Highland Council asks are you ready for winter?
11th October 2016
The Highland Council is asking people in the Highlands - ‘Are you ready for winter?'.
The Council is again supporting the Scottish Government's Ready Scotland campaign at www.readyscotland.organd urges people in the Highlands to take some time to get ready for winter and all kinds of severe weather.
Councillor Allan Henderson, Highland Council's Chair of Community Services Committee, said: "Are you ready at home and on the move for winter? Have you got a winter kit in your car? Are you prepared for all eventualities? Are you looking out for elderly neighbours? Do you know how to find out and what to do if your school is closed? I urge folks to be prepared and be ready for winter so that you are not caught out."
Within its winter roads maintenance budget of £5.22 million for 2016/17, the Council is ready to salt - according to its policy - the 6,744km of roads for which the Council has responsibility. Trunk roads in Highland are the responsibility of Transport Scotland and their operators Bear Scotland.
Highland Council's road salt stocks are currently at 35,000 tonnes. Another 25,000 tonnes of salt are on order and due for delivery by 1 November. Arrangements are in place to re-stock during the winter if the rate of use is high. The Council's suppliers have adequate reserves for this to happen and no shortage is anticipated.
The Council has 105 gritters, 45 footpath tractors and 1 snow cutter with over 200 staff providing winter maintenance services.
Roads are gritted according to policy and priority. Primary routes are gritted Mondays to Saturdays 6am to 9pm and on Sundays and public holidays from 7am to 9pm. Secondary routes will follow the completion of Primary routes and are gritted Mondays to Saturdays from 6am to 6pm within available resources. ‘Other' routes are treated as resources permit. In extreme conditions all efforts will be made to keep Primary routes clear.
Grit/salt bins on council roads have a telephone number displayed on them to allow the public to request a refill. The Council’s Winter Maintenance Policy and existing local area gritting maps are on the council’s website at
To find out if Highland schools are closed check the Council’s website www.highland.gov.uk/schoolclosures
or call the school information line on 0800 564 2272 and dial in your local school PIN number to get the latest pre-recorded message from the head teacher. The list of school PIN numbers is on the council’s website at
Make sure you have the phone number and PIN number ready in a handy place now.
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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