2017/2018 Council Tax Levels Set For Highland
16th February 2017
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. Households living in properties in Bands A-D are not affected by these increases.
Further information on the Council Tax increases by the Scottish Government can be found on their website: http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Government/local-government/17999/counciltax
If you would like to check what band your property falls under you can check on the Assessor's web site: https://www.saa.gov.uk/ (external link)
Queries relating to Council Tax Bands must be made to the Assessor by emailing email@example.com or by phoning 01463 703311.
In addition to the increase in Council Tax set by the Scottish Government on properties falling within Bands E to H, The Highland Council has been given the flexibility to increase Council Tax on all properties, Bands A to H, by up to 3% from 1 April 2017. Council Tax legislation, set by the Scottish Government, determines any increase must be applied to all Bands in A to H.
At the meeting of the Highland Council on 16 February 2017 it was agreed to increase Council Tax on all properties by 3% from 1 April 2017.
If households would like support with their personal budgeting they should contact the Council's Welfare Support Team at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phoning 0800 0901004. This support includes checking and claiming your entitlement to all benefits. Alternatively households may wish to contact their local Citizens Advice Bureau which provides a service on behalf of the Council to help individuals and households manage debts.
Financial assistance is available for those on low incomes to reduce their Council Tax bills. This is called Council Tax Reduction. A leaflet providing details of this relief can be found at www.highland.gov.uk/counciltax Households already in receipt of Council Tax Reduction will have their entitlement automatically recalculated.
Households can check whether they are eligible for assistance by completing the Highland Council’s innovative ‘Apply Once’ online application form at http://www.highland.gov.uk/applyonce This form will also automatically identify any other entitlements that are administered by the Council based on the individual’s circumstances. Households supply their details only once and the Council will put into payment all entitlements that are legitimately available to them.
The 82,000 households who are currently paying their Council Tax by Direct Debit do not need to cancel or change their existing payment amount as this will be updated automatically from 1 April 2017. Households who wish to set up a Direct Debit for payment of their Council Tax can do so at www.highland.gov.uk/counciltax.
The Highland Council's Planning Performance Framework has been agreed for submission to the Scottish Government. All Planning Authorities in Scotland are required to submit an annual Planning Performance Framework to the Scottish Government, setting out how they have performed over the previous financial year.
Leader of the Highland Council Margaret Davidson commented following her meeting with Police Scotland on 16 August 2017, saying: "I am very grateful to ACC Hawkins and other officers for a very candid and useful meeting and for providing the information which we requested. "I remain, however, extremely disappointed in the recommendation going to the SPA and the poor governance in that decision making process.
Members have today approved proposals to expand the Inverness and Highland City-Region Deal funded free open public Wi-Fi system to 14 towns across the Highland. Towns recommended for the free Wi-Fi programme are Alness, Aviemore, Dingwall, Dornoch, Drumnadrochit, Fort Augustus, Fort William, Invergordon, Nairn, Portree, Tain, Thurso, Ullapool and Wick.
The Council has agreed to updated developer contributions for the delivery of new schools in the Inverness area. Taking account of the forecasted phasing of housing sites, school roll forecasts indicate that 13 Primary Schools in Inverness will be under pressure within the next 5 years.
Motorists are advised of a temporary road closure in Caithness to allow repairs to be carried out to approximately 1km of the B876 at Killimster Moss. The road will be closed from 8am on Monday 28 August 2017 until 6pm on Saturday 30 September 2017.
The Leader of the Highland Council, Margaret Davidson, has urged the Scottish Government to start using devolved powers to mitigate the impact of benefit changes in the Highlands. The call follows a meeting with Inverness MP, Drew Hendry, where she discussed the problems created by the introduction of Universal Credit.
The Council is to review developer contributions for schools in the Inverness area. Taking account of the forecasted phasing of housing sites, school roll forecasts indicate that Primary Schools in Inverness are under pressure and require significant additional capacity to support growth.
One hundred and forty two probationer teachers who are on the Teacher Induction Scheme and a few probationer teachers on the Flexible Route were recently welcomed to the Highlands (on Friday 11 August 2017) at an induction course held in Smithton Free Church Hall. Bill Alexander, Highland Council's Director of Care and Learning welcomed the probationers saying: "It's really good to see so many young people starting their careers in education here in the Highland and I wish them all well.
Highland Council has written to the Wick Stakeholder Group, Wick High School Parent Council and Newton Park Primary School Parent Council to provide a statement of assurance regarding the new Wick Campus facility. The letter states: We refer to discussion at recent Wick stakeholder group meetings, at which a request was made for the Council to provide a statement of assurance regarding the new Campus facility, and to address media reporting and local concerns over recent months.
Members are to be asked to approve proposals to expand the Inverness and Highland City-Region Deal funded free open public Wi-Fi system to 14 towns across Highland. Town centres recommended for the free Wi-Fi programme are Alness, Aviemore, Dingwall, Dornoch, Drumnadrochit, Fort Augustus, Fort William, Invergordon, Nairn, Portree, Tain, Thurso, Ullapool and Wick.
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