Top national award for Highland Council's energy project
6th March 2017
The Highland Council has won a national award for a project aimed at cutting the cost of heating Highland homes.
The Scottish Energy Efficiency and Health Homes Award, presented during an award ceremony held in Glasgow, recognised the Council's work to assist with reducing energy use in Highland homes through the Home Energy Efficiency Programme for Scotland - Area Based Scheme (HEEPS-ABS) and the particular drive to identify and assist homes that are in fuel poverty or vulnerable to the cost of energy.
The Council have achieved substantial improvements to over 1200 properties across the Highlands by upgrading and replacing the insulation of the houses. The scheme works are undertaken by the Council partner E-On.
HEEPS-ABS is a Scottish Government Scheme that has been designed and delivered by councils, with local delivery partners. They target fuel-poor areas, to provide energy efficiency measures to a large number of Scottish homes while delivering emission savings and helping reduce fuel poverty. The Highland area-based scheme has run for 4 years and delivers on a range of fabric measures as well as heating to improve the energy rating of the homes to reduce energy bills.
Chair of The Council’s Planning, Development and Infrastructure Committee, Councillor Audrey Sinclair congratulated the team on their success. She said "Everyone involved should feel very proud as they thoroughly deserve this prestigious award. The project is all about working in partnership to bring major energy savings to hard-to-treat properties in fuel poverty parts of the Highlands. The measures really make a huge difference and this latest success follows on from previous national recognition for the work of the team."
This is the second national award that the Council scheme has taken. The Highland Council won the UK project of the year in 2015 at the national Green Deal & ECO Awards.
With Storm Caroline hitting the Highlands yesterday, today's heavy snowfall and the forecast for a drop in temperatures over the next 48 hours, the Highland Council's crews and winter vehicles have been busy in action. The fleet includes 105 gritters, 42 footpath tractors and over the coming months 200 plus staff will be providing winter maintenance services.
Wick Campus, including Wick High School, Newtonpark Primary School and High Life Highland Leisure facilities will remain closed on Friday 8 December 2017. The closure is due to high winds during Storm Caroline today which caused some damage to part of the roof of the Wick campus gym, causing the metal flashing around a roof light to become detached.
Following the high winds forecast and experienced this week due to Storm Caroline, The Highland Council is encouraging landowners to check trees and vegetation near to public roads which may have been damaged. Roads affected by fallen trees this morning were near Beauly; Achnagarron near Invergordon and Lochaber which staff are clearing.
The high winds during Storm Caroline today have caused some damage to part of the roof of the Wick campus gym, causing the metal flashing around a roof light to become detached. The school was already closed to pupils today due to the adverse weather.
Road condition reports by The Highland Council's Community Services for the morning of Thursday 7 December 2017 are as follows: Caithness and Sutherland: Most roads are affected by snow and ice. Treatment in progress.
The Highland Council expresses its deep disappointment at the news of further branch closures by the Royal Bank of Scotland. Leader of the Highland Council Margaret Davidson said: "This will cause real difficulties for many customers and small businesses.
Highland consumers who have lost money to a scam involving payment through Western Union wire transfer between 1st January 2004 and 19th January 2017, are being encouraged by Highland Council Trading Standards to file a claim for a refund with America's Federal Trade Commission in a bid to get some or if not all of their money back. In January 2017, Western Union agreed to pay $586 million for turning a blind eye to scammers and other criminals who used its service to trick customers into paying for bogus prizes, loans, jobs, discounted products and other financial rewards in exchange for money upfront.
The Highland Council and Department for Work and Pensions are implementing plans to improve accessibility to their services. This joint venture will see the jobcentre staff co-locating with the Council and other services in the council's new modern office developments in both Fort William and Wick.
City-region deal investment means that Inverness can now be branded a digital city. Ness WiFi, a free WiFi service, which was successfully piloted earlier this year, has now been rolled out across Inverness city centre, extending to and including areas such as the High Street, the Castle, Eden Court, and the bus and railway stations.
Leisure and cultural venues currently run by council arm's-length bodies will continue to benefit from charity relief from non-domestic rates. Following lengthy consultation with stakeholders, Finance Secretary Derek Mackay today confirmed that the Scottish Government will not be accepting the recommendation of the Barclay Review to end this benefit.
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