External audit highlights a forward looking Council
24th October 2017
"The forward look of the Council is one of ambition, improving outcomes and working across Communities". This is the view of the external audit report on The Highland Council.
The external audit also highlights the significant financial challenges that are likely over the next 5 years with the Council looking to achieve substantial financial savings, which need to be on a recurring basis. The Council continues to have lower available reserves. This reflects strategic directions taken by the Council, including the substantial programme of redesign.
The work of the redesign board during 2016/17 gives the Council a good platform to go forward and external auditors comment that it is encouraging to see consideration of future income streams, as well as expenditure savings and the formation of a Commercialisation Board.
The audit report provides an independent and positive view of the Council's approach to financial strategy. It notes: "The way forward builds on the successes in prior years as well as lessons learned and is centred around the refreshed Council vision and priorities."
Convener of the Council Bill Lobban welcomed the positive report saying: "It is very encouraging to receive external recognition of the innovative financial approach the Council has taken through its programme of redesign. This is a very positive report which recognises the enormous financial challenges and highlights the importance of a fresh and ambitious approach which embraces income generation and commercialisation as fundamental to our future viability."
The full report will be discussed by members at Highland Council on 26 October.
See the full report at
Road condition reports by The Highland Council's Community Services for the morning of Thursday, 23 November 2017 are as follows: Caithness and North Sutherland: Most of the higher routes in north Sutherland affected with up to 100mm wet snow, some of the lower routes inland up to 50mm wet snow, all routes in Caithness affected by minor flooding. Some of the main routes have major flooding with signage in place.
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.
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