Gold Medallists Sought For Blooming Road Verges
13th August 2012
The Highland Council wants members of the public to let them know where the most flowery road verges are in their local area with a view of looking to change cutting regimes to maximise the variety of flowers growing there.
Chairman of TEC Services Committee, Councillor Graham Phillips said: "Safety is of course of paramount importance on roads, so cutting regimes will only be altered when it is safe to do so. All the verges along sightlines and at junctions will remain cut short, however there are lots of other areas that could have their cutting regime altered to benefit the wildflowers there, which will in turn the insects that feed on them. We are not asking for a detailed report, just a quick and easy survey of the variety of colours you see as you pass by in a car or walking."
The proposed changes in management are having a single cut with either an early, or a late summer cut and also varying the height of the flail so that low growing species aren't cut but the taller, more competitive species are. The changes in management are likely to be cost neutral, but will benefit the biodiversity of the verges particularly the plants and their pollinators such as; bees, butterflies and moths.
Scotland TranServ who manage the verges on the trunk roads in Highland have altered their cutting regime and some sites such as the A830 at Corpach and the A9 Causeymire, have had fantastic displays of wildflowers in the verges due to this. There has also been a trial on some of the Council maintained roads in Caithness through an initiative between the Caithness Biodiversity Group and The Highland Council, which again has resulted is some great displays of wildflowers on the verges.
Anyone wishing to take part should send the information about the best road verges in their area to the Council's Biodiversity Officer, Jonathan Willet. He said: "Most verges have white and yellow flowers on them, but there are also red, blue, violet and pink that are commonly seen. If you know of verges that are good for orchids or Cuckoo Flower or other flowers that are out earlier in the year then you can let us know about them as well."
Jonathan will need details on the location, either a name or number, the road junction it is nearest to, or a grid reference and a description of the variety of colours or species of flowers found there. He can be contacted by telephoning 01463 702274 or e-mailing jonathan.willet[AT]highland.gov.uk
Following the second call for candidates wishing to serve on Highland Community Councils to come forward - a total of 19 Councils attracted sufficient interest to form a new Council. The uncontested community councils in the second round are: •Ardgay Community Council •Arisaig and District Community Council •Balintore and Hilton Community Council •Ballifer Community Council •Bower Community Council •Coigach Community Council •Conon Bridge Community Council •Dulnain Bridge Community Council •Inver Community Council •Kiltarlity Community Council •Kinlochleven Community Council •Kyle Community Council •Lochardil and Drummond Community Council •Morvern Community Council •Muirtown Community Council •Raasay Community Council •Sinclairs Bay Community Council •Strathpeffer Comunity Council •West Ardnamurchan Community Council.
For the first time the Highland Community Planning Partnership have endorsed a Development Plan published by The Highland Council and have agreed to working with the Council in monitoring its delivery. The Proposed Caithness and Sutherland Local Development Plan (CaSPlan), was published for consultation on 22 January 2016 and will run until 18 March 2016.
The Councils Community Services Committee has approved an additional programme of £2.7 million for the coming year 2016/17. £2.3 million will be allocated this coming year to re-surfacing, surface dressing and road markings across the Highland network and £0.4 million to bridges in Sutherland (Kylesku) and Lochaber (A884 Achnagavin).
Highland Council has invited tenders for a contract for a summer ferry service between Cromarty and Nigg. The previous operator terminated the service contract just before the start of the 2015 season due to difficulties with sandbanks building up off the slipways and berthing arrangements.
Council house rents will be limited to a 1.9% rise in order to maintain current service levels. This will mean an increase in the average weekly council rent of £1.35 for all Housing Revenue Account (HRA) rents.
New standards have been set out for grass-cutting across the Council area to meet statutory requirements and achieve savings. There is no statutory requirement that amenity grass must be cut, however, the Council has various duties to maintain public safety, deliver education in accordance to national standards, deliver a burial service, maintain roads and paths in a safe condition and support national play initiatives.
The Highland Council has awarded £1.128 million to Community Transport schemes across the Highlands, spread over the next 3 years. This allocation allows £376,000 of grants to be made available to the listed community groups and organisations each year for the next 3 years, which enables some certainty in the medium term for these initiatives.
The Highland Council is preparing for the implementation of a Decriminalised Parking Enforcement (DPE) Scheme this year. Remedial works have started, which includes sign and road markings replacement across the council to support of our Application to Transport Scotland for DPE authority.
Highland Council Leader, Councillor Margaret Davidson said: The option to raise council tax in Highland has been taken away from us. We have been informed, if we raise Council Tax, we will be fined not just the 3% we expected but also other sanctions will be applied around teacher numbers and funding for social care.
Highland Councils Trading Standards team and Caithness Citizens Advice Bureau are warning local consumers to be on their guard against telephone spoofing scams. These involve scammers using what to a consumer would appear to be a local phone number specifically to gain the consumers trust when in fact they are based far away and are only interested in getting hold of consumers cash.
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