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."
A campaign which aims to encourage all 15-17 year olds who will be eligible to vote for the first time in the Scottish Parliament election scheduled for May 2016 to sign up and register has begun across Highland and Islands. The initiative is part of a wider campaign that has been launched nationally across Scotland by the Electoral Commission.
The Highland Council's new improved recycling service begins next week. From 31st August residents can also put plastic pots, tubs and trays (excluding black plastic) into the blue recycling bin - in addition to cardboard food & drink cartons, aerosols and envelopes which were added in earlier in the summer.
The Highland Council Care and Learning Service has been successful in securing Ā£250,000 to support the development of the use of technology in learning. The bid, led by Louise Jones, ICT in Learning Manager was submitted to the Inspiring Learning Fund a Scottish Government fund developed by the Scottish Futures Trust.
Hundreds of potholes have been repaired in the first 6 months of this year. 1,437 potholes were repaired between January and June 2015.
The Highland Council is not impacted on any current projects by the "interruption" of EU funds to Scotland for 2007 -13 Programmes. The āinterruptionā relating to 2013 will have no bearing on claims submitted by the Council in 2014 or 2015 and Highland Council projects, audited in 2013, received a clean bill of health.
Highland Council welcomes the announcement today by the First Minister that 5 local schools are going to receive additional funding as part of the Attainment Scotland Fund. This second phase of the national initiative involves 57 schools across Scotland, and the five in Highland are - Merkinch and Bishop Eden (Inverness), Coulhill and Milton (East Ross) and South Wick (Caithness).
Highland Council residents can now apply for Council Tax discounts and exemptions and report change of circumstances online with the launch of new online forms on the Council's website. The new forms allow customers to complete online rather than by paper when applying for council tax discounts/exemptions and to report changes that may impact on their council tax, housing benefit or council tax reduction.
The Highland Licensing Board is advising people who have had their personal licences revoked that rules have changed and they may now be able to reapply. Since December 2014 The Highland Licensing Board has had to revoke a number of personal licences where the licence holder failed to comply with the mandatory refresher training requirements.
The PFR stone table with the inscription 'Out of Caithness to the World' will become the centre piece of the NDA Archive when it opens its doors in 2017. Construction of the new facility has begun at Wick and was officially opened by David Flear, Dounreay Stakeholder Group chairman, when he cut the first turf at an opening ceremony in August.
LEADER of The Highland Council, Margaret Davidson met with Her Majesty's Inspector of Constabularys in Scotland (MHICS), Mr Derek Penman, today to discuss the Inverness Police Control Room. She said: "I would like to thank Mr Penman for taking time to come to Inverness and listen to the concerns of the Highland Council.
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