Local Authority News
The Highland Council today (Tuesday 2 March 2021) widened eligibility and extended the deadline for businesses to apply for its Discretionary Business Grant Scheme. The Council's Economy and Regeneration Manager Andy McCann said: "We are pleased to advise, that following extra money being made available to us from the Scottish Government, we have now opened up the grant scheme to allow more businesses to apply.
The Corporate Resources Committee of Highland council debated the latest account to December 2020 that show an underspend in staffing costs of £14,474. This saving has helped to create a surplus and stated in the report "at current projections for the year-end outturn position suggest a net year end budget surplus of £3.1m, a significant improvement from the £8.7m forecast overspend reported to this committee in November." Councillor Matthew Reiss appeared today to chair the meeting of the Corporate Resource committee following the resignation of councillor Alister Mackinnon.
To help mitigate the persistent uncertainty and challenges arising from the pandemic, the Highland Council continues its humanitarian support, in partnership with the Community Food Initiative North East (CFINE), which operates FareShare Scotland in the north of Scotland. With funding from the Scottish Government and donations from supermarkets and food suppliers, FareShare, the Highland Council, local community groups and the Third Sector have adopted a collaborative and co-ordinated approach to food support for the wellbeing of households across the Highlands.
School communities across Highland are being encouraged to remain vigilant on safety measures as a partial school return begins today. Chair of the Education Committee, Cllr John Finlayson said: "I am delighted to see the return of some of our pupils to education settings across Highland today.
This item was discussed at the meeting and is available on video below. Members of the Highland Council's Caithness Committee have had the opportunity to review and comment on the two updated Active Travel Masterplans for Wick and Thurso aimed at making it safer for people to walk and cycle in and around the towns.
Members of the Caithness Committee have agreed to use Town Centre Funding to invest in the CCTV infrastructure for both Wick and Thurso. £16,100 will be used to digitalise the existing aging analogue public space CCTV system in Wick town centre and connection of the new system into the council's CCTV monitoring office with £25,625 to do the same for Thurso town centre.
Letters to parents, senior-phase pupils and supportive information to school staff will be issued this week to explain the phased return to schools for some pupils on 22 February, in line with today's announcements and new guidance issued by the Scottish Government. A large amount of work and progress has already been achieved to prepare our schools for the return of P1-P3 children and Senior Phase students who will return for essential practical activities for certification, and we will continue to provide in school remote provision for our key worker and most vulnerable learners.
Retail, tourism, hospitality and aviation businesses will pay no rates during 2021-22 under proposals outlined today. It is one of a series of measures proposed by Finance Secretary Kate Forbes following confirmation of a further £1.1 billion of consequential funding arising from UK Government coronavirus (COVID-19) spending.
Housing Secretary extends support for renters during pandemic. Renters will continue to be supported during the ongoing national lockdown restrictions, with an extension to the ban on bailiff evictions.
On Tuesday 16 February 2021 from 9:30 until 17:00, motorists are being advised by The Highland Council that two streets in Wick will be temporary closed to allow KIER to safely carry out Iron work repairs. U3529 Grant Street, Wick, will be closed from its junction with the U3560 Huddart Street to its junction with C1073 Macarthur Street U3560 Huddart Street, Wick, will closed from its junction with the U3654 Smith Terrace to its junction with U3569 Kinnaird Street.
The agenda was hanged to take the Caithness Horizons paper first. Read the Agenda Read the Supplementary Agenda Item 3: Minutes Report, 124.69 KB Item 5: Police - Area Performance Summary Report, 75.13 KB.
Members at today's Education committee were updated on the ongoing rollout of 1140 hours of funded ELC provision in Highland. 194 ELC settings in Highland are now delivering 1140 hours, with a further 15 settings planned to move to 1140 hours in April 2021.
At today's (11 February 2021) meeting of the Council's Education Committee, Members agreed on The Highland Council's Education and Learning three-year draft action plan covering short, medium and longer term priorities. This plan is currently the focus of consultation with all of our Highland schools, and ongoing collaboration with schools will underpin its future development.
Grant Schemes delivered by Highland Council The Scottish Government have asked the Council to deliver a number of business grant schemes on their behalf. The Scottish Government provide the funds for these grant schemes and also define the criteria to be used and who is to benefit from the grant.
Motorists are being advised by The Highland Council that there will be a temporary road closure on the B874 Bridge Street, Halkirk on Wednesday 10 February 2021 between the hours of 9:00 until 17:00. The closure is required to create a safe working area for iron work repairs.
Chair of Chair, Economy and Infrastructure Committee comments on Scottish Government's funding for Wick John O'Groats Airport Following representations made by The Highland Council, the Scottish Government has proposed that up to £4 million will be made available to the Council over the next four financial years to bring back scheduled services at Wick John O'Groats Airport. The Scottish Government have suggested that the Council be the lead partner in setting the specification for the services to be provided in consultation with local communities and businesses.
Members of The Highland Council's Economy and Infrastructure Committee have welcomed the opportunity to review progress of the Inverness and Highland City Region Deal which continues to play a pivotal role in delivering significant investment through a variety of ground-breaking projects. The Inverness and Highland City Region deal is a joint initiative supported by up to £315m investment from the UK and Scottish governments, The Highland Council, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and University of the Highlands and Islands, aimed at stimulating sustainable regional economic growth over a 10-year period.
Members of The Highland Council's Economy and Infrastructure Committee have approved a new discretionary grant scheme to mitigate some of the short-term financial challenges being experienced by businesses adversely impacted by restrictions and regulations introduced since October to control the spread of COVID-19. In recognition of the significant financial hardships and risks for businesses as a result of COVID-19 protective measures, the Scottish Government has made available a range of grants to businesses which are being delivered by The Highland Council, including a new discretionary grant of up to £1,525,924.
The Highland Council is providing all parent councils with a Gmail address to help establish a consistent approach to communication across parent councils in Highland. Cllr John Finlayson, Chair of Education Committee said: "I am delighted we have managed to pull this together, as consistent partnership working and communication with parents is essential, as we work together to support the education of all our young people.
On 4th February 2021 The Economy and Infrastructure committee of Highland Council will debate a wide ranging paper The Highland Labour Market on how to deal with the rising numbers of unemployed people in Highland. The meeting will be web cast at https://highland.public-i.tv/core/portal/home The paper covers many aspects of how to help people find and get back into work.