Council Programme agreed - Local Voices, Highland Choices
7th September 2017
The Highland Council has agreed a five-year Programme which sets out a number of strategic goals across 5 themes: a place to live, a place to learn, a place to thrive, a welcoming place and a redesigned council.
Council Leader, Margaret Davidson said: "Our Programme builds on the foundations of localism that we have been establishing over recent months. We are committed to devolving more power to areas to make democracy work better for communities.
"This is an exciting and energetic region full of entrepreneurs and we need to build on the undoubted strengths in our communities. Workforce planning is crucial for our future and we must plan to grow our own skilled workforce to meet the needs of tomorrow, with early years provision, support for schools, modern apprenticeships, and supporting and growing job creation and opportunities across the region.
"In tandem with growing jobs and opportunities we need to ensure we have places for people to live and thrive. We have an acute housing need and we will be ambitious with our targets for new homes and encouraging the private sector to join with us in our ambition."
She continued: "There are many risks, mostly fiscal, to the successful outcome of our Programme, but never better opportunities. This programme must have cross-chamber support and the next step is to discuss the detail in a seminar with members and thereafter to engage with our communities and partners in order to deliver the best we can for Highland."
The agreed priorities will form the basis of the Council's corporate and service plans.
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Highland Council is fully supportive of the aim to close the poverty-related educational attainment gap between children and young people from the least and most disadvantaged communities. In Highland, 1537 Primary and 1006 Secondary School children live in the most deprived data zones.
Last week, The Highland Council issued rent suspension orders (RSO) in relation to a number of properties being operated as unlicensed houses in multiple occupation (HMO). The orders, which have been served on the owners and tenants, mean that the tenants are no longer under any obligation to pay rent to their landlord.
The Leader of The Highland Council Councillor Margaret Davidson welcomed the First Minister's announcement of a Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund to deliver much needed improvements to tourist infrastructure to support the rising numbers of visitors to the Highlands. This comes the week after figures were published for August which showed Highland visitor attractions were performing 17% higher compared to August last year, a result that is backed by accounts from residents and businesses that the area has been hugely popular with visitors this season.
The Highland Council is ready for winter and prepared to grit council roads as the council's winter maintenance programme starts on 14 October. Trunk roads in Highland are the responsibility of Transport Scotland and their operators Bear Scotland.
Trading Standards are looking for young people to take part in test purchasing exercises. We want to find out which shops are breaking the law by selling age restricted products to young people under 18.
Caithness Civic leader Cllr Willie Mackay (centre) cuts the tape at the opening of the newly refurbished half mile Killimster Moss stretch of the B876 Wick to Thurso road. Looking on are some of the Highland council workers praised for the project which was done on time and within budget.
Caithness Civic Leader Cllr Willie Mackay has welcomed the reopening of the B876 Killimster Moss Road. A stretch of the Caithness Wick to Thurso road at Killimster Moss was refurbished over a four week programme of improvement and reopened on Friday 29 September.
A chance to have your say. Voters are being invited to have their say on a review of polling places throughout the Highland Council area The Council has today (Monday 2 October 2017) launched a consultation over its review of election polling districts and polling places.
The Scottish Government is allocating £1 million to improve school libraries over the next three years. Launched today by the Deputy First Minister, the School Library Improvement Fund will be open for education authorities to apply for funding on behalf of school libraries in their area.
The Scrutiny Lead for The Highland Council, Cllr Matthew Reiss responded to the decisions made today by the Scottish Police Authority (SPA) at their meeting in Inverness. He said: "We are naturally deeply disappointed by the decisions today to close the Inverness Control Room and to spread the National Database Enquiry Unit between Inverness and Govan.
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