Highland Council prepares for Storm Barbara
22nd December 2016
Highland Council is reminding pupils, parents and carers how to find out if their local school is closed or school transport is affected in anticipation of Storm Barbara hitting the north west of Scotland.
Information on school closures is uploaded to the Council's school closures website www.highland.gov.uk/schoolclosures from 7am each morning
School closure messages can be heard on the ‘school closures information line' by phoning 0800 564 2272 (with a school PIN number) to get the latest pre-recorded message from the head teacher of r child's school.
In case of power cuts make sure you have a copy of your school's PIN ready when you call by downloading the information now from www.highland.gov.uk/schoolclosures
Get alerts of schools closures on Highland Council's Twitter @HighlandCouncil and Facebook.
The Council is aware that bus companies across the authority are assessing their plans for school transport and Highland Scotbus has advised there will be no school transport on the Black Isle tomorrow. Stagecoach have also informed the Council that there will also be no school transport on Skye, and restrictions may impact elsewhere in the Council area.
Today (22 December) Gairloch High School is partially closed in the afternoon due to no water, heating and power and Stratherrick Primary was closed due to bad weather affecting some 138 pupils.
The Council’s Community Services are also prepared for the potential impacts of Storm Barbara and are ready in case of flooding, and road closures as a result of fallen trees and property damage.
Further information and advice is available on the Council’s website at: www.highland.gov.uk/readyforwinter on how to report flooding; Met Office forecasts; grit bin locations; Highland traffic and travel; Corran Ferry; Service Point closures; helping vulnerable neighbours and preparing for bad weather at home.
Highland Council has updated Wick Campus stakeholders and confirmed that the Campus has now been handed over by Hub North Scotland to the Council. The building is not as yet operational, and there are a number of outstanding works to be completed.
Highland Council is encouraging people across the region to have a go at balancing the Council's books - using a budget simulator. The Council is seeking feedback from local people as it prepares for the reduction in funding it receives from the Scottish Government.
Leader of The Highland Council, Margaret Davidson (Independent) has welcomed the outcome of the vote yesterday, 17th January 2017, in the Scottish Parliament, on the motion to reverse the decision to scrap the Board of Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE). Cllr Davidson said: "This vote sends a strong message to the Scottish Government about their incessant centralising agenda and we would now urge Ministers to reconsider their entire approach.
From 1 April 2017 the Scottish Government is changing the basis on which properties are assessed for Council Tax and this will increase the charge for Council Tax properties that are banded E to H. The Highland Council has no discretion in this matter and must apply these increases to the Council Tax charges from 1 April 2017.
The Leader of The Highland Council, Margaret Davidson has written to the Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs, Annabelle Ewing MSP, in relation to the recent press coverage on concerns raised about the handling of emergency calls in the Highlands and Islands. Councillor Davidson said: "It does raise concerns over the Government's decision to close the Inverness Fire control room and transfer responsibility for handling emergency calls to Dundee.
The deadline for commenting on The Highland Council's draft Landscape Appraisals to help in the consideration of future proposals for wind energy development is drawing near - but has been extended to 31 January 2017. Two landscape sensitivity appraisals are currently being consulted on: one for the Caithness study area and another covering The Black Isle, surrounding hills and Moray Firth Coast.
Highland Council's administrative offices will close at 4pm on 23 December 2016 and reopen on 4 January 2017. The Service Centre will close at 4pm on 23 December and open as normal on 28, 29 and 30 December (closing at 4pm on 30 December) Service Points will be on reduced opening hours.
Reacting to the Scottish Government's Budget Settlement for 2017-18, Budget Leader of The Highland Council, Cllr Bill Fernie said:"Disappointingly, our worst predictions are realised in that there has been a real cash cut to councils of £350 million. The devil will be in the detail, but an early analysis equates this to a significant cut in the grant to our core budget.
Since the introduction of Decriminalised Parking at Highland Council in October, the demand for Inverness Parking Permits has increased dramatically. This has seen the number of applications and permits issues increase from around 80 per month, to an average of 210 per month in October and November.
Highland Council is introducing pay and display parking at its headquarters car park as part of its Decriminalised Parking Enforcement Schemes. Cllr Allan Henderson, Chair of the Council's Community Services Committee said: "This change has come from a savings proposal agreed by Council in the December 2014 budget for implementation in 2015/16 to save £20,000 per year.
[Printer Friendly Version]