Chair Appointed For Caithness And Sutherland Area Committee
20th August 2012
Councillor Deirdre Mackay who represents the East Sutherland and Edderton Ward has unanimously been elected as Chairman of the Caithness and Sutherland Area Committee.
The committee met yesterday (Monday 20 August) for the first time at The Highland Council's Drummuie Offices in Golspie. Councillor Deirdre Mackay was nominated by Thurso Councillor Donnie Mackay and seconded by North West and Central Sutherland member, Councillor Linda Munro.
After taking the chair for the meeting she thanked her fellow councillors for their support and said: "I come from Caithness but live in Sutherland so this post has real meaning to me. Both counties are different in many respects but yet have so much in common. Local democracy was a key issue in the recent election so I am delighted that our Area Committee has been delivered so quickly and that local decision making has returned to Caithness and Sutherland in 12 short weeks.
Speaking after the meeting had ended Councillor Mackay added: "Today we approved capital projects worth over £8.5m and heard how a further £100m of public funding investment is getting ploughed into Caithness for energy sector projects and new schools and offices. We are now in a great position to really drive things forward and focus on what's important, that's the people we represent, and what we can do, through this committee, to improve their lives."
At the full Council on 31 May 2012 members agreed that a Caithness and Sutherland Area Committee be established along with the Inverness City Committee as part of a year-long pilot with a view for paving the way for a further three Area Committees.
Leader of The Highland Council Drew Hendry congratulated Councillor Deirdre Mackay on her new role. He said: "Today the Area Committee, and local democracy returned to Sutherland after five years and I am sure Deirdre will work hard to ensure the new Committee is a success with tangible results. This is a great opportunity to tailor how we do business taking into account local circumstances. As well as the area committee taking on the responsibility and scrutiny for local service delivery and deciding on how delegated budgets are spent, an important priority will be to work with partners to promote tourism and boost the local economy with a focus on making sure people are guaranteed efficient and effective services."
Highland Council Trading Standards are warning consumers to be on their guard against phishing emails purporting to be from Apple iTunes following an increase in enquiries. The unsolicited email from fraudsters informs the recipient that they if they did not make the purchase in question, that they should click on the link provided to obtain a refund.
Members of the Highland Council Resources Committee have noted research showing the benefits of being online and the work being done by the Council to promote digital inclusion. Research shows that across the UK 89% of adults have access to the internet at home, however 17.9% of people in the Highlands never use the internet.
Two projects have been approved for capital discretionary funding by the Councils Resources Committee. Members approved a contribution of Â£100,000 over 2 years towards the Falls of Shin Community Project, subject to full a funding package being in place.
The Highland Council has approved funding of over Â£250,000 for projects across the region that will improve transport links, reduce carbon emissions and save the Council money. The funding comes from Highland Councils Carbon CLEVER capital budget, which has supported a wide range of projects over the past 18 months, including the upgrading of streetlights in Highland to LEDs, improved cycling facilities, the installation of biomass boilers, and a grant fund which has allocated funding to more than ten community projects which reduce carbon emissions.
The UK Governments ongoing changes to welfare, which began in 2010, will substantially reduce the amount of benefits paid to households and families. The Council continues to voice concerns about the impact that Universal Credit, and in particular the payment of housing costs, is having on Highland tenants and landlords alike.
The Highland Council will issue invitations to tender for the construction of West Link Stage 1, (Dores Road to the A82) and Canal Parks Enhancement Project, to eight contractors tomorrow, Friday 20 November 2015. A number of contractors expressed an interest and the eight contractors have been selected to submit tenders following a pre-qualification process.
The Highland Council is inviting the public to submit written representations to the Council about proposed changes to public entertainment licensing activities. All representations should be made to the Council by Friday 18 December 2015.
Leader of The Highland Council, Councillor Margaret Davidson has welcomed the level of public engagement that is helping the local authority plan to deliver its services through more localised decision making. The Highland Council approved a localism action plan at its meeting of the full Council on 29 October 2015 that will start to map out how to deliver decentralised decision making powers to local communities.
With the approach of winter householders are reminded that Garden Waste Collections will cease for a period of 3 months from the end of November. There will be no brown bin collections in December, January or February.
Highland Council has highlighted its successful joint working with BEAR Scotland and Transport Scotland. The Council's Head of Roads and Transport Richard Evans, BEAR Scotland's Operating Company Representative for the North West Eddie Ross and Transport Scotlandâ€™s Acting National Network Manager Jonny Moran delivered a joint presentation at last weekâ€™s Community Services Committee meeting.
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