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 Highland Licensing Board has launched a consultation on whether to introduce a supplementary policy statement on extended opening hours for special events of national and local significance. The aim of the supplementary policy statement, if introduced, would be to promote consistency of decision-making and to give advance notice to applicants of the Board's likely approach to determining applications.
The first ever National consultation on the future management of flood risk in Scotland begins on the 2nd March 2015. For a period of 3 months, the draft â€˜Flood Risk Management Strategy', and â€˜Local Flood Risk Management Plan' for the Highland & Argyll Local Plan District will be available to view, and the public are invited to provide comment and influence the future of how flood risk management will be carried out over the next 6 year period.
Massive implications for people looking for Housing in Caithness. The way in which housing is allocated in Caithness has changed.
Highland Council's Revenues and Business Support section in the Finance Service has won a Bronze COSLA (Convention of Scottish Local Authorities) award for their "Highland Helping Those in Need" project. COSLA Excellence Awards are held annually to reward and recognise projects and developments which establish excellent delivery of services to communities.
SIX Digital Champions are to be nominated to assist with promoting the Digital First Programme and the availability of online services. Digital First Programme aims to greatly increase access to online services, enabling at least 40% of transactions to be carried out online by April 2017.
The Highland Council has created a new way of keeping people up-to-date on the preparation of Development Plans in Highland and giving information of how and when people can get involved. The Development Plans Newsletter provides detailed information on what is happening across the Highlands in a more readable and accessible way making it more appealing to communities and stakeholders.
Members of The Highland Council's Resources Committee have today agreed proposals to localise the Carbon CLEVER Community Grant Fund in 2015/16. The Carbon CLEVER Community Grant Fund, agreed in June 2014, is a Â£200,000 capital fund which aims to provide communities with financial support to implement relevant and innovative projects to tackle climate change.
FOLLOWING the resignation of Councillor Colin Macaulay (SNP), a by-election will be held to elect a Member for Ward 19, NAIRN Ward. Nairn is a four-member ward.
Digital First Programme aims to have at least 40% of transactions online and deliver Â£1.3 million in savings over next four years. THE Highland Council Digital First Programme aims to greatly increase access to online services, enabling at least 40% of transactions to be carried out online by April 2017.
A six month review of the Highland Council website, which was launched in 2014, reveals high satisfaction levels amongst Highland residents. The majority of people visit the website to access services or to find information on Council meetings.
[Printer Friendly Version]