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."
The Highland Council has elected Councillor Margaret Davidson as Council Leader at its meeting today, 18 May 2017. Councillor Alasdair Christie was elected Depute Leader and Councillor Bill Lobban was elected Convener of the Council.
MFR Cash for Kids Charity Car Boot Sale is the latest recruit to be signed up by Highland Council Trading Standards to join the Real Deal scheme. The scheme was launched six years ago in a bid to stamp out the illegal trade in fake goods at markets and to ensure businesses are fully compliant with the relevant laws.
From 21 May 2017, people aged 60 and over who currently benefit from Highland Council’s rail concessionary travel scheme are being advised that half fare rail concessions for the majority of entitled Highland residents will cease. Free travel remains available by bus, and card holders are advised to keep their entitlement cards which can still be used on bus routes throughout Scotland.
Councillor Margaret Davidson announced today that an agreement had been reached to form anew administration to run Highland council for the next five years. Councillor Davidson will once again be the leader of the council and she said,"We are pleased to announce that a coalition of Independents, Liberal Democrats and Labour Councillors have formed an Administration to take Highland Council forward for the next five years.
The transformation of future learning in Highland schools was discussed by around 100 head teachers at a Science and Technology Conference last week in Inverness. Key speakers from Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Skills Development Scotland, the Wood Foundation, Education Scotland, FIRST Scandinavia and the Science and Skills Academy addressed the conference on the importance of STEM experiences and qualifications for young people in the Highlands.
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The results for the 2017 Highland Council elections have been declared. They are as follows: Independent 28 Scottish Conservative and Unionist 10 Scottish Green Party 1 Scottish Labour Party 3 Scottish Liberal Democrats 10 Scottish National Party (SNP) 22 Total elected 74 The first meeting of the new Council will be held on Thursday 18 May when the office-bearers will be confirmed.
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Mears signs new cost savings deal on PPP Highland schools project. Mears has signed a new deal with the Highland Council which will see millions of pounds saved over the lifetime of the Private Public Partnership (PPP) Highland Schools Project.
The Highland Council and partners are advising motorists of temporary road closures and speed restrictions which will be in place next weekend (22 - 23 April) during the Etape Loch Ness cycling event. The restrictions and prohibitions which are being put in place are for participants' safety and to allow the Etape to take place on public roads.
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