Council Elections - Registration and postal voting deadlines imminent
10th April 2017
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. Anyone not registered and who is eligible to vote in the election should contact the Highland and Western Isles Electoral Registration Officer at Moray House, 16-18 Bank Street, Inverness on freefone 0800 393 783. The deadline to register is midnight on Monday 17 April. However Monday 17 April is a public holiday and there are no postal deliveries on that date. You may prefer to use the on-line registration service www.gov.uk/register-to-vote. The electorate for the Council elections currently stands at 183,028.
If you have received a poll card from the Returning Officer, there is no need to re-register.
Postal Voting: Electors who are or will be registered to vote are entitled to apply for a postal vote. 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. Eligible voters wishing to apply to vote by post should contact the Electoral Registration Officer (contact details above). A requirement of the application form and voting by post is to provide a signature and date of birth. Currently more than 35,450 people in the Highlands are registered to vote by post.
The deadline for receiving new postal vote and postal proxy applications, and for changes to existing postal or proxy votes is 5pm on Tuesday 18 April.
Election Information: The election is to elect 74 members of The Highland Council, who will serve on 11 four-member and 10 three-member wards.
Polling will take place at 267 polling stations throughout the Highlands between 7 am and 10 pm on Thursday 4 May. The electronic count will take place on Friday 5 May at Inverness Leisure, Bught Park, Inverness.
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.
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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