Launch of Ready for Winter Campaign
20th October 2013
The Highland Council is fully supporting the Scottish Government’s Ready for Winter Campaign which was launched today (Monday 21st October 2013).
The national campaign focuses on being prepared in the community; at home; on the move and in the workplace and encourages people to use the “extra hour”, when the clocks go back at the weekend to “Take an Hour” to make themselves better prepared.
For its part, the Council has increased its winter maintenance budget to £5.6 million per year and is introducing an improved service this winter. It has 45,500 tonnes of salt in storage in in readiness for winter.
Councillor Graham Phillips, Chair, The Highland Council’s Transport Environment and Community Services Committee, said: “We are encouraging individuals, families, businesses and communities across the Highlands to think ahead and be prepared for winter and all kinds of severe weather.
“The 2013 Ready for Winter campaign is designed to encourage each of us to think about how we could be affected, to put in place simple plans and take some straight-forward action that all together will help us be more prepared should we experience extreme or prolonged winter weather, or severe weather at other times.”
The Highland Council is responsible for 4,200 miles (6,700km) of roads. The Council's winter roads maintenance budget for 2013/14 is £5.6 million.
As at 21 September road salt stocks are at 45,500 tonnes. This equates to 13 days of extreme conditions or 48 days restricted use. Arrangements are in place to re-stock during the winter if the rate of use is high. Our suppliers have adequate reserves for this to happen and no shortage is anticipated.
Improvements to the winter maintenance service provided by The Highland Council were confirmed by the Transport Environmental and Community Service Committee at its meeting on Thursday 19 September 2013..
A review of priority routes has resulted in a 76-mile increase in the length of Priority One routes to 1,319 miles (31% of the network).
Snow gates are to be installed on the Bealach na Ba – the high route to Applecross, Wester Ross – to allow the road to be closed in heavy/drifting snow in the interest of public safety. An alternative coastal route is available.
An improved service on Priority 1 and 2 routes is to be provided on Boxing Day and 2nd January in recognition that they have become busy shopping days.
Three additional snow clearing vehicles – one per operational area – have been sourced for the coming winter.
Sheltered housing footpaths have been included in the schedule of footpath routes and a number of Community Councils have already responded to an offer to provide a self-help snow-clearing service.
Grit bins now have a telephone number displayed to allow the public to request a refill.
Last week, The Highland Council issued rent suspension orders (RSO) in relation to a number of properties being operated as unlicensed houses in multiple occupation (HMO). The orders, which have been served on the owners and tenants, mean that the tenants are no longer under any obligation to pay rent to their landlord.
The Leader of The Highland Council Councillor Margaret Davidson welcomed the First Minister's announcement of a Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund to deliver much needed improvements to tourist infrastructure to support the rising numbers of visitors to the Highlands. This comes the week after figures were published for August which showed Highland visitor attractions were performing 17% higher compared to August last year, a result that is backed by accounts from residents and businesses that the area has been hugely popular with visitors this season.
The Highland Council is ready for winter and prepared to grit council roads as the council's winter maintenance programme starts on 14 October. Trunk roads in Highland are the responsibility of Transport Scotland and their operators Bear Scotland.
Trading Standards are looking for young people to take part in test purchasing exercises. We want to find out which shops are breaking the law by selling age restricted products to young people under 18.
Caithness Civic leader Cllr Willie Mackay (centre) cuts the tape at the opening of the newly refurbished half mile Killimster Moss stretch of the B876 Wick to Thurso road. Looking on are some of the Highland council workers praised for the project which was done on time and within budget.
Caithness Civic Leader Cllr Willie Mackay has welcomed the reopening of the B876 Killimster Moss Road. A stretch of the Caithness Wick to Thurso road at Killimster Moss was refurbished over a four week programme of improvement and reopened on Friday 29 September.
A chance to have your say. Voters are being invited to have their say on a review of polling places throughout the Highland Council area The Council has today (Monday 2 October 2017) launched a consultation over its review of election polling districts and polling places.
The Scottish Government is allocating Â£1 million to improve school libraries over the next three years. Launched today by the Deputy First Minister, the School Library Improvement Fund will be open for education authorities to apply for funding on behalf of school libraries in their area.
The Scrutiny Lead for The Highland Council, Cllr Matthew Reiss responded to the decisions made today by the Scottish Police Authority (SPA) at their meeting in Inverness. He said: "We are naturally deeply disappointed by the decisions today to close the Inverness Control Room and to spread the National Database Enquiry Unit between Inverness and Govan.
The by-election for a councillor to represent the Tain and Easter Ross Ward on The Highland Council has been won by Alasdair Rhind (Independent) who was one of six candidates who contested the vacancy. The bi-election was brought about by the resignation of Jamie Stone following his success in the Westminster elections He joins Councillors Fiona Robertson (Independent) and Derek Louden (SNP) in representing Ward 7 on The Highland Council.
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