Local Authority News
The Council's proposed capital programme includes a significant investment of £346m over the next 5 years. This could amount to as much as £481m gross depending on assumptions for grant and funding.
Across the Northern Alliance local authorities an exciting project has been rolled out to raise attainment in literacy, language and communication. The programme is being delivered in around 50% of primary schools across the Northern Alliance and is aimed at supporting practitioners to take a developmental approach to supporting early literacy development.
Following the landslip on the Knoydart Peninsula last Autumn work is progressing well and every effort is being made to get the affected section of single tracked road open to traffic for the Easter weekend. Following the failure immediate steps were taken to re-establish pedestrian and quad bike access, and this has been maintained throughout the works.
Ministers will consider financial assistance for local councils under the Bellwin Scheme following recent heavy snowfalls. Scottish Borders Council requested the scheme was triggered and it is now open for applications from all councils severely impacted by recent weather events, or those at risk from flooding as the snow melts.
Conditions across the Highland region vary considerably and you are advised to consider the forecast, Police advice and local conditions before travelling. If travelling, make sure you are prepared for delays and difficult conditions.
The A835 Ullapool- Ledmore Junction remains closed, An additional 6 inches on the route this morning with further snow showers forecast, drifting snow and high winds hampering treatment of route. Additional workforce has been brought in to the area helping the local squad who are attempting to push back the closure to Strathcanaird to allow access to Rhue, Blughasary and Strathcanaird.
The Amber warning affecting part of Highland, previously until 1800hrs today, has been extended until 1000hrs Friday 2nd March. This is on the basis of the current and predicted ground conditions, with air temperatures remaining below freezing and strong winds leading to drifting.
The Highland Council is to progress with plans to generate over £4 million profit and significantly reduce its carbon emissions by installing solar panels on its estate. The Council's Corporate Resources Committee yesterday (28 February 2018) approved a self-financing project using £2.3 million of capital to install 2.5 megawatts of solar panels on sites across the Council estate.
Six candidates are standing for election to fill a vacancy for the Caol and Mallaig Ward of The Highland Council. The by-election is being held following the sad death of Councillor Billy MacLachlan who was one of three Councillors representing Ward 11.
Highland council have issued notice of a special council meeting on Wednesday, 7 March 2018. The short agenda is now available on the Council's website and can seen at - https://www.highland.gov.uk/meetings/meeting/3943/highland_council The meeting will be Webcast and you can watch live at - http://www.highland.public-i.tv/core There is a strong possibility that some capital projects maybe delayed or scaled back due to the need to service the borrowing from the Revenue Budget which is now under sever strain due to lack of funding..
A Modern Apprenticeship Programme currently providing employment and training for almost 50 young people in The Highland Council has been welcomed by Members of the Council's Corporate Resources Committee for creating opportunities, empowering young people and serving Highland communities. Cllr Alister Mackinnon, Chair of the Corporate Resources Committee said: "Excellent progress has been made since the introduction of the Modern Apprenticeship Programme in August last year.
The Highland Council is forecasting a potential financial year end overspend of £2.259m in its winter maintenance budget with the most significant pressures as a result of winter weather. A combination of the weather conditions experienced and the timing of the most severe episodes is causing the pressure on the winter maintenance budget.
Ahead of WWF's annual Earth Hour on Saturday 24 March 2018, The Highland Council is again celebrating after being awarded WWF Scotland's Earth Hour Local Authority Runner-up Award for its contribution to the success of Earth Hour in 2017. Some of the Highland's best known landmarks, including Inverness Castle, Spey Bridge, Ruthven Barracks and Eilean Donan Castle, joined the likes of the Eiffel Tower and Sydney Opera House in switching off for an hour last March.
People in the Highlands claiming Housing Benefit are receiving the best service provided by any local authority in Scotland. This accolade for Highland Council will be presented to the Council's Corporate Resources Committee on 28 February 2018 in a report highlighting the leading performance achieved for housing benefit recipients across the Highlands.
Last week saw The Highland Council's film unit receive its 200th enquiry of the year - a new record that illustrates the level of appeal the area now has as a location for everything from high end movies to online commercials. Enquiries are already 19% ahead of the previous financial year even before what is traditionally the busiest period of production development in March.
The safety of children walking and cycling to and from school and traffic calming measures in Wick were under the spotlight at yesterdays meeting of the Caithness Committee (Wednesday 21 February 2018). Local Councillors have given the go-ahead for proposals to introduce a 20mph speed limit and traffic calming measures across Wick designed to get motorists to slow down when driving around the town.
Close to 100 professionals met yesterday for what is one of the largest Career Long Professional Learning (CLPL) events of its kind in the country that specifically targets Gaelic Education staff. The event took place in Merkinch Community Centre, Inverness for Highland Council's annual Gaelic Education In-Service.
The Highland Council is set to make it easier for the public to report incidents of fly tipping and be advised when action is taken. As part of an evaluation of its street cleaning service an in-depth LEAN review of how the council deals with fly tipping has been carried out to look at ways of improving responsiveness and customer satisfaction.
The Highland Council has agreed to use City-Region Deal funding to part fund new mid-market housing projects throughout the Highlands. The affordable housing projects will be developed by Albyn Housing Society and Highland Housing Alliance in Ullapool, Fort William, Alness, Inverness, Aviemore, Grantown, Drumnadrochit and Newtonmore and will deliver 61 new homes targeted at young people working in the area.
Highland Councillors agreed a council tax increase of 3% which will mean an increase of £35.93 per annum on a Band D property. Overall, the budget gap of £15,146 million has been met by a package of savings which includes increasing Council Tax income by £3.448 million, increasing income by £3,059 million, setting a target of £2,250 million to be saved through Redesign and reducing expenditure by £5.1 million.