The Highland Council responds to the impact of severe weather
9th January 2015
THE Highland Council has been working with partners in other agencies to plan for the impact of the severe storms overnight and throughout today. Senior staff have been taking part in regional and local multi-agency meetings to ensure appropriate arrangements are in place and staff across the council have been working extremely hard to deal with the impacts of the weather and provide service continuity.
Due to the severe weather, power supplies, computer networks and some phone lines have been affected this morning. Most services have been restored, but there may be disruption continuing during the day at some sites due to power outage and telephony issues.
13 Service Points are currently closed due to loss of power. Service Point closures are now linked to the severe weather page on our website. http://www.highland.gov.uk/info/591/council_and_government/590/service_points_closed
The Service Centre has been extremely busy with high call volumes. As at 1pm today, the Centre had received 1315 calls. The normal call volume is around 1000 calls per day.
Around 98 schools were closed today, however we would expect that most schools will re-open as usual on Monday. Decisions on school closures are made locally by Head Teachers who assess local circumstances and conditions. Some structural damage is currently being assessed at Brora and Kyleachin schools.
Deputy Chief Executive Michelle Morris said: "As several thousand households are still without power, we are working with our partners to ensure vulnerable residents are cared for. We would also encourage people to look out for elderly or vulnerable neighbours who may be without heat or light.
"Many roads across the highlands continue to be affected by fallen trees and debris. Teams of staff have been working very hard, during the night and throughout the day, to clear branches and make the roads safe. The forecast is for further strong winds this evening and overnight, which may result in more trees and branches falling on roads.
“There is also expected to be snow at all levels tomorrow and Sunday with a yellow weather warning in place. Road conditions, therefore are likely to continue to be difficult and caution should be exercised when travelling."
The latest road report shows the following road closures:
· A838 near Merkland
· B9176 Struie Hill Road
· B9154 Daviot to Dalmagarry closed (trees at Moy Station)
· B9163 Black Isle - tree damage to the Newhall Burn bridge, between (Jemimaville and Balblair)
In addition there are minor road closures:
· Galcantray to Croy (Tree resting on building)
· C1242 Kilbeg/Ostag Tarskavaig road (culvert collapse).
"The forward look of the Council is one of ambition, improving outcomes and working across Communities". This is the view of the external audit report on The Highland Council.
The Council has a legal duty to provide certain advice and information services on debt, welfare and housing for local residents. Employment rights advice is also provided but there is no statutory duty on the Council to provide this.
Highland Council is fully supportive of the aim to close the poverty-related educational attainment gap between children and young people from the least and most disadvantaged communities. In Highland, 1537 Primary and 1006 Secondary School children live in the most deprived data zones.
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.
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