Local Authority News
Following the announcement on 28 November 2018 by Thai Union that they will close at the end of the year their Edinburgh Salmon plant in Dingwall, a multi-agency response to support the staff has commenced. Known as the PACE initiative (Partnership for Continuing Employment) The Highland Council, together with local public sector agencies provide free, impartial advice to staff on dealing with the practical and emotional sides of redundancy, including support to get a new job.
Cllr Margaret Davidson, Leader of the Highland Council will be meeting with Scottish Government Ministers in Parliament today, 29 November 2018 to discuss a number of issues of importance to the Highlands. In the morning she will be meeting with Paul Wheelhouse MSP, Minister for Energy, Connectivity and the Islands to discuss community benefit, and digital connectivity in the Highlands.
A proposed objection to a massive Moray Firth wind project by Highland Council did not take place as planned. Highland council planning officers had intimated that the council would lay an objection to the north planning applications committee and it was stated in the papers the week before but the objection was not put.
Highland Council's outstanding revenue and customer services team has won both the Scottish and UK IRRV awards for its excellent approach to reforming services. Teamwork and new online applications mean that the council consistently meets the challenging one-day national target for getting crisis payments into the hands of vulnerable customers which is crucial for many of the applicants and no mean feat when you consider that the council covers a geographical area which is a third of the land mass of Scotland and 20% larger than Wales.
Lochaber Area Committee at its meeting on 7th November, 2018 decided to introduce two hours free car parking in the six weeks running up to Christmas for Fort William. Cllr Allister Mackinnon Budget Leader said, "We are aware of the decision made by the Lochaber Area Committee to offer 2 hours free car parking in the run up to Christmas, however legal advice is that the decision has budgetary consequences and therefore it needs to be considered by the Highland Council when it next meets on 13th December 2018".
Local authorities and communities will have a stronger voice in the management of Scottish Crown Estate assets. Under reforms passed by Parliament , the Scottish Crown Estate Bill establishes a framework to deliver wider benefits and new opportunities for local control of these assets, while recognising that some may still need to be managed at the national level.
The Highland council wants to hear the views of the public in what is another very difficult period of difficulties in deciding how to spend a reducing amount of money. Events are taking place in Caithness and Sutherland at - Wed 21 Nov Caithness - 2.00pm - Market Square - Wick Precinct Wed 21 Nov Caithness - Wick 6pm to 7pm Caithness House Thur 22 Nov Caithness - 10am to 11pm Thurso Precinct Thursday 22 Sutherland - 2pm to 3pm The Kyle Centre Tongue Thursday 22 Sutherland - 7pm to 8pm Lochinver Village Hall See full details at - https://www.highland.gov.uk/info/670/consultations_complaints_and_compliments/668/our_budget.
UNISON, Unite and the GMB have urged Derek Mackay, Cabinet Secretary for Finance, the Economy & Fair Work to attend talks to avert strike action across local government, in a letter sent today. The three trade unions representing local government workers have called for a tripartite meeting, involving Derek Mackay, COSLA and trade union representatives, to discuss local government finance and the urgent need to allocate additional funds to COSLA to fund a proper pay rise for local government workers and avert strike action across the local government workforce.
At his last official function The Highland Council's retiring CEX Steve Barron has paid tribute to two members of staff for their outstanding work. During The Highland Council's Quality Awards event, held last Thursday in Inverness Town House, he took the opportunity to present a special commendation award to the Council's Project Co-ordinator for War Memorials Alf Leslie.
A Cook at Broadford Primary School on the Isle of Skye has scooped the Highland Council's Employee of the Year 2018 Award for her commitment to promote healthy eating and for inspiring pupils to get involved from "plot to plate" Annette Burfooot, who has been at the school for 11 years, is described as a skilled and dedicated member of staff who is passionate about promoting healthy eating and regularly goes into classrooms to chat to the children about nutrition and developing healthy eating habits. She also encourages them to proactively get involved in the planning of menus for school meals making the most of fresh herbs and vegetables grown in the school garden.
UNISON will start to take steps towards strike action. The local government joint trade unions - who have also run consultative ballots of their members - will be meet with CoSLA to inform them of the results of their ballots, tomorrow Friday 9th November.
Highland Council has become the first local authority in Scotland to develop a holistic strategy and action plan to reduce the consumption of single use plastics from its sites and schools, and the wider community. The strategy and action plan was approved at a meeting of the Council's Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee today (8 November 2018).
The Council remains on track to provide much-needed affordable homes. Members of the Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee today (Thursday 8 November 2018) have approved the Council's Strategic Housing Investment Plan for 2019-2024 that will see a minimum of 500 units being built each year of which 70% will be for affordable rent and 30% for low cost home ownership.
Thousands of illicit cigarettes have been uncovered by Highland Council's Trading Standards Officers with a little help from two specially-trained, four-legged detectives. Spaniels Dixie and Daisy from Consumer Protection Dogs were enlisted by the region's Trading Standards team to detect the smell of tobacco.
The Highland Council has announced the publication of updated guidance on financial contributions required from new developments towards new infrastructure and services. The Developer Contributions Supplementary Guidance now forms part of the Council's Development Plan which is used to determine planning applications in Highland.
Nine candidates are standing for election to fill a vacancy for the Wester Ross, Strathpeffer and Lochalsh Ward of The Highland Council. The by-election is being held following the resignation of Kate Stephen who was one of four Councillors representing Ward 5.
WICK and Thurso now have access to free WiFi in and around the centre of their towns thanks to a project led by the Highland Council and funded by the Inverness and Highland City-Region Deal. The free WiFi, called "High-Fi", is aimed at stimulating economic growth and will increase digital inclusion across the Highlands.
The Highland Council is ready for winter and prepared to grit council roads as the council's winter maintenance programme started on 14 October 2018. Trunk roads in Highland are the responsibility of Transport Scotland and their operators Bear Scotland.
The Highland Council are running a free return to teaching course for any fully or provisionally registered teacher based anywhere in the Highland Council area who is considering a return to teaching. If you have had a break from teaching, are a retired teacher or are new to the area and are keen to apply for a teaching post or join the supply register that allows you to set your availability around your lifestyle and family commitments, come along refresh your skills and gain confidence, meet a Head Teacher, Care and Learning Staff as well as new colleagues who are also returning to teaching in Highland.
The Highland Council has agreed to commence a public budget engagement process beginning on 1 November 2018. The Council is planning for a potential budget gap of £66.7 million over the next three years.