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Local Authority News

Highland Council demonstrates improving performanceThumbnail for article : Highland Council demonstrates improving performance
Overall the Council's key performance indicators (KPIs) for 2017-18 are performing well with 81% (22) either improving or being maintained.   The principles that underpin the Council's values include that the Council will be fair, open and accountable.  
A Connected Highland - Council Agrees 22 strategic improvement prioritiesThumbnail for article : A Connected Highland - Council Agrees 22 strategic improvement priorities
Council has agreed 22 strategic improvement priorities and a Highland Improving Performance Programme for the Council which aims to make the connections across services and communities and drive the improvement.   The proposed strategic improvement priorities are identified from the Council's knowledge of where performance needs to improve and where the Council has already set ambition for improvement.  
Council Programme and Corporate Plan approvedThumbnail for article : Council Programme and Corporate Plan approved
The Council's Programme "Local Voices: Highland Choices" was approved at today's Council meeting 7th March 2019, along with a Corporate Plan which provides the measures and actions required to deliver and monitor the Programme.   The Corporate Plan also underpins the priorities set out in the Council's budget strategy and change programme "A Sustainable Highland" which was approved by Council in February 2019.  
High Life Highland Chief Executive Announces RetirementThumbnail for article : High Life Highland Chief Executive Announces Retirement
High Life Highland's Chief Executive has announced that it is his intention to retire from the charity's top job in the summer.   Ian Murray has been at the helm of one of the Highlands' largest charities since its inception in October 2011 when High Life Highland was created by The Highland Council to deliver and develop the local authority’s culture, learning, sport, leisure and health and wellbeing services.  
UNISON welcomes agreed pay deal for council workersThumbnail for article : UNISON welcomes agreed pay deal for council  workers
UNISON, the largest union in local government, welcomed the pay deal for local government workers agreed with COSLA today.   UNISON members had voted overwhelmingly to accept the offer in January and have been waiting on the outcome of the other local government trade unions to conclude their member consultations.  
2019/2020 Council Tax In Highland Rates and ReductionsThumbnail for article : 2019/2020 Council Tax In Highland Rates and Reductions
At the meeting of The Highland Council on 14 February 2019 it was agreed to increase Council Tax by 3% from 1 April 2019.  Council Tax bills for 2019/2020 will be issued over the coming weeks.  
Highland Council Budget To Be Brought On Track For Year End BalanceThumbnail for article : Highland Council Budget To Be Brought On Track For Year End Balance
Despite an increase in the reported in-year overspend of £5.5M at the end of the third quarter, the Council is committed to bringing the budget back on track to be in a balanced position by year end.   Additional measures to address the projected overspend began back in November, with vacancy controls, restricting non-essential expenditure, stopping non-essential travel and utilising (previously) earmarked balances.  
Inverness City Roads Temporarily Closed For March Half MarathonThumbnail for article : Inverness City Roads Temporarily Closed For March Half Marathon
The 2019 Inverness Half Marathon and 5K events take place on Sunday 10 March and the Council is advising drivers that temporary traffic restrictions will be in place in and around the city during the event.   The following routes will be affected: Bught Avenue closed between its con-junction with Bught Drive and its junction with Bught Road, from 12:00 hours to 15:30 hours on Sunday 10 March 2019.  
Brexit Drop-in Sessions - To Find Out About Your Citizen StatusThumbnail for article : Brexit Drop-in Sessions - To Find Out About Your Citizen Status
Questions about Brexit? Citizens' rights and settled status? Drop in and talk to the Europe Direct Information Centre team who will be available to answer your questions and offer guidance on where to find reliable, up to date information.   Sessions in Thurso and Wick..  
Thinking of a career in Primary or Secondary teaching?Thumbnail for article : Thinking of a career in Primary or Secondary teaching?
Anyone thinking of a career change and becoming a Primary or Secondary school teacher is being invited by The Highland Council to an information session to find out how they might become one of the next generation of teachers in Highland.   The information event takes place on Saturday 9th March 2019, at Doorways, Central Primary School, Kenneth Street, Inverness, IV3 5DW from 11am - 1pm.  
£1.5m Extra For Roads Across Highland - Caithness Share £164,400
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 Saving On Grass Cutting
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 Does Not Go For Maximum Council Tax IncreaseThumbnail for article : Highland Council Does Not Go For Maximum Council Tax Increase
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.  
Highland Council To Dim Street Lights To Save
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.  
Highland Council's budget for change agreed with many cuts and increases in charges
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.  
Budget Cut In Highland For Specialist Early Years Support
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.  
Small Changes To Recycling Centre Opening Hours For Small Saving
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 Council To Reduce Insurance Payments To Save
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 - Removal Of Grant Funding For Waste Management
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.  
Highland Council Budget Increases Planning And Building Warrant Fee Income
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.