Budget Consultation Timetable Agreed
28th June 2012
The Highland Council has agreed to embark on a four-month public consultation over budget savings needed in 2013/14 and 2014/15. The Council estimates the savings targets will be £11.5 million in 2013/14 and £18.2 million in 2014/15.
Having run a successful budget consultation exercise in 2010/11, the Council will repeat the exercise by posting the budget consultation document on its web site: www.highland.gov.uk in early August and holding public meetings in August, September and October through ward forums and stakeholder discussions.
Analysis of the consultation exercise will take place in October/November and budgets considered in December before the two-year budget is finalised in February of next year.
Councillor Dave Fallows, Chairman of the Finance Housing and Resources Committee, said it was important to consult fully with the public over the budget savings.
He said: "A longer-term financial planning process offers a number of advantages to the Council, allowing us to forward plan our budget and identify any savings required. At the same time, it allows improved links between the revenue budget, the capital programme and the Council programme priorities. It is therefore proposed that following agreement of a two-year budget in February 2013, work will commence on developing a longer-term plan, covering a five-year period up to and including 2017/18."
Later, the Council was advised that it had achieved £13.162 million of efficiency savings in 2011/12 - £562K more than the target set by the Scottish Government. This had been the sixth year in succession that the Council has met its efficiency savings target.
It was also reported that the Council's statement of accounts for the year to 31 March 2012 had been published - ahead of the 30 June deadline. The statement had shown an underspend of £5.5 million - only 1% of the overall annual Council spending - which was mainly attributable to savings on financing 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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