Local Authority News
The Highland Council's winter maintenance programme starts on 14 October 2023 and the Council is ready to treat - according to its policy - the 6,766km of roads for which it has responsibility. Chair of the Council's Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee, Cllr Ken Gowans said: "We have the supplies and resources in place to provide a winter service according to the Council's policy.
Following the close of the withdrawal period today at 12 noon (Tuesday 10 October 2023), an election will be held for the 10 contested community councils across Highland. The contested community councils are: Bettyhill, Strathnaver and Altnaharra Croy and Culloden Moor Dunvegan Glengarry Kiltearn Melvich Spean Bridge, Roy Bridge and Achnacarry Thurso Watten Wester Loch Ewe Ballot papers are being posted out second class on Tuesday 31 October 2023.
Highland Council has been investigating ways in which it can harness external funding to help meet its statutory obligations around energy efficient social housing and at the same time tackle fuel poverty. Members at yesterday's (5 October 2023) Climate Change Committee were asked to note opportunities to expand Energy Company Obligation funding to Council housing stock.
Highland Council is working on a new and defined policy/guidance for the provision of heating within schools, offices, leisure facilities and other types of non-domestic buildings. Although many buildings already operate within normal parameters, there are known instances where temperature setpoints and operational hours have been found to be out with expected parameters, to the detriment of good energy performance, budget management and comfort.
The election day is scheduled for Monday, 27 November 2023 and voting is by means of a postal vote. The maximum membership of each of the Highland Community Councils is determined by the population it serves and varies from 7 to 13 members.
From 1 October 2023 you must have a licence before you offer short-term lets. You must have a licence before you can take bookings or receive guests Operating without a short-term let licence is a criminal offence.
Highland Council's Net Zero Strategy was launched at today's (5 October 2023) meeting of the local authority's Climate Change Committee. The Strategy sets out the Council's approach to addressing the climate emergency and contributes towards Scotland's national legally binding target to become Net Zero by 2045. Highland Council has adopted the Scottish Government's Net Zero by 2045 target, aiming to achieve this sooner.
The Returning Officer, The Highland Council's CEX Derek Brown, said: "It is important that our polling places are in appropriate locations and can cater for everyone, especially those with particular needs. "We want to hear any concerns people may have and particularly want the views of those with an interest in accessibility.".
The new licensing scheme for short-term lets has come into force across Scotland. The legislation, which aims to deal with the rapid growth of Airbnb-style properties, has been subject to numerous delays and consultations.
The by-election to elect a councillor to represent Ward 7 - Tain and Easter Ross on The Highland Council has been won by Maureen Ross (Independent) who was one of seven candidates who contested the vacancy. One of three seats in the Tain and Easter Ross ward became vacant on the resignation of Sarah Rawlings (Scottish Libertal Democrat).
Following a successful on-line briefing session, The Highland Council is reminding businesses that there is still time to apply for funding to develop their green skills. At the start of September The Highland Council, with support from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, launched the Highland Skills Challenge Fund to support businesses with the costs of green skills training for their workforce.
At a time when the debt market is transforming, the British Business Bank is bringing a debt finance roadshow to the Highlands and Moray. In partnership with the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), Highlands and Islands Enterprise and the Highland Council, the roadshow is a hands-on event tailored for SMEs looking to secure debt financing.
Following a period of disruption to the glass bottle and jar recycling service, The Highland Council, would like to provide an update to the public. The Council's glass collection contractor, Biffa Waste Services spokesperson said: "Due to an unforeseen resource issue we find ourselves falling short of the required level of service expectations we provide to the Highland Council.
Businesses looking for financial support for their growth plans could be eligible for a Growing Business Growth Fund grant of up to £10,000. Applicants can potentially access 50% of the costs of their growth project.
The Highland Council have extended the deadline for applicants to apply for the first decision making round of the 2023/24 allocation of Nature Restoration Funding by 12 noon, Wednesday 4 October 2023. Chair of the Council's Environment and Infrastructure Committee, Cllr Ken Gowans said: "Eligible applicants can apply between £2,000 - £25,000 towards nature restoration projects.
The Thurso High School heating oil leak investigation work continues to identify the cause and the extent of the leak. This involves considerable site analysis to enable The Highland Council to know the extent of the contamination and will inform the scale of the site clean-up.
The Highland Council's Chief Social Work Officer presented this year's annual report to Members. The report provides an informed view of some of the challenges and notable achievements from this year, and the impact that these will have on future service delivery.
Orla MacLeod has taken up the role of Highland Youth Convener as of Monday 28th August 2023, becoming the 15th Youth Convener since 2007. This full-time role is a bursary position that will run for 12 months.
A Highland Council spokesperson said: "The Thurso High School heating oil leak investigation work continues to identify the cause and the extent of the leak. This involves considerable site analysis to enable us to know the extent of the contamination and will inform the scale of the site clean-up.
The Highland Council is reminding anyone considering joining their local Community Council that there is still time to submit their nomination. This is your chance to help represent the views of your community to The Highland Council and other public agencies.