Local Authority News
The Highland Council has appointed a new Chief Executive. The successful candidate is Donna Manson, currently Service Director for Children and Young People in the Scottish Borders.
Local services throughout Scotland could be plunged into crisis after - UNISON, Unite and the GMB - wrote to COSLA to say they will recommend their members reject their revised pay offer when they consult them in the coming weeks. The revised pay offer, made by COSLA on 6th September 2018, was a 3% increase for all local government workers earning up to £80,000, but the trade unions are angry that this is below inflation and does not improve low pay.
The Highland Council has agreed to plan for a potential budget gap of £66.7 million over the next three years. It was agreed by Members in June to develop plans for a multi-year budget for the next 3 financial years (2019-22) to meet the challenge of a potential funding gap dependent on a wide range of variables.
Members have discussed the consultation and proposed response to a review of the structure of the Scottish Local Government Pension Scheme. The Highland Council Pension Fund is one of eleven constituent funds of the Scottish Local Government Pension Scheme.
The Highland Council is looking for experienced staff or existing managers to drive the Early Learning and Childcare initiative forward, to ensure our youngest children get the best start in life and are ready to succeed. The Council will be almost doubling the provision of early learning and childcare over the next two years.
The Highland Council is encouraging local community groups to participate in the Scottish Government's Local Governance Review. Members have today considered the work to date preparing for The Highland Council's contribution to the Local Governance Review.
High Life Highland today announced that it has been successful in an application to the Year of Young People National Lottery Fund, to support its HLH Leadership Programme. "Choose to Lead" will be a Leadership Award that will be recognised by the SCQF Framework and accreditation of the award will be carried out by the University of The Highlands and Islands.
Progress on the Highland Council's review of its public conveniences has been welcomed by the Council's Administration. Councillor Allan Henderson, Chair of the Council's Environment Development and Infrastructure Committee said: "It's important that we put the review into context and acknowledge that Highland Council is the largest provider of public conveniences in the UK.
Caithness Councillors have welcomed information that shows progress being made in respect of destinations of pupils on leaving Wick High School in recent years. The information was presented at the Caithness Area Committee meeting held in Wick on Tuesday 28 August.
The Corporate Revenue Monitoring Statement for Quarter 1 (Apr - June 18), has been considered by the Council's Corporate Resources Committee. The paper sets out actions to address the projected 1% overspend of £5.1m.
One hundred and nineteen probationer teachers were recently welcomed to the Highlands at an Induction Course held in Smithton Free Church Hall. We were also delighted to welcome a group of 13 new Canadian teachers, recruited through our agency partners TimePlan Education who will work in our primary and secondary schools across the authority.
Budget Leader highlights early action required to address overspend. The Corporate Revenue Monitoring Statement for Quarter 1 (Apr - June 18), which will go to the Council's Corporate Resources Committee next week, is projecting a £5.1 m overspend for the year.
A proposal to set a fixed school holiday for the first 2 weeks in April each year from 2019 onwards will go out to consultation by The Highland Council's Care and Learning Service. The service will consult with Head Teachers, Parent Councils, the Local Negotiating Committee for Teacher representatives and other relevant educational establishments in Highland.
Members of The Highland Council's Care, Learning and Housing Committee have agreed for the Council to conduct a statutory consultation on a proposal to discontinue the provision of education at Altnaharra Primary School and to formally close the school. In a report to committee, Councillors were informed that the school has been mothballed since February 2017 and that there are no prospective pupils in the foreseeable future, and no long term prospect of the school having a viable roll.
Progress on the development of the ground-breaking Science Skills Academy initiative in Highland has been welcomed by Members of The Highland Council's Care, Learning and Housing Committee. Councillor Andrew Baxter, Chair of the Care, Learning and Housing Committee said: "I commend the work that the Science Skills Academy is achieving in bringing exciting opportunities for young people to experience the applicability of STEM subjects.
The Council's Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee has today agreed the Longman Landfill site in Inverness as the preferred location to construct a new centralised waste management facility (Materials Recovery Facility) to recover recyclates and produce Refuse Derived Fuel, as the Council's preferred interim arrangements for meeting the requirements of the ban on landfilling which commences in January 2021. This facility will process all of the Highland’s 83,000 tonnes of residual (non-recyclable) waste from 2021 onwards.
The Winter Service Policy for The Highland Council this coming winter 2018/19 has been approved by Members of the Council's Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee. The Council's policy relates to clearing and gritting of Highland Council adopted roads, cycle ways, footways and footpaths.
A 5 year Parking Policy and Guidance for The Highland Council area has been approved by Members of the Council's Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee. The policy, which is required by the local authority to underpin its enforcement of decriminalised parking will cover the period from 2018 - 2023.
Improvements to the management of facility lets in Highland Council properties (including schools) has been welcomed by Members of The Highland Council's Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee. Committee Chair, Cllr Allan Henderson said: "I would like to thank staff for the large amount of work has been undertaken since October 2016 when the Council's Redesign Board recommended the transfer of management of school lets to the Development and Infrastructure Service.
Highland Council Members have agreed to support the efforts of Caithness Transport Forum and Wick JOG Airport Consultative Committee to improve flight connectivity at Wick John O' Groats airport. Members were informed at Highland Council's headquarters today (16 August 2018) that both organisations are pressing to have investigation work carried out on the potential to have a Public Service Obligation (PSO) created on one of the flight routes.