Caithness Map :: Links to Site Map Paying too much for broadband? Move to PlusNet broadband and save£££s. Free setup now available - terms apply. PlusNet broadband.  


Highland Council launches phase two of Budget Consultation

28th October 2014

The Highland Council has launched a consultation paper with detailed proposals for saving over £15 million towards a total budget cut of £64 million over the next five years.

The Council has already achieved over £77.7m of cuts, including some through efficiency savings over the past 5 years. The grant the Council receives continues to reduce in real terms due to inflation and increasing costs and the cash grant is not expected to increase over the next 4 years, which leaves a budget gap of £64 million.

Budget Leader, Councillor Maxine Smith said: "These are very difficult times for public services and we are not alone in facing very difficult decisions along with other councils across Scotland.

"The scale of the savings required means that we must now look at changing the way we provide some services and reducing others. This will mean a reduction in the number of staff we employ and the number of buildings we use, and will impact on the services we provide.

"We have consulted extensively already during phase one and we now have a number of detailed proposals which we are considering. We want to hear how these cuts would affect people and communities. We will be consulting the views of 2800 on the Citizens' Panel, over 200 groups registered for the new Communities Panel and we are running 10 focus groups for people with particular needs. We are also discussing proposals with our partners and the Third Sector Interface which has over 2000 community groups in its network."

Director of Finance Derek Yule said: "These proposals amount to £15.4 million of savings. We are also proposing other savings which focus on our internal processes and administration. These proposals don't directly impact on front-line services, but mean we will be leaner and more efficient. Work continues to identify savings to achieve the full £64 million."

Michelle Morris, Depute Chief Executive added: "The Council maintains its commitment to no compulsory redundancies wherever possible. Working with trade unions and staff we have a good track record in using redeployment and vacancy control to avoid the need for compulsory redundancies."

Key Proposals
Modernising front line services
• Doing things differently
£6.089 million
• Stopping or doing things less frequently
£2.677 million
• Increasing income through fees and charges
• Targeting support for those who need it most
• Thinking local fi rst

Distance learning for secondary education

Reprioritising grants for arts, sports and culture

Secondary Education - Reducing Staffi ng by 1%

Re-prioritising how we provide winter maintenance

Music tuition

Supporting trainees

Primary Education - Changing time spent in class
Up to £3.2 million

Our approach to providing public toilets
Up to £575,000

Reviewing how we clean our buildings

Reducing the number of schools

Further reductions in the number of schools
further Highland Review

Changing how grass cutting is provided

Charging for burials, cremations and lairs

Our approach to charging in our car parks
Up to £382,000
Currently, the Council only charges for its car parks
in Aviemore, Fort William, Portree and Inverness. The
income from these charges is used to maintain car parks
across all Council areas whether charges are made or not.

Reduce ward budgets for discretionary spending.

Targeting employability services

Frequency of bin collections

Funding to High Life Highland, Inverness Leisure and
Eden Court
£1.1 million

Changes in maintenance of fl ower beds and closure
of plant nurseries

The budget consultation paper with more details can be found on our website at , or you can request a paper copy at a service point.


Related Businesses


Related Articles

Council gets tough on unlicensed HMO
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.  
Council Leader Welcomes Scottish Government's Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund
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.  
Highland is ready for winter - are you?Thumbnail for article : Highland is ready for winter - are you?
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 Test Purchasers
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.  
Killimster Moss Road OpeningThumbnail for article : Killimster Moss Road Opening
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.  
Praise for B876 Killimster Moss road refurbishmentThumbnail for article : Praise for B876 Killimster Moss road refurbishment
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.  
Consultation on review of Highland polling stations
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.  
£1 million for school libraries over 3 years
The Scottish Government is allocating £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.  
Highland Council responds to SPA decisions on the Inverness Police Control Room
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.  
Independent councillor returns in by-election - Tain and Easter Ross by-election resultsThumbnail for article : Independent councillor returns in by-election - Tain and Easter Ross by-election results
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.  

[Printer Friendly Version]