Caithness Map :: Links to Site Map Paying too much for broadband? Move to PlusNet broadband and save£££s. Free setup now available - terms apply. PlusNet broadband.  

 

Administration launch Programme for The Highland Council over next five years

20th June 2012

The Highland Council's Leadership today launched a "bold and ambitious" programme of priorities for action over the next five years.

"Working together for the Highlands" is being presented to the next meeting of the Council on Thursday 28 June for confirmation as the Programme for The Highland Council.

The programme sets out 128 actions across seven main themes, which focus on working together for:-

the economy;
children and young people;
caring communities;
better infrastructure;
better housing;
empowering communities; and
strong and safe communities.

Council Leader Drew Hendry said: "We have set out a bold programme, which is ambitious but deliverable. We will work hard over the next five years to stand up for the Highlands, and to provide every support for our varied and vibrant communities. We will support and create jobs in the Highlands, producing a comprehensive economic recovery and development plan, detailing a strategy for growth. Working with private and public sector partners, the Scottish and UK Governments, we will aim to ensure that every 16-19 year old seeking employment has the opportunity to access a modern apprenticeship or further training."

He said the Council would introduce a living wage of at least 7.20 per hour for Council staff no later than April 1, 2013, helping the lowest paid.

The Council would work with the Scottish Government, Housing Associations and the private sector to help to deliver 5,000 new homes by 2017. This would include at least 600 council homes and other affordable homes. The Council would continue to press the UK Government to write-off the Council's housing debt of 149 million.

Tenants would be encouraged to get more directly involved in the management of their local environment and council housing estates.

The Council would work with all governments to deliver infrastructure projects to support employment and connect Highland communities. Working with the Scottish Government, Transport Scotland and partners, the Council would strongly support the upgrade of the Berriedale Braes, the A9 within Highland, the A 82 within Highland and the A 96 between Inverness and Aberdeen.
The Council would develop options for a long-term solution which provided a secure and effective transport link between Lochcarron and the Lochalsh area. In consultation with partners and the local community, the Council would pursue the options for securing external funding. It would work with partners to support the delivery of the Inverness West-Link road and the associated amenity and leisure improvements as well as the Inverness Airport Rail Link.

Deputy Leader David Alston highlighted the creation of a Community Challenge fund of 1 million of recurring expenditure to support community projects which look at new ways of delivering services at local level.

He said: "We want to encourage communities to get more involved in the planning and delivery of services. This is an important way of giving them the power to find their own solutions. This funding is additional to the ward discretionary funds and should prove a huge boost to local communities in promoting local projects.

"We are also committing the Council to an additional 3 million of 'preventative spending' each year. This means spending money on children, older adults and those struggling with deprivation - and spending the money, as far as possible, before serious problems arise rather than waiting until things go wrong. It is a simple idea, in line with Scottish Government thinking, but it has the potential to make a big difference. As part of this preventative spend, we are committing an additional 1 million to support families and their children in the early years. This is one of the most important investments we can make in the future of the Highlands."

Convener Councillor Jimmy Gray said the Council would work to build safer, stronger communities. The Council would work with the Scottish Government to support the maintenance of police numbers in the Highlands and play a full part in setting the priorities for local police in Highland communities.

It was important that local communities had the opportunity to participate in and benefit from the development of renewable energy across the Highlands and the Council would seek to identify and support means whereby this can be achieved.

Keeping the Highlands clean was another key priority. He said: "The Council will also take a zero tolerance approach to litter. We will introduce preventative measures to tackle litter and extend the powers of community wardens to issue fines.

The Programme includes a commitment to establish local area committees, which will see two pilot committees with substantial powers set up in Inverness and Caithness and Sutherland.

It also features a commitment to allow public petitions to be considered by the Council and relevant strategic committees, which is seen as a "great extension of local democracy."

