid, Regional Managing Director for Robertson Construction Northern - contractors for the development at Ardgour Road in Caol - handed the keys for the property over to Head Teacher, John Joseph MacNeil, who takes up post at the start of the new term in August.
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