Local Authority News
Lesley, who previously worked for Hackney Local Authority in London, expressed how much she has enjoyed working for the Council. Lelsey started with highland council on 13 August 2019.
Earlier today (Wednesday 1 July 2020) members of The Highland Council's Economy and Infrastructure Committee had the opportunity to discuss (by video conference) progress made with the Corran Ferry Project which is reviewing the options for securing a replacement ferry and considering the way forward for the future operation and management of the service. The Corran ferry service has reached a critical point and strategic decisions need to be made.
As Scotland prepares for the easing of lockdown and the re-opening of the tourism and hospitality sector, The Highland Council's Environmental Health are advising holiday accommodation providers to make sure their private water supplies are safe to drink. A large number of self-catering and tourist accommodation in the Highlands are served by private water supplies and with these being closed during the lockdown period, the water supply system may not have been maintained and could create a risk to the quality and safety of the drinking water.
Following Scottish Government guidance on returning to construction sites across Scotland, works will be restarting on the EES:ABS scheme across the Highlands. In line with the guidance, contractors will be undertaking phased restarts and adhering to social distancing to allow workers to return to construction sites gradually while using measures such as hand hygiene.
Two prominent derelict buildings in Wick High Street are to be demolished following decades lying empty. Numbers 30 and 126 (known locally as Dominoes (the former cinema) and Sloans are to benefit from demolition and site clearance, before ownership is returned to the local community.
The Leader of The Highland Council has written to the Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity, Michael Matheson MSP, raising her deepest concerns over Eastern Airways decision to withdraw their Wick - Aberdeen Service. The decision by Eastern Airways follows Loganair's earlier decision to withdraw its Wick-Edinburgh route, which now leaves Wick John O'Groats Airport with no commercial services operating.
Highland Council has produced a new video which shines a spotlight on how children across the region have been able to continue learning during lockdown. Last month the Council produced a video 'Learning During Lockdown' to highlight how teachers were able to continue to deliver education despite the closure of school across the UK.
£257.6 million to help tackle COVID-19 approved by Parliament. Almost £258 million of additional funding for vital local services, such as food provision for those in need, education and social care, has been approved by the Scottish Parliament.
The Highland Council is inviting private landlords and providers of short-term lets, including Air B&B hosts who may be interested in leasing their property to the Council to get in touch. Chair of the Housing and Property Committee, Councillor Ben Thompson said: "The COVID-19 outbreak has affected all aspects of our daily lives and we have seen increased pressure on our homelessness service, including demand from the loss of tied accommodation in the hotel industry.
Councillor John Finlayson, Chair of the Highland Council's Education Committee responded to the announcement today by John Swinney, Deputy First Minister on the return of education. "Today’s announcement by the Deputy First Minister that the planning assumption will now be for a full return to school for all pupils in August if it is safe to do so, is very welcome news for everyone and it reflects the aspirations that have been communicated to me over recent days by so many parents.
To support the economic recovery in the Highlands, the Council has today (Monday 22 June 2020) launched a guide for shops and businesses to assist them with their plans to safely welcome back customers. Following the overarching guidance provided by the Scottish Government, the Supporting Economic Recovery in Highland - A Guide for Businesses - contains lots of information, advice and support for shops, leisure facilities and other businesses likely to experience an upsurge in visitor numbers as lockdown restrictions are eased.
The COVID-19 small business and self-catering grant scheme, set up to help companies stay in business during the coronavirus crisis, has now paid out over £63 million to 5,892 Highland businesses. Councillor Trish Robertson, Chair of The Highland Council's Economy and Infrastructure Committee said: "Our staff that are processing applications are still working very hard and thanks to their efforts and to applicants for providing the correct information when they apply, the percentage of grants processed is currently at 99%.
Following the First Minister's announcement on Tuesday, 16 June 2020, eligible school pupils are to receive free school meals during the summer break to help tackle food poverty. In Highland, P1-3 pupils entitled to school clothing grants and P4-S6 pupils who are eligible for free school meals have been receiving £15 per pupil, per week, which is paid fortnightly using a voucher system.
The Highland Council's Environmental Health Team has identified raised levels of naturally occurring bivalve shellfish biotoxins following routine monitoring at Loch Eishort, Sleat, Isle of Skye. Eating bivalve shellfish such as mussels, cockles, oysters or razor fish from these areas may pose a health risk arising from the consumption of these biotoxins.
CHIEF Executive of The Highland Council, Donna Manson was invited to give evidence at the Scottish Parliament's COVID-19 Committee on Wednesday 17 June. Mrs Manson's advice to the Committee was the importance of a clear and simple national message during the COVID-19 emergency.
Today, The Highland Council's approach to a phased reopening of schools and Education Learning and Care (ELC) settings in the Highland region was discussed by Members at the Recovery Board. Guided by the national framework, Highland Council will look at the local and individual circumstances of each of it's 203 school and ELC settings to provide the safest and most valuable learning experience possible to its 50,000 children and young people when term resumes in August.
In a letter To Highland council the contractor RJ McLeod set out plans to restart work at Berriedale Braes "Further to our letter of 4th June informing you that we were proceeding with planning and pre-start site preparations for construction on A9 Berriedale Braes project in accordance with the published Scottish Government's Construction Sector Guidance document and Construction Scotland Re-Start Plan we are writing to provide you with a further update. The health and safety of the workforce is our main priority and we have now completed the necessary planning and pre-start site preparations.
Highland Council Garden Waste Permits are now available to purchase for the 2020/21 permit season. All existing permit holders will receive a reminder to renew their permit over the next few weeks.
The Highland Council can confirm that from Monday 15th June 2020 the re-opening of the Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRC) will move to the next stage. This follows the successful re-opening of the majority of sites across the region less than 2 weeks ago and will see the range of materials that householders are permitted to take to the sites expanded to include electrical appliances and cardboard as well as bagged household waste and garden waste.
Statistics released by HMRC show that the Highland has the highest number of workers on furlough per head of population across Scotland. 32,000 people, 27% of the working population are currently furloughed in the Highlands.