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.
Nominations are invited from people seeking election to three community councils in the Highlands for Smithton and Culloden Community Council (Inverness); Fortrose and Rosemarkie Community Council (Black Isle); and Bower Community Council (Caithness). The deadline for receiving nominations for each community council election is: Â· 4pm on Wednesday 27 May 2015 for Smithton and Culloden; Â· 4pm on Wednesday 3 June 2015 for Fortrose and Rosemarkie; and Â· 4pm on Wednesday 10 June 2015 for Bower.
A local businessman has given a Formal Undertaking in court in Inverness to not mislead consumers following action by Highland Council Trading Standards. Donald MacLean, the owner of Bearnock Country Centre, Bearnock Country Cottages and the Bearnock Hostel Glenurquhart, Drumnadrochit, made the pledge in Inverness Sheriff Court after Trading Standards had applied for an Order under the Enterprise Act 2002.
COUNCILLORS have expressed concerns over the closure of banks in Highland communities. Chair of Resources Committee Maxine Smith responded to the announcement that RBS is to close its branch in Invergordon, where there are no remaining banks.
Far reaching strategies for improving the success rate of Head Teacher recruitment in the Highlands are being devised by The Highland Council. Members of the Council's Education, Children and Adult Services Committee have taken part in local workshops with Education staff to consider strategies to address the current challenges facing the recruitment of Head Teachers in the region.
The public is being asked for its views on proposals by The Highland Council to review the maximum level of charges for the hire of taxis or private hire cars fitted with taxi meters operating under licence of The Highland Council. The Council has a statutory duty in terms of Section 17 of the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 to review its scales for the fares and other taxi related charges every 18 months.
THE Highland Council and Police Scotland aim to prevent child sexual exploitation in the Highlands by raising awareness of the signs of abuse. Children's Services in Highland have been working in close partnership with Police Scotland and built on established positive relationships to tackle this form of sexual abuse which can impact on young people.
PROGRESS towards the Council Programme "Working Together for the Highlands" was reviewed by Highland Council at its meeting yesterday as part of a review of the performance framework which monitors performance against the Programme. Two commitments are marked as being achieved in 2013-14.
Highland MSP, Rhoda Grant is warning that the future of three Highland UK Parliamentary constituencies will be put under threat again by Conservative Party plans to push forward with a Boundary Commission review which could see the Highland Council area, which currently returns three MPs to Westminster, fall to two at the next UK Parliament elections, scheduled for 2020. Rhoda Grant MSP is cautioning that under proposed changes the Highlands will have a reduced voice at Westminster, saying: "The Highlands is one of the most challenging areas for politicians to represent due to the unique geography and size of the region and its constituencies.
Rose Street Parking Prices lowered from 11 May 2015. HIGHLAND Council Community Services have listened to concerns raised about the Rose Street parking charges which were introduced on 1 April and a revised pricing structure will be implemented from today, 11 May.
The Highland Council will launch their Cold Call Control Zone Community Toolkit tomorrow in a bid to help communities protect themselves from doorstep crime. The resource has been created by Highland Council Trading Standards.
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