Local Authority News
Highland Council Trading Standards is again warning unsuspecting residents of the emergence of another council tax scam. Today a call was received by the Council from a council tax payer alerting to a council tax scam whereby scammers are now emailing people and informing them that they are due a council tax rebate.
This Easter - #stayhomesavelives. Fifteen ‘attraction' car parks across the Highland region will be closed this Easter weekend and until further notice during the COVID-19 lockdown period to discourage people from travelling and to help encourage them to follow national guidance and #stayhomesavelives.
A high number of calls to The Highland Council's dedicated COVID-19 helpline continue to be dealt with on a daily basis. The 0300 303 1362 has been set to give assistance on urgent COVID issues and to collect details of individuals and community groups looking to provide volunteering support.
The Highland Council urges members of the public not to put hot ashes into household bins. Please ensure that ash is properly cooled before emptying into bins.
The Highland Council is sending a bulletin to all council tenants providing them with advice about issues related to Coronavirus. The bulletin contains information of a wide range of topics including energy advice, details on changes to homelessness services, how to get housing support, support for anyone in rent arrears, awareness tips from Trading Standards on staying safe from scams, a reminder on how to continue receiving free school meals, specific information for any tenants shielding, what practical support is available in communities and sharing national helplines for people to stay connected.
The Highland Council's Access Officers have become aware of several illegal ad hoc signs appearing on paths and access routes saying that they are closed. These signs are misleading, so the team is taking this opportunity to remind everyone about the current COVID-19 outdoor access guidance.
Highland Council will continue to provide school meals through e-vouchers to families throughout the school Easter break. This is to recognise the particular difficulties many families will be experiencing due to the Coronavirus emergency.
From Monday, a number of changes have been made in line with national guidance, to how we collect waste in order to protect staff, during the Coronavirus emergency. To protect our staff, and prevent the spread of Coronavirus on our waste collection routes we have improved social distancing measures in line with guidance and in discussion with union reps.
Learning and childcare hubs for the children of key workers will remain open across Scotland over the Easter holidays. The move will help support key workers in the NHS and other key sectors on the frontline of the response to coronavirus (COVID-19).
What is 'shielding'? If you fall within one of the groups recommended to shield, you will have received a letter or text from the NHS. Shielding is a measure to protect extremely vulnerable people by minimising contact between those who are extremely vulnerable and others.
Council tax payers in Highland who have lost their jobs or are experiencing a drop in their income are being encouraged to apply as quickly as possible for a reduction in their council tax. This help, known as the ‘Council Tax Reduction Scheme', is available for lower income households, including home owners.
Since The Highland Council's dedicated helpline went live last Wednesday afternoon staff have dealt with over 1,600 calls. The helpline has been set to give assistance and to collect details of individuals and community groups looking to provide volunteering support.
The Highland Council is working hard to release business grants to eligible local businesses as quickly as possible. The Council has received over 2,000 applications since the scheme was introduced last week and has set up systems to process these applications quickly while ensuring the necessary information is received.
Around 19,000 business rate payers in Highland will not receive their annual rates bill this April. The Highland Council recognises the exceptional economic challenges for local business and has therefore decided to pause business rates bills in respect of financial year 2020/21.
During this time of restrictions it is important that we all stay active, for our physical health and mental well being. Recreation outside is an important element of this, but it is essential that each of us practice good social distancing while outside.
The Highland Council has launched a free helpline to give assistance and to collect details of individuals and community groups looking to provide volunteering support during Covid19. The single line number - 0300 303 1362 - will connect callers to relevant Council specialist teams and will operate Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm.
Highland Council will be providing e-vouchers to families to support access to free school meals from week commencing 30 March 2020. This innovative and easy-to-use service will ensure over 4,000 school children will continue to receive support for school meals while schools are closed.
The Highland Council today launched on behalf of the Scottish Government, the COVID-19 business grant scheme. Grants of £10,000 and £25,000 are available for eligible businesses.
As a landlord, the Council's priority is maintaining the welfare of our tenants and providing you with essential services at this difficult time. The situation is changing daily, but this bulletin contains the most up-to-date information about where you can seek advice if you have any concerns about your wellbeing, income or other tenancy matters.
Due to the COVID19 restrictions and the closure of Council Service Points, there has been a change in the way Highland Council provides its Homeless services. If you become Homeless, please contact the Council's Service Centre on 01349 886602 (during office hours) and 01349 886691 (out of hours) for further help and support.