Local Authority News
The Highland Council is working in partnership with the Scottish Empty Homes Partnership to proactively bring privately-owned empty homes across the Highlands back into use. With funding support from the Scottish Empty Homes Partnership, the Council has been able to employ a full-time Empty Homes Officer for a two-year period.
RJ McLeod (Contractors) Ltd are starting works at Uig Harbour this week where the ferry terminal will be upgraded with new infrastructure. This forms a key part of the Skye Triangle upgrade where The Highland Council have been working closely with Transport Scotland, Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd (CMAL), CalMac Ferries Ltd and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar to deliver the Uig works with the ongoing upgrade works at Tarbert and Lochmaddy.
On behalf of The Highland Council, High Life Highland this week announced Airborne Lens as the successful partner for the photography input to Spirit:Journeys, part of the Spirit of the Highlands project. Spirit:Journeys will be delivered in partnership with VisitScotland and aims to deliver benefits for local communities, helping to unlock economic potential and improve visitor experiences across the region by engaging people with the our rich natural and cultural heritage.
Carron McDiarmid, Executive Chief Officer Communities and Place is retiring from The Highland Council after 35 years of public service and 20 years as a senior officer in the Council. Carron was previously the Council's Head of Policy for many years and led the first phase of Council Redesign.
For many people, literacy is taken for granted - but for some across Highland, reading can be a struggle. High Life Highland is highlighting that help is available, during this year's Book Week Scotland, for those who want to improve their literacy skills.
The work of The Highland Council's Environmental Health Team has been commended by Members of the Council's Communities and Place Committee. A report to Councillors this week has highlighted that the Environmental Health Team responded during COVID-19 in 2020/21 by investigating almost 1000 clusters and outbreaks.
Members of The Highland Council's Communities and Place Committee have agreed that a strategy for play parks across the region will be developed from local plans and local investment priorities within the overall aims of play parks. The main aims are being safe, inclusive in design and in use and for play areas to be environmentally and financially sustainable.
An update on waste management projects was presented to Members of The Highland Council's Communities and Place Committee on 10 November 2021. The Council is undertaking a number of projects aimed at meeting its responsibilities for disposal of waste collected from around 110,000 households and 5,800 businesses.
The Highland Council is inviting communities to apply for a share of a new fund to support nature restoration projects. The Nature Restoration Fund (NRF) is a new capital fund, established by the Scottish Government, designed to help support projects that will deliver nature restoration, safeguard wildlife, and tackle the causes of biodiversity loss due to climate change.
The Highland Council is reminding communities that its winter gritting programme has started and will continue until 14 April 2022. As in previous years, the Council is offering assistance to communities who wish to take action in their own area to help clear snow and ice from footpaths.
The Highland Council took delivery of two huge Archimedes Screws today on the site where the local authority is building a new hydroelectric generator and interactive visitor experience on the River Ness. The generator will use the Archimedes Screws to harness the energy of the water flowing down the River Ness.
The Highland Council has approved a number of key recommendations as part of its medium term financial planning approach. Councillors considered revenue budget projections for the coming financial year, medium term planning for future budgets over the next 5 years and forecasted budget gaps, as well as a number of capital developments and future capital strategy.
Local government unions have today issued notices of industrial action to local authorities across Scotland in a dispute over pay for council workers. The Joint Trade Unions have between them mandates to take action in half of Scotland's local authority areas.
Ahead of the Highland Climate Change Conference this week and the Highland Council meeting on 28 October, Council Leader Margaret Davidson highlighted the green ambitions of the Council. She said: "I am delighted there was cross chamber support at our meeting of Highland Council, on 9 September, for a Future Highlands Strategy, with the development of a Green Energy Hub in Highland at its heart.
The Highland Climate Change Conference is taking place tomorrow (Thursday 21) and Friday 22 October 2021. The Conference will bring people together from across and beyond Highland to discuss the climate and ecological emergency, ahead of COP26 next month.
More than 4,000 youngsters across the Highlands are now learning a musical instrument - the highest level since High Life Highland started lessons. The charity began offering music lessons when the service transferred over in 2017 with 2,900 pupils.
The Chairs of two Highland Council Area Committees have spoken of their relief that the voices of communities have been heard following the announcement yesterday that the Scottish Parliament's Local Government and Housing and Planning Committee have recommend that the proposals by Boundaries Scotland to change the electoral wards in Highland be rejected. Chair of the Sutherland Committee, Councillor Richard Gale said: "I am delighted with this result.
The Highland Climate Change Conference is taking place on Thursday 21 and Friday 21 October 2021. Chair of Highland Council's Climate Change Working Group, Cllr Trish Robertson, said: "The conference is a fantastic opportunity to bring people together from across and beyond Highland to discuss the climate and ecological emergency.
Members of the Audit and Scrutiny Committee (which took place yesterday, Thursday 23 September) were presented with a report outlining the areas of work which have been undertaken by Highland Council's Internal Audit section since the Committee’s previous meeting during June 2021. Of the five audit reports considered, three were given the audit opinions of significant assurance or full assurance.
Zero Waste Scotland has launched a digital recycling tool to help combat confusion and meet Scottish recycling targets. This Recycle Week (20-26 September 2021), Zero Waste Scotland is launching the first ever Recycling Sorter.