Local Authority News
Budget Leader Cllr Alister Mackinnon responded to the Scottish Government's revised budget settlement. He said: "Further to receiving detailed information yesterday evening, we now have a more accurate picture of what this means for Highland.
Following an investigation by Highland Council Environmental Health Officers, a Fort William Landlord has been successfully prosecuted for operating a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) without a licence. An HMO is a property in which three or more unrelated adults are residing as their main residence and require to share kitchen, toilet or personal washing facilities.
The work of The Highland Council's Criminal Justice Social Work Service has been praised by Members of the Council's Care, Learning and Housing Committee. Councillors were updated today (24 January 2019) on 3 key programmes being delivered by the Service and the impacts that this is having on persistent offenders, sex offenders, and domestic abuse perpetrators.
Newton Rooms are designed to encourage more young people into careers in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). A network of the centres in Norway work with schools and local employers to provide inspirational STEM education in the most rural parts of the country.
Planning permission is sought to construct a new healthcare and multidisciplinary life sciences centre to serve the Highlands and Islands area and is a collaborative project between NHS Highland, the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) and Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE). Councillors have been asked to give planning permission for a healthcare and life sciences innovation centre in Inverness.
The average weekly rent charged by The Highland Council to its 13,411 council house tenants is set to increase by 3% for the coming financial year 2019/20. The average weekly rent will rise from £73.22 to £75.42 - an increase of £2.20 per week.
RECRUITMENT is to commence for a new hub in Highland to avoid children going to placements out with the Highland area. The first hub for a new model of temporary residential provision and multi-agency assessment is in Fodderty in East Ross.
The Highland Council is seeking public opinion on Draft Traffic Regulation Orders for the further roll out of Decriminalised Parking Enforcement (DPE) across the Highlands in:Alness, Brora, Broadford, Dingwall, Dunvegan, Grantown On Spey, Invergordon, Inverness, Kyle of Lochalsh, Kyleakin, Mallaig, Nairn, Portree, Scrabster, Sligachan , Storr, Tain, Thurso, Ullapool and Wick. The Draft Traffic Regulation Orders are available now on the council's website at www.highland.gov.uk/parking see ‘Traffic Order Consultations'.
Work is progressing well on the realignment of the B9090 at the White Bridge scheme and new crossing. Construction of the abutments for the new crossing beams is complete and the beams were successfully placed this week on Monday 21st January.
The council is taking a new approach in preparing the budget from 2019-22. In recent weeks, the Chief Executive, Donna Manson, Budget Leader Cllr Alister Mackinnon and other senior councillors and officers have been out talking with staff, groups and communities across the Highlands in over 50 engagement sessions.
Following a Highland Council Trading Standards investigation, Wick Sheriff Court has imposed a court order on a 42 year old local woman who was found to be selling counterfeit goods. The Order places stringent restrictions on her future conduct and any breach of it can lead to a hefty fine or imprisonment.
The Highland Council has invited people in Thurso to attend a public exhibition highlighting proposals for flood prevention measures along the River Thurso. The Council is currently developing a Flood Protection Study (FPS) for the River to identify solutions that will alleviate the risk of flooding.
On 22nd January 2019 the Moray West wind Farm planning application returns to the North Planning committee but merely for some slight changes to the location of some turbines to lessen the impact on certain views. The original permission and this one is not within the power of the committee but they have the ability to enter an objection.
Police in Lochaber can confirm that a 27-year-old man has been arrested in connection with alleged consumer protection offences in Fort William. It follows an investigation by Police Scotland and Highland Council Trading Standards, after a report was received this week of "bogus workmen" in Fort William and alleged fraudulent activity relating to charges for work carried out on a house in the town.
DETAILED analysis of the Scottish Government's funding settlement, which makes up the vast proportion of the Council's budget, has been carried out and the net result is that the Highland Council will see a reduction in its grant funding to provide the current level of services. This, together with the additional pressures equates to a £31.2M budget gap for 2019-20.
Highland Council Trading Standards have produced guidance on how to spot the signs of scams that target businesses and also remind businesses to inform their employees on what to look out for when dealing with unsolicited telephone calls, emails and texts. All businesses as well as non-profit organisations (such as charitable organisations) may spend a lot of time dealing with potential scammers.
The Highland Council has written to parents and carers of school transport pupils to inform them that D&E Coaches have recently transferred a number of Highland Council contracts to Stagecoach and some school transport routes are included. These changes are to take effect from the first day back after the school holidays, Monday 7th January 2019 and timetables have been supplied for the routes affected.
Twenty nine members of The Highland Council's Care and Learning team have celebrated their success in completing the Council's 15 month ‘Lead On’ programme. ‘Lead On’, is a programme designed to develop practitioners’ understanding of change leadership and apply this through a change initiative in their place of work.
Highland Councillors are looking forward beyond the current Inverness and Highland City-Region Deal and asking: "What next and where?". Following publication of the Deal's annual report, Leader of The Highland Council Cllr Margaret Davidson said: "A meeting will be convened in the New Year with Councillors who have a particular interest in the City-Region Deal to talk about where we can go next and what we can do.".
Work underway to determine Highland's Budget allocation. Commenting after the news received last night of Councils' individual allocations, from the Scottish Government’s draft Budget, Budget Leader Councillor Alister Mackinnon said: "Having received the details of our allocation just last night, it will take some time to work through the proposed settlement and do a detailed analysis.