Local Authority News
Highland Council has announced that the closing date for applications to the Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle Driver Support Fund this scheme has been confirmed as 5pm on Thursday 25 March 2021. The Scottish Government has also now clarified that if you have received a grant through the Taxi Fund this will not now affect any Universal Credit payments you are also receiving.
To meet the growth in visitors to the Highlands of Scotland, The Highland Council's Tourism Committee has agreed a Visitor Management Plan for 2021 which will be adapted to provide a 5-year plan for the future. The Council will work with other agencies involved in tourism and visitor management to deliver the plan.
On Thursday 6 May residents in the Highlands and Western Isles can have their say on who represents them in the Scottish Parliament. In order to vote in the election, residents must be on the electoral register.
The Scottish Government has just announced that the Strategic Framework Business Fund grant scheme will close to new applicants on 22 March 2021. The Highland Council has already assessed and approved 5178 applications for this grant fund.
The Highland Council has opened applications for the Highland Employment Recruitment Offer (HERO), which offers grant support of up to £6,000 to help employers meet the cost of recruiting and employing someone who fits the criteria. Full details of the HERO fund can be found on the Highland Council website , and we have summarised the key eligibility criteria below.
The Highland Council will be removing padlocks and any other attachments from the Coghill Bridge at Wick Riverside. These padlocks detract from the historic nature of the bridge as well as causing paint damage and encouraging rust spots to the recently refurbished guard rails.
A letter has been distributed today to update parents and carers on the next phase of the re-opening of schools in Highland. The Scottish Government announced last week that more pupils are to return to school (external link) from Monday 15 March.
Highland Council has said that illegal fly-tipping is costing the region's taxpayers thousands and is encouraging people to report anyone they see doing it. Council operatives were alerted to an incident of fly-tipping at the Attadale Estate on the A890 at Strathcarron, where 153 tyres were dumped at the side of the road.
The Highland Council Trading Standards team have been alerted to a smishing scam that is currently targeting Highland residents. The scam involves a text message claiming to be from Royal Mail advising the recipient that they are holding a piece of mail due to unpaid postage.
A visitor management strategy with £1.5 million investments will be at the heart of proposals being considered by Highland Councillors as they decide the local authority's 2021/22 to 2023/24 revenue budget tomorrow (Thursday 4 March 2021). Chair of the Council's Tourism Committee Cllr Gordon Adam said: "Members will be asked to support a long-term Highland Visitor Management Strategy which could provide a range of investment opportunities in roads; parking and visitor management; public toilets; enhanced litter and waste collection services; and provision for motorhomes; and public transport.
The First Minister announced yesterday (2 March 2021) to the Scottish Parliament that all remaining primary school children are to return to school full-time from 15 March, with all secondary pupils returning in some form from the 15 March and until the 2 April. Welcoming the announcement, Chair of the Education Committee, Cllr John Finlayson said: "I am delighted that we can see the return of more of our pupils to school settings in the next couple of weeks.
People in The Highland Council area will soon be receiving coronavirus vaccines in their local communities with the help of a purpose-built mobile vaccination unit coined the ‘Jabbernaut'. Highland Council transport and housing maintenance staff have procured and built a custom-made mobile vaccine unit for NHS Highland to enable health staff to deliver vaccinations across the Highlands.
The Highland Council today (Tuesday 2 March 2021) widened eligibility and extended the deadline for businesses to apply for its Discretionary Business Grant Scheme. The Council's Economy and Regeneration Manager Andy McCann said: "We are pleased to advise, that following extra money being made available to us from the Scottish Government, we have now opened up the grant scheme to allow more businesses to apply.
The Corporate Resources Committee of Highland council debated the latest account to December 2020 that show an underspend in staffing costs of £14,474. This saving has helped to create a surplus and stated in the report "at current projections for the year-end outturn position suggest a net year end budget surplus of £3.1m, a significant improvement from the £8.7m forecast overspend reported to this committee in November." Councillor Matthew Reiss appeared today to chair the meeting of the Corporate Resource committee following the resignation of councillor Alister Mackinnon.
To help mitigate the persistent uncertainty and challenges arising from the pandemic, the Highland Council continues its humanitarian support, in partnership with the Community Food Initiative North East (CFINE), which operates FareShare Scotland in the north of Scotland. With funding from the Scottish Government and donations from supermarkets and food suppliers, FareShare, the Highland Council, local community groups and the Third Sector have adopted a collaborative and co-ordinated approach to food support for the wellbeing of households across the Highlands.
School communities across Highland are being encouraged to remain vigilant on safety measures as a partial school return begins today. Chair of the Education Committee, Cllr John Finlayson said: "I am delighted to see the return of some of our pupils to education settings across Highland today.
This item was discussed at the meeting and is available on video below. Members of the Highland Council's Caithness Committee have had the opportunity to review and comment on the two updated Active Travel Masterplans for Wick and Thurso aimed at making it safer for people to walk and cycle in and around the towns.
Members of the Caithness Committee have agreed to use Town Centre Funding to invest in the CCTV infrastructure for both Wick and Thurso. £16,100 will be used to digitalise the existing aging analogue public space CCTV system in Wick town centre and connection of the new system into the council's CCTV monitoring office with £25,625 to do the same for Thurso town centre.
Letters to parents, senior-phase pupils and supportive information to school staff will be issued this week to explain the phased return to schools for some pupils on 22 February, in line with today's announcements and new guidance issued by the Scottish Government. A large amount of work and progress has already been achieved to prepare our schools for the return of P1-P3 children and Senior Phase students who will return for essential practical activities for certification, and we will continue to provide in school remote provision for our key worker and most vulnerable learners.
Retail, tourism, hospitality and aviation businesses will pay no rates during 2021-22 under proposals outlined today. It is one of a series of measures proposed by Finance Secretary Kate Forbes following confirmation of a further £1.1 billion of consequential funding arising from UK Government coronavirus (COVID-19) spending.