Highland Council 2017 Election Called
13th March 2017
The 2017 Highland Council election has been officially called today (Monday 13 March) with the Returning Officer seeking nominations from candidates wishing to stand in the local government elections which take place on Thursday 4 May.
A total of 74 Councillors will be appointed to represent the Council in 21 electoral wards, each with three or four elected members. Previously Highland has had 80 councillors. Caithness will now have two wards instead of three and will lose 2 councillors.
The deadline for nominations is 4.00 pm on Wednesday 29 March
The Returning Officer for the election is Steve Barron, Chief Executive, The Highland Council and in the lead up to the election, a series of briefings for prospective candidates have been held in Inverness; Fort William; Skye; Dingwall; Golspie and Wick which have been well attended.
Voting will be taking place on 4 May in 267 polling stations with the option for people to use a postal vote. If you choose to vote by post then you cannot vote in person at a polling station.
The votes will be counted electronically on the following day (Friday 5 May 2017) at Inverness Leisure.
Nomination forms can be downloaded from the Council's website www.highland.gov.uk/elections along with information on where candidates for particular wards need to return their forms to. Forms can also be obtained by telephoning 01349 886657.
Completed nomination papers must be delivered no later than 4.00 pm on Wednesday 29 March 2017 to the appropriate Depute Returning Officer. The Depute Returning Officers are unable to accept nomination papers electronically.
An election helpline has been set up by the Returning Officer to assist the public and candidates with any queries. The number is 01349 886657.
If an elector is away or cannot go to the polling station on Thursday 4 May 2017, they can apply to vote by post or apply to vote by proxy. To find out how to apply, call the helpline immediately.
Extensive information about the elections is also posted on The Highland Council's web site - www.highland.gov.uk. This includes information for anyone considering standing on the different aspects of a councillor's role so they are prepared if successfully elected. There are also links to the Electoral Commission site where guidance and resources are available for candidates and their agents.
People in the Highlands are being invited to drop in to new Digital Café sessions which could save them significant amounts of money. The Highland Council in partnership with other Highland Social Landlords and the social enterprise company Libertie are hosting a series of mobile Digital Café events during May 2017.
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.
A Local business has been found in contempt of court after breaching an Enforcement Order previously issued following action taken by Highland Council Trading Standards. On the 12th April 2017 at Inverness Sherriff Court Ms Diane Urquhart, Director of Inverness Fireplace and Heating Centre and Mr Michael Armour also of Inverness Fireplace and Heating Centre were found in breach of an Enforcement Order issued under the Enterprise Act 2002 and in contempt of court.
The Highland Council advises that Non-Domestic Rates (NDR) bills for 2017/18 are now being issued. NDR is also known as Business Rates.
Voters are reminded of the deadlines for both registering to vote and applying to vote by post in the forthcoming Highland Council elections on Thursday 4 May. Registration: To be able to vote in the elections, voters must be 16 years or over on 4 May 2017 and must be registered to vote.
In response to a call for evidence on the impact of city-region deals in Scotland, by a Scottish Parliament Committee, Highland Council Director of Development and Infrastructure, Stuart Black said:"It is very early days to assess the impact of the City-Region Deal, however, it is anticipated that the impact of the Deal on Inverness and the wider Highland region will be significant in securing the long term productivity and economic growth of the region and position it as a region of digital opportunity. Regional partners estimate that the City-Region Deal funding of £315m could unlock up to an additional £800 million of investment by the private sector.
With Scottish Council elections taking place in just a few weeks, voters in the Highlands are being urged to make sure they are registered to vote and are able to take part on polling day, Thursday 4 May. The call for voters to sign up comes as the Electoral Commission launches a national voter registration campaign to encourage as many people as possible to register ahead of the elections taking place this year.
The Highland Council has awarded a contract to a world leading engineering design firm to carry out comprehensive flood protection studies for two Highland coastal towns. Thurso on the north coast and Golspie on the east coast have both suffered from flooding incidents over the years that has affected domestic and business properties and resulted in both towns being identified as Potentially Vulnerable Areas (PVAs) in the Highland and Argyll Local Flood Risk Management Plan.
The elections for the 74 seats on The Highland Council, being held on Thursday 4 May, will involve 165 candidates contesting all of the 21 multi-member wards. Caithness will now only have two wards instead of three.
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