Your community needs you - Community Council Elections 2015
9th September 2015
Nominations are invited from people seeking election to all Community Councils across Highland this autumn. This is your chance to help represent the views of your community to the Highland Council and other public agencies.
Community Councils are voluntary organisations that act as a voice for their local area. They express the views and concerns of local people within their area across a wide range of issues from new buildings and roads to local services and facilities. They also have statutory duties: by law, the Highland Council must consult with Community Councils on planning and licensing applications in their area.
Community Councils also work to make positive changes in their local communities. Some Community Councils have worked to improve patient transport, dental services and care services as well as looking at ways to improve their environment for the good of the community and visitors to the area.
In some areas, Community Councils receive Community Benefit money from windfarm projects which they can reinvest in the community. Others are involved in setting up Community Development Companies which can lead on larger scale projects to improve the area.
Anyone can be a Community Councillor, provided they are aged 16 or over, are on the Electoral Register and live within the Community Council boundary. Becoming a Community Councillor is a great way to help represent and improve the community in which you live.
Candidates wishing to serve their local Community Councils can nominate themselves from Monday 21 September 2015.If the number of nominations exceeds the number of places on the Community Council then there will be an election ballot in that local area.
Those aged 16 and 17 at the time of the nomination deadline are also eligible to seek election and to register to vote in the election. However 16 and 17 year olds must be registered on the supplementary register. Registration forms are available on the Highland Council website and are being distributed through secondary schools.
The Returning Officer for the elections is Steve Barron, Chief Executive of The Highland Council. He said: "Community Councils play a significant part in local democracy and in strengthening communities across a range of issues. These elections will include 16 and 17 year olds both as candidates and voters for the first time and I encourage all to consider standing and to vote on the day."
Further information on nominations and the election is available on the Council website www.highland.gov.uk
"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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