Leader welcomes delay in closure of Inverness Police Control Room
26th August 2016
The Leader of the Council has welcomed the announcement by Police Scotland of their plan to delay the closure of the Inverness Control Room and transfer of command and control to Dundee until June 2017.
Leader of The Highland Council, Cllr Margaret Davidson said: "The HMICS (Her Majesty's Inspector of Constabularies Scotland) Report set the bar high for standards of assurance and we need to have a guarantee that all these standards have been met before any changes can take place.
"It is good news that the plans for Inverness have been delayed until next summer. However, whilst this is a positive step, it is not too late to reconsider the strategic direction for Control Rooms and to keep a Control Room in the Highlands, where we have experienced, skilled and knowledgeable staff, based in a recognised Strategic Coordinating Centre. So I will continue to press Mr Gormley for a rethink on this matter."
Chair of the Communities and Partnerships Committee, Cllr Hamish Fraser added: "I am pleased to hear of this revised timescale and I am sure that staff in the control rooms will welcome these few months of reprieve in what is a very uncertain time for them. There are still clear concerns about the changes to be made and Police Scotland need to consider the risk of losing public confidence and support by continuing down this route."
With Storm Caroline hitting the Highlands yesterday, today's heavy snowfall and the forecast for a drop in temperatures over the next 48 hours, the Highland Council's crews and winter vehicles have been busy in action. The fleet includes 105 gritters, 42 footpath tractors and over the coming months 200 plus staff will be providing winter maintenance services.
Wick Campus, including Wick High School, Newtonpark Primary School and High Life Highland Leisure facilities will remain closed on Friday 8 December 2017. The closure is due to high winds during Storm Caroline today which caused some damage to part of the roof of the Wick campus gym, causing the metal flashing around a roof light to become detached.
Following the high winds forecast and experienced this week due to Storm Caroline, The Highland Council is encouraging landowners to check trees and vegetation near to public roads which may have been damaged. Roads affected by fallen trees this morning were near Beauly; Achnagarron near Invergordon and Lochaber which staff are clearing.
The high winds during Storm Caroline today have caused some damage to part of the roof of the Wick campus gym, causing the metal flashing around a roof light to become detached. The school was already closed to pupils today due to the adverse weather.
Road condition reports by The Highland Council's Community Services for the morning of Thursday 7 December 2017 are as follows: Caithness and Sutherland: Most roads are affected by snow and ice. Treatment in progress.
The Highland Council expresses its deep disappointment at the news of further branch closures by the Royal Bank of Scotland. Leader of the Highland Council Margaret Davidson said: "This will cause real difficulties for many customers and small businesses.
Highland consumers who have lost money to a scam involving payment through Western Union wire transfer between 1st January 2004 and 19th January 2017, are being encouraged by Highland Council Trading Standards to file a claim for a refund with America's Federal Trade Commission in a bid to get some or if not all of their money back. In January 2017, Western Union agreed to pay $586 million for turning a blind eye to scammers and other criminals who used its service to trick customers into paying for bogus prizes, loans, jobs, discounted products and other financial rewards in exchange for money upfront.
The Highland Council and Department for Work and Pensions are implementing plans to improve accessibility to their services. This joint venture will see the jobcentre staff co-locating with the Council and other services in the council's new modern office developments in both Fort William and Wick.
City-region deal investment means that Inverness can now be branded a digital city. Ness WiFi, a free WiFi service, which was successfully piloted earlier this year, has now been rolled out across Inverness city centre, extending to and including areas such as the High Street, the Castle, Eden Court, and the bus and railway stations.
Leisure and cultural venues currently run by council arm's-length bodies will continue to benefit from charity relief from non-domestic rates. Following lengthy consultation with stakeholders, Finance Secretary Derek Mackay today confirmed that the Scottish Government will not be accepting the recommendation of the Barclay Review to end this benefit.
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