Highland Council - New Administration of Independents, Liberal Democrats and Labour Councillors
10th May 2017
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. This is an agreement that provides a sustainable Administration for the long term, and represents the widespread opinion across the Highlands.
Meanwhile the Scottish National group councillors expressed their unhappiness. Cllr Smith issued the following statement -
Today the Independents in Highland Council announced that they have done a deal with the Lib Dems and Labour Groups to form an Administration. They met with their Independent Group at 1pm today, without first giving us the chance to negotiate. The reasons given for choosing the others was that they didn't like the rhetoric on the doors against the SNP!
As an SNP Group we returned the same number of councillors as in 2012, although percentage-wise more, as there are less wards now. We are astonished that the Independents have taken this stance. We are a Group of 22 and they are a Group of 28 and together we would have formed a robust, stable and experienced coalition, which would have remained in place for the 5 year term. Given that our vote stayed high and the Lib Dems, Labour and Independents all lost seats to the Tories, this does not make sense and is a betrayal of the public vote.
We proved ourselves trustworthy in allowing the Independent minority Administration to stay in power for nearly 2 years and instead of being rewarded for that trust, we have been kicked aside in favour of a threeway alliance. Cllr. Margaret Davidson and her team have taken a short-sighted view of the future and we struggle to see how working against the party in government is a positive thing for our Highlands.
As an Opposition, we will of course, do our best to scrutinise what goes on and continue to have the best interests of the Highland people at our core.
The conservatives and the single green councillor will sit in the opposition along with the SNP.
74 Members were elected on 5 May including 31 new Members.
The proposal for a majority Administration of the 41 Members of the 3 Groups will be put to The Highland Council meeting on 18 May for formal agreement. Office Bearers are to be formally agreed at this meeting, including the appointment of Cllr Margaret Davidson as Leader of the Council.
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
74 Members were elected on 5 May including 31 new Members. Further information here: http://www.highland.gov.uk/info/799/elections_and_voting/371/elections/4
The Highland Council has responded to the news that the Board of The Highland Military Tattoo have taken the decision not hold another Tattoo. Provost of Inverness and Area Cllr Helen Carmichael said: "While we respect the decision of the Board of Directors of the Highland Military Tattoo, this is very sad news for the Highlands.
The Highland Council's chargeable garden waste brown bin collection service started on 3rd July 2017 and to date approximately 32,000 garden waste brown bin permits have been purchased. This accounts for 48% of households that previously received the Garden Waste Collection Service.
Pilot gives access to more than 120 libraries - and 1.6 million books. A pilot for a single card that can be used in any library has been launched in the north east.
The Highland Council received two awards at last week's Scottish Awards for Quality in Planning. One Award was in the "Process" Category for the Highland eDevelopment project and the second was in the "Place" category for the Nucleus Building in Wick.
The Highland Council is pleased to announce that the main phase of the work to construct the Kingussie Flood Alleviation Channel is now underway. The project is a joint venture between the Council and Pitmain Estate and is located on the Estate's land above the village of Kingussie.
The Highland Council achieved a 6% reduction in its year-on-year carbon emissions in 2016/17, equivalent to a saving of over 4,000 tonnes of CO2. In addition, thanks to a variety of energy efficiency measures implemented throughout the organisation, the Council saved almost £180k compared to the previous year, despite increasing energy costs.
Communities and developers will be invited to have their say in shaping a refreshed approach to dealing with developer contributions for developments across Highland. At today's Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee, members gave the go ahead for a six week public consultation on the Draft Developer Contributions Supplementary Guidance which will begin in early 2018.
Parent representatives from 206 Parent Councils across the Highland region have been invited to attend the Highland Parent Council Partnership conference which will be held on Saturday 18 Nov 2017 from 9:30am to 3:30pm. Guest speaker at the conference - to be held at Highland Council, Headquarters, Glenurquhart Road, Inverness - will be John Swinney MSP, Deputy First Minister of Scotland and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills.
The Highland Council have reviewed and updated the administrative procedures around miscellaneous and animal establishment licensing making it easier for people to access information and provide feedback. An online register of all applications is now published on the Council's website and the procedures are clear on how individuals or groups can raise concerns or object to applications for these types of licence.
The Highland Council remains on track to provide much-needed affordable homes for a growing population with a pledge in its Strategic Housing Plan 2018-2023 to approve 500 units each year of which 70% will be for affordable rent and 30% for low cost home ownership. Members of the Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee today (Wednesday 8 November) had the opportunity to discuss the Housing Investment Plan for 2018-2023 and to reaffirm the council's commitment to deliver new homes in the Highlands.
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