Highland Council responds to Syrian Refugee Crisis
8th September 2015
A cross party meeting of Group Leaders from The Highland Council has today met to discuss Highland Council's initial response to the Syrian Refugee Crisis.
The Group Leaders also met with Bylthswood representatives to hear of the work they are doing to support the Syrian Refugees.
The Highland Council has advised COSLA that it would be willing to play its part in any government arranged Syrian Resettlement Scheme.
Speaking on behalf of the Group Leaders of Highland Council, Leader of the Council, Margaret Davidson said: "We understand and share the genuine concerns of people across the Highlands about the desperate situation of thousands of people fleeing from the war in Syria.
"The Council is committed to do whatever it can to offer practical support. We have today advised COSLA that we are willing to play our part in the government's Syrian Resettlement Scheme. Clearly this is a fast moving and complex situation and we await further details from the UK and Scottish Governments as well as COSLA, as to how this scheme will operate.
"We will be meeting with our community planning partners on Friday to explore what practical assistance can be given in the event of receiving refugees into the Highlands.
"If people wish to help in the short term, the most effective way to help at this stage is to donate cash to recognised UK charities. Blythswood have set up an appeal which people can donate to very simply."
Blythswood Chief Executive, James Campbell welcomed the opportunity to brief Group Leaders on the work they are doing to support the Syrian Refugees. He said; “I am grateful for the support of the Council for the work that we are doing. I wish to thank all those who have already contributed to our special appeal. If anyone wishes to help they can text SYRI15 £5 or donate at www.blythswood.org."
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.
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.
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