Local Authority News
Investment of an additional £1.5m for roads maintenance was approved as a priority area for the Council's revenue budget. The additional money will help to boost the annual budget for pothole repairs, clearing culverts, and bridge maintenance.
Highland council today 14th February 2019 agreed a budget saving of £70,000 in grass cutting. Amenity Services maintains approximately 900 hectares of parks, open spaces and cemeteries on behalf of the Council.
Highland council today agreed at the budget meeting not to apply the 4.79% increase recently allowed by Scottish Government in their budget but instead are restricting it to 3% increase for 2019/20. Council Tax is charged on all domestic properties and each property is banded in one of 8 bands (A to H) based on the assessed value of the property.
One of the smaller cuts to save money at Highland council budget meeting today 14th February 2019 was the dimming of street lights on new LED systems. Further reduction in street lighting energy consumption between 24:00 and 06:00.
The Highland Council today set a revenue budget for 2019-20 with savings also identified for years two and three of the three-year budget. The Council approved the Council's change programme "A Sustainable Highland" which is set to deliver £37.456m savings over the next three years.
At the budget meeting held by Highland council today 14 February 2019 a cut of £250,000 for 2019/20 was agreed. The report stated - "There is a need to provide a greater focus on supporting Additional Support Needs in early years, with the roll out of 1140 hours.
Highland council agreed to another small saving t the budget meeting on 14 February 2019. £40,000 saving spread over two years 2019/20 and 20120/21.
Highland councillor agreed to make saving in insurance premiums of £417,000 for 2019/20. The Council's current external insurance contract comes to an end at the end of financial year 2018/19 and some savings are anticipated to be delivered through the reprocurement.
Newstart Highland that took over Home Aid in Caithness is set to lose a £75,000 grant from 2019/20. The Highland council agreed the reduction at its budget meeting on 14th February 2019.
Planning and building warrant income is to be increased over 3 years as part of the Highland council 3 year budget plan. 2019/20 - £600,000 2020/21 - £328,000 2021/22 - £182,000 Total - £110,000,000 The current income target for planning and building control fees is £4.867m.
The main activities that the social enterprise groups currently carry out directly for Highland Council waste management are the servicing of re-use containers on our household waste recycling centres (HWRCs). These currently divert around 150 tonnes from 11 HWRCs.
Savings of £610,000 are being asked from Highland Highlife in addition to inflationary pressures of £900,000 to be absorbed by the organisation. The arms length organisation has proved to be an outstanding success in the few years since it was floated by the council.
Highland council agreed today 14th February 2019 to save £150,000 over the next two years in the complicated area of waste haulage contracts. What may seem like a simple hing to deal with is not an easy subject to easy with effectively as it affects every home an business in Highland.
Tighter controls on what can be taken to the public recycling centres are set to save £300,000 over the next two financial years. This proposal introduces restrictions on construction and demolition waste brought to our Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRC), limiting quantities to small amounts generated through minor DIY activities.
The Highland council agrred to slash £258,000 from the budget for Early Years organisations for 2019/20 The current budget for Early Years' Grants is £458k per annum. This is primarily an area-based budget where partners are able to apply for funding for one-off grants.
Highland councillors reluctantly agreed to range of increase charges under the community services part of the budget. Many of the charges reflect inflationary increases The total of £2.063 million will be rolled out as follows - 2019/20 - £771,000 2020/21 - £.636,000 2021/22 - £656,000 The split is as follows - Export licences for fish were included in the above figures but a change was agreed at the meeting that should make the saving in total.
Councillors today 14th February 2019 agreed to increase the price of school meals despite some councillors pointing out that previous increase last year resulted in reduced number taking the meals. Councillors have little room to help as they did in the past to basically subsidise meals.
Additional Income projected £216k of is projected for thenext three years - 2019/20 - £118,000 2020/21 - £58,000 2021/22 - £40,000 Through a proactive approach to lease extensions (with premiums) and increases in rental income the council will seek to maximise the performance of the industrial and investment portfolio, including selling off poor performing industrial sites and focusing investment on high performing, high rental sites and properties. Net income £2.776m - excludes income for the Housing Revenue Account and Inverness Common Good Fund.
A planning application has been submitted to construct a new centralised waste management facility (Materials Recovery Facility) to recover recyclates and produce Refuse Derived Fuel, as the Council's preferred interim arrangements for meeting the requirements of the ban on landfilling which commences in January 2021. The site is located at the Longman, Inverness (previously the landfill site).
Husband and wife team received directorship disqualifications totalling 20 years after they duped small businesses to sponsor unnecessary educational material. In a two-year period, the pair from Congleton, Cheshire, secured more than £1.7 million from businesses who were led to believe they were investing in books and DVDs about substance abuse in return for advertising in the books.