Local Authority News
Highland Councillors considered Scottish Government's proposals for changes to the management of schools at today's meeting of the Council. The Scottish Government is proposing new legislation on education, which would include a Headteachers Charter, placing even more responsibility and accountability for the running of schools on Headteachers, with other responsibilities passing to a new collaborative organisation covering Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Moray, Shetland, Orkney, Western Isles, Argyll and Bute as well as Highland.
The Highland Council today welcomed the proposal by the Scottish Government to establish a national not-for-profit energy company and agreed to make a case for the proposed company to be based in the Highlands. The motion, put forward by Cllr Richard Laird and Cllr Iain Cockburn, sets out the belief that Highland customers do not always experience the benefits of the energy produced in our communities and therefore proposes that the Council engage with the Scottish Government to make the case for the energy company to be based in the Highlands, where much of the energy is produced, and bringing jobs and benefits to the region.
Maps of the Council's gritting routes by priority and policy are available online at www.highland.gov.uk/gritting . The information provided is a summary of reports from operational staff and is intended to give a general indication of typical conditions in each area at a point in time.
With Storm Caroline hitting the Highlands yesterday, today's heavy snowfall and the forecast for a drop in temperatures over the next 48 hours, the Highland Council's crews and winter vehicles have been busy in action. The fleet includes 105 gritters, 42 footpath tractors and over the coming months 200 plus staff will be providing winter maintenance services.
The high winds during Storm Caroline today have caused some damage to part of the roof of the Wick campus gym, causing the metal flashing around a roof light to become detached. The school was already closed to pupils today due to the adverse weather.
Road condition reports by The Highland Council's Community Services for the morning of Thursday 7 December 2017 are as follows: Caithness and Sutherland: Most roads are affected by snow and ice. Treatment in progress.
Wick Campus, including Wick High School, Newtonpark Primary School and High Life Highland Leisure facilities will remain closed on Friday 8 December 2017. The closure is due to high winds during Storm Caroline today which caused some damage to part of the roof of the Wick campus gym, causing the metal flashing around a roof light to become detached.
The Highland Council expresses its deep disappointment at the news of further branch closures by the Royal Bank of Scotland. Leader of the Highland Council Margaret Davidson said: "This will cause real difficulties for many customers and small businesses.
Following the high winds forecast and experienced this week due to Storm Caroline, The Highland Council is encouraging landowners to check trees and vegetation near to public roads which may have been damaged. Roads affected by fallen trees this morning were near Beauly; Achnagarron near Invergordon and Lochaber which staff are clearing.
Highland consumers who have lost money to a scam involving payment through Western Union wire transfer between 1st January 2004 and 19th January 2017, are being encouraged by Highland Council Trading Standards to file a claim for a refund with America's Federal Trade Commission in a bid to get some or if not all of their money back. In January 2017, Western Union agreed to pay $586 million for turning a blind eye to scammers and other criminals who used its service to trick customers into paying for bogus prizes, loans, jobs, discounted products and other financial rewards in exchange for money upfront.
The Highland Council and Department for Work and Pensions are implementing plans to improve accessibility to their services. This joint venture will see the jobcentre staff co-locating with the Council and other services in the council's new modern office developments in both Fort William and Wick.
City-region deal investment means that Inverness can now be branded a digital city. Ness WiFi, a free WiFi service, which was successfully piloted earlier this year, has now been rolled out across Inverness city centre, extending to and including areas such as the High Street, the Castle, Eden Court, and the bus and railway stations.
Leisure and cultural venues currently run by council arm's-length bodies will continue to benefit from charity relief from non-domestic rates. Following lengthy consultation with stakeholders, Finance Secretary Derek Mackay today confirmed that the Scottish Government will not be accepting the recommendation of the Barclay Review to end this benefit.
The priorities by which The Highland Council will grit roads in Caithness this winter have been approved. At the Caithness Committee meeting (Tuesday 21 November 2017) members approved a winter maintenance plan for the area which includes priority road lists and maps showing the priority gritting routes.
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.
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.