Leader raises concerns over handling of emergency calls in the Highlands
11th January 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. This is within the broader context of the impending transfer, this summer, of Police call handling from Inverness to a national service centre, which cannot become operational unless Police Scotland meets over 30 recommendations from the Penman report after the Lamara Bell incident.
"It is critically important that communities across the Highlands have confidence that when they need emergency assistance, it is provided as quickly and as effectively as possible.
"We have had an excellent service from our Fire and Rescue Service in the Highlands over the years and have good relationships with local staff, however, the continued move to centralisation of services away from the North has a detrimental impact on both local decision making and public confidence."
She went on to say: "I look forward to discussing these issues with the Minister at our meeting which is being arranged."
In the meantime, the Leader has written to the Chief Fire Officer to establish the facts of the matter and Chair of the Communities and Partnerships Committee, Cllr Hamish Fraser has been in discussion with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service Area Manager for Highland.
Cllr Fraser added: “The Local Senior Officer has given me strong reassurances and I have now received initial information regarding some alleged incidents about the tasking fire appliances to respond to emergency calls in the Highlands. We will need to consider this information and have further discussion to seek assurances on the performance of the new control room and the appropriate deployment of emergency services across our area."
As part of Scam Awareness Month, Caithness Citizens Advice Bureau and Highland Council Trading Standards want to alert young job seekers about the potential pitfalls when applying for jobs or signing up to recruitment agencies online. Glenys Brown, Trading Standards Officer, based in Inverness explains, "Unfortunately, nationally, there has been a sharp rise in the number of online job hunting scams and the age group most likely to be targeted with fake job offers are young adults aged between 18 to 24 years".
The Highland Council is looking for your views on our draft Local Housing Strategy. The strategy sets out our aims for housing over the next 5 years and what we will do to.
Council confirms Corran Ferry is back up and running. The Highland Council is pleased to report that at 12.30pm today (Thursday 20 July 2017) the Corran Ferry fully resumed its foot passenger and car service.
Leader of The Highland Council, Cllr Margaret Davidson is calling for transparency on the UK Government's announcement this week that Council Leader calls for transparency on HMRC move to Edinburgh Leader of The Highland Council, Cllr Margaret Davidson is calling for transparency on the UK Government's announcement this week that 2,900 HMRC civil servants will be relocated to a new hub in Edinburgh city centre by 2020. Councillor Davidson said: "I am very concerned that Inverness is cited in news coverage of the UK Government's intention to move HMRC staff in regional offices to Edinburgh.
Teams from The Highland Council have been walking back to happiness and feeling the benefits of more active lifestyles following completion of the summer Step Count Challenge, run by Paths for All. The 8 week challenge, which attracted 968 teams of 5 from across Scotland started in May and finished on 25 June 2017.
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The Highland Council, one of several local authorities in Scotland which license UV tanning salons, will be conducting an audit on all licensed premises in Highland to verify compliance with EU safety standards regarding the output of ultra violet (UV) radiation. Environmental Health Officers have become increasingly aware of concerns nationally whereby the UV bulb strength in many cases have been found to exceed the standard for such equipment.
Motorists using Highland Council car parking machines will no longer have to search for change with the introduction of ‘RingGo' phone parking payments across the region. RingGo is a quick, easy to use mobile phone service, which lets motorists pay for their parking with a credit or debit card, rather than using cash at a machine.
Prosecuting people who share or threaten to share intimate images without consent will be easier under a new law which comes into force this month. From 3 July 2017, those convicted the offence could face up to five years in prison under the Abusive Behaviour and Sexual Harm (Scotland) Act 2016.
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