Local Authority News
Redesign is about the Council being more open-minded to new ways of delivering services, more commercially-minded to raise income to support services and jobs across the region and being more community-minded, listening locally and supporting more community-run services. The Highland Council is seeking to release over £2.2 million in savings this year through redesign projects.
An election will take place for Dunnet and Canisbay Community Council on Wednesday 21 February 2018. The maximum permitted membership for the Community Council is 7 and as 8 nominations have been received, the 1349 electors in the community council area are being invited to cast their vote via a postal ballot.
In recognition that roads are a high priority for communities in Highland the Administration at The Highland Council will be putting forward a budget on Thursday (15 February) that protects the budget for local roads. Chair of the Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee, Councillor Allan Henderson said: "We have nearly 7,000 kilometres of roads in the Highlands and this network is vital to our rural communities and lifeline services.
Maps of the Council's gritting routes by priority and policy are available online at www.highland.gov.uk/gritting The information provided is a summary of reports from operational staff and is intended to give a general indication of typical conditions in each area at a point in time. It is not intended to imply that any individual route is entirely snow and ice free and drivers must be aware that conditions can change rapidly and make their own assessment of conditions for travelling.
The Highland Council is asking stakeholders and members of the public for feedback on new draft guidance aimed at ensuring high quality designs for traditional, replacement and new shopfronts. Not only does the draft Shopfront Design Guide: Planning Guidance provide advice to help promote good quality applications but it encourages developers and applicants to consider design at the earliest stage in their proposals.
Nomination packs for prospective candidates for the Caol and Mallaig Ward by-election are now available from The Highland Council's website. The by-election is being held following the sad death of Councillor Billy MacLachlan who was one of three Councillors representing Ward 11.
Over three thousand people visited Inverness Town House last weekend to see for themselves the completion of interior works on the public historic Grade A listed building following recent renovations. Around 2,000 visitors passed through the Town House doors on Saturday 10th and another 1,200 people on Sunday 11th February.
The Highland Council Budget team have agreed their final budget proposals which will go to Council for agreement on 15 February 2018. Budget Leader Councillor Alister Mackinnon said: "We have done everything we can to protect frontline services and jobs in a good budget.
Councillor Allan Henderson, Chair of the Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee, has expressed his disappointment in the lack of promised support for local authorities struggling to fund the extra pressures caused by the winter weather. He said: "The Highland Council has the largest roadwork of any local authority in the UK, with nearly 7,000km of regional roads and over 1,700km of footways.
The timetable for the election for the return of a councillor for the Caol and Mallaig ward of The Highland Council has been announced today (Monday 5 February) The by-election is being held following the sad death of Councillor Billy MacLachlan who was one of three Councillors representing Ward 11. The other Ward members are Councillors Allan Henderson (Independent) and Ben Thompson (Independent) The Notice of Election and Nomination Form will be published on the Council's website www.highland.gov.uk (external link) on Tuesday 13 February.
The former Wick High School has now been put up for sale by auction with a guide price of £50,000. Full details can be found here.
In response to Police Scotland's statement on the closure of the Inverness Area Control Room and Service Centre, Highland Council Scrutiny Lead Matthew Reiss said: "We appreciate the statement from Police Scotland regarding the intended closure of the Inverness Control Room next week. It is important that everyone is aware of the change in local arrangements.
The message that money from Europe remains available to support business and employment opportunities in Highland was confirmed at today's meeting of the Council's Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee. Over the years European funding has played a key investment role in the economic development and growth of the Highland economy including safeguarding and creating jobs and helping the area’s most deprived communities seek support.
The Highland Council Budget Leader, Cllr Alister Mackinnon has welcomed the announcement of additional funding in the Scottish Government's block grant which takes £7.516 million off the substantial budget gap. Cllr Mackinnon said: "This additional money, agreed at the 11th hour is indeed welcome news and means that we will not be forced to cut as deeply as we had first feared.
The Highland Council would like to remind householders to only put clean and dry items into blue recycling bins. Cleaner recycling means less waste, less landfill and therefore more value.
Highland Council's South Planning Applications Committee has approved a major planning application for an alloy wheel manufacturing facility at Fort William in Lochaber. The facility involves an investment in excess of £130 million which will sustain and create around 570 jobs; expand business opportunities and provide a value added product for the UK motor vehicle manufacturing industry which could reduce reliance on overseas supply chains.
Several roads in the centre of Inverness will be temporarily closed to traffic on the morning of Saturday 10 February as the city gears up to host the opening ceremony of the 2018 Snowman Rally. Drivers are being advised that from between 7.30am and 12 noon the following roads will be closed to all vehicles: Eastgate closed at its junction with Crown Road to its con-junction with the High Street; The High Street closed at its con-junction with Eastgate to its junction with Castle Street; Hamilton Street closed at its junction with Academy Street to its junction with Eastgate.
The Highland Council is to seek the views of local communities on a proposal to establish a Gaelic Medium catchment area for Bun-sgoil Ghàidhlig Loch Abar. The change is being proposed in line with Statutory Guidance on Gaelic Medium Education.
Highland housing tenants are to receive a small 0.5% increase in council house rents for the coming financial year 2018/19 which equates to an average weekly rise of 36p. Members of Highland Council's People Committee have approved the 0.5% rent increase which would result in an increase in the average weekly council house rent from £72.88 to £73.24 (£0.36p).
Highland Council has listened to its customers and agreed a below-inflation rise in garage and garage sites rents. The results of a Highland Council consultation on housing, garage and garage sites rents has directed the decision making of Highland Councillors today (Thursday 25 January 2018) at the Council's People Committee.