Highland Leader Calls For Flat Cash Settlement
13th December 2016
Speaking after attending today's COSLA meeting, Leader of the Council, Margaret Davidson said: "The Highland Council’s services, along with other Local Authorities’, have been cut to the bone after years of real terms reduction in funding from the Scottish Government. Since 2010/11 the Council has made savings of £135m, with £39m in this year alone.
“If we do not get a flat cash settlement, we are facing a potential £26 million hole in our budget which will result in the Council having to reduce or stop providing some services and functions. We have to assume a worst case scenario until the Scottish Government lays out its spending plans for next year on Thursday 15 December.
“We are looking at a range of proposals to make savings and increase income and the Administration will be continuing to work together across the chamber to seek consensus on the way forward in what is a dire financial situation.
“We are listening to people’s reactions to some of the draft budget proposals and nothing will be decided until February. However people need to get real! Cuts on this scale can simply not be made without significant reductions to some services."
She added: “The Administration of the Council will put the following motion to Council on Thursday 15 December.
“The Highland Council notes the UK Government’s Autumn Statement published on 23 November 2016 which shows a small increase in the overall resources coming to Scotland, both in cash and real terms.
“In view of this, the Highland Council urges the Scottish Government not to impose further damaging cuts to local government funding but provide a cash flat settlement which will help the Council to avoid making significant and painful cuts to front line public services that deliver important lifeline services to our communities in the Highland."
The Leader of The Highland Council has written to HMICS to express concerns regarding a potential change to the creation of a single National Database Enquiry Unit (NDEU) for the whole of Scotland, based in Inverness. Leader of the Council, Margaret Davidson said: "I have written to the Mr Penman HMICS to express my concerns regarding the proposed changes to the Inverness Police Control Room.
The Highland Council's People Committee has agreed membership of the Council's new Adult Services Development and Scrutiny Sub-Committee. The Adult Services Development and Scrutiny Sub-Committee will ensure specific consideration is given to the delivery of adult social care services, as part of an integrated approach to all community care services, and will oversee on behalf of the People Committee, the commissioning of social care services for adults from NHS Highland.
The Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters Marine Spatial Plan (PFOW MSP) has won the Excellence in Plan Making Practice category at the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) Awards for Planning Excellence 2017. The awards were held in London on 15 June.
Greater direct control of funding by schools will help improve education, Deputy First Minister John Swinney said as he called for parents, teachers and young people to have their say in revamping the way schools are funded. Speaking the day after he announced sweeping new powers for schools, Mr Swinney said it was crucial that funding decisions are taken by those who know children best and know where the funding will have the biggest impact.
Members of The Highland Council's Places Committee have today (Thursday 15 June 2017) agreed proposals to transfer the Highland Council Ranger service to High Life Highland. The Council's Ranger Service is one of the largest local authority ranger services in Scotland with staff running many events and guided to raise awareness and encourage the appreciation of the scenery, wildlife and heritage of the Highlands.
HIGHLAND Council has seen its target passed for people paying for the brown bin service. The is charge £30 per year to collect garden waste and 24,030 households have ordered the service.
The Highland Council has moved to reassure Council tenants on the fire safety of the Council's housing stock, following the tragic fire in London. The Council owns a number of multi-storey flatted properties but does not have any high rise buildings (above 5 storeys), including schools, & council homes.
Welfare Support provided by The Highland Council helped customers to a record financial gain of £4.651 million over the past year (2016-17). Over this period, the Welfare Support team supported 1,560 customers to maximise their benefits.
The Highland Council is pleased to introduce the third, iteration draft Gaelic Language Plan 2017-2022 which is being submitted for a 6 week public consultation. The Highland Council draft Gaelic Language Plan has been prepared as a statutory document for submission to Bòrd na Gàidhlig in response to the formal notice of requirement to prepare a Gaelic Language Plan and with regard to the requirements set out in Section 3 of the Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005.
People living in the Highlands who are thinking of a career change to Primary teaching are being urged by The Highland Council to consider a distance learning course (DLITE) with the University of Aberdeen. Training for the Postgraduate Diploma in Primary Education DLITE (Distance Learning ITE) starts on 20 January 2018 and the deadline for applications is 21 August 2017.
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