Throughout the Programme, the Leadership have highlighted a commitment to equalities and the principle of equal respect for the Gaelic and English languages, whilst also recognising the diversity of indigenous language and dialects within the Highland area. In promoting new and innovative projects, the Council will maintain a commitment to Scotland's Climate Change Declaration.

 

Related Businesses

 

Related Articles

30/5/2016
26 Scottish councils join forces on digital transformation
A consortium of twenty-six local authorities in Scotland are joining forces to improve council services using digital technology.   The Local Government Digital Transformation Board are set to recruit a chief digital officer and team who will be expected 'to shape and lead a programme of change to radically improve how local services work and how the councils serve citizens.' The consortium represents most of the 32 Scottish councils including Glasgow, Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire and Highland Council.  
27/5/2016
Highlands of Scotland renews Fairtrade statusThumbnail for article : Highlands of Scotland renews Fairtrade status
The Highlands of Scotland has renewed its status as a Fairtrade Zone which was first achieved on 13 September 2012.   Highland Councillor Hamish Wood and Fairtrade champion said: "Highland has now renewed its Fairtrade status - a process which takes place every 2 years - which is very good for the region.  
24/5/2016
90 Jobs For Wick in £2.5 Billion Beatrice Offshore Wind FarmThumbnail for article : 90 Jobs For Wick in £2.5 Billion Beatrice Offshore Wind Farm
* 84 turbines will provide 588MW of power once operational in 2019.   * New windfarm expects to provide an average annual gross employment i Scotland of over 890 jobs during construction and is one of Scotland's largest private infrastructure project.  
21/5/2016
Highland Council representative appointed to NHS Highland board
Highland Council has appointed Councillor Jaci Douglas as the Council's representative to serve on the Board of NHS Highland.   Cllr Jaci Douglas currently chairs the area District Partnership for Badenoch and Strathspey and chairs the Highland Council's Working Group on Dementia.  
18/5/2016
Referendum on the UKs membership of the European Union
Highland voters who wish to vote in the Referendum on the UK's membership of the European Union on Thursday 23 June 2016 are being alerted to the ‘Notice of Referendum' published on The Highland Council’s website at www.highland.gov.uk/eureferendum The question on the referendum ballot paper will be: 'Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?’ The choices on the ballot paper will be one of the following: • Remain a member of the European Union • Leave the European Union Voters will mark their choice using a cross (X).   Steve Barron, Chief Executive of The Highland Council will be the Counting Officer for the EU Referendum in Highland Council’s area.  
16/5/2016
Commission on Highland Democracy To Build On Localism Agenda
A Commission on democracy in the Highlands is to be launched in June.  The Commission will investigate the current state of democracy in the region, and start conversations about the kind of democracy we want to have.  
16/5/2016
Council takes action to repair Highland roadsThumbnail for article : Council takes action to repair Highland roads
The Highland Council is to purchase a specialised state of the art road repair vehicle in its bid to dramatically reduce the number of surface defects present on its road network.   The machine, which uses a spray injection patching process, can be operated by a single operator and can fill a pothole in about 5 minutes.  
15/5/2016
Council enhances employability support
The Highland Council is re-designing the way it delivers Employability Services to offer more comprehensive support to people who find themselves experiencing unemployment.   In line with similar developments across Scotland, the Council has adopted a Skills Pipeline which has become a key element in Highland's employability and employment strategy.  
14/5/2016
Council enhances employability support
The Highland Council is re-designing the way it delivers Employability Services to offer more comprehensive support to people who find themselves experiencing unemployment.   In line with similar developments across Scotland, the Council has adopted a Skills Pipeline which has become a key element in Highland's employability and employment strategy.  
11/5/2016
Final preparations in hand to welcome refugees to Highland
Highland Community Planning Partners have confirmed that they are now ready to receive 4 Syrian refugee families to the Highlands in the next few weeks.   A working group of officers and volunteers from The Highland Council, Police Scotland, NHS Highland, and Highland Third Sector Interface have been putting final preparations in place for housing, education and health support for the families.  

[Printer Friendly Version]