Local Authority News
The installation of the Highland wide 20 mph programme delivery continues a pace with over 75% of the work complete on the ground and the remainder of the settlement installation work ongoing The Temporary Road Traffic Regulation Order (TTRO) for the new 20mph speed limits on Council roads went live on Monday (31 July 2023). ANSCO Signs Ltd, a local company, based at Tomich Industrial Estate in Muir of Ord, who were awarded the contract for sign manufacturing, continues to be kept busy producing the new speed limit signs.
U3583 Loch Street, Wick on 21 August 2023 - The road closure is necessary to allow Scottish Water to performs work on the water main. The road may be closed until 21 September 2023..
The Highland Council's Environmental Health team are advising caution as blue-green algae has been found in the Wick River in Caithness at Coghill Bridge area. The blue-green algae was confirmed by SEPA (Scottish Environment Protection Agency) and was found by the footbridge at the riverside in Wick.
An Order was granted by Tain Sheriff Court which places legal requirements and restrictions on local nicotine vape seller, Mohammad Shuaab Director trading as, J&M Patterson Ltd, 33-35 High Street, Alness. Highland Council Trading Standards executed a warrant on Shuaab in April 2022.
A new funding scheme has been launched offering up to £20 million in grants to support local authorities, universities and arm's-length external organisations decarbonise their buildings. Scotland’s Public Sector Heat Decarbonisation Fund will replace the existing Scottish Energy Efficiency Loan Scheme, which has been running since 2006 and offered zero interest loans for energy efficiency improvement projects.
Highland Council last week carried a motion which aims to ensure the region's communities reap fairer reward for renewable energy generated in Highland. Members at last week's full meeting of Highland Council agreed a motion which called for the local authority to negotiate with renewable energy companies to ensure a fair financial settlement, which would enhance investment opportunities and support communities who live alongside renewable facilities.
Michael Silva, a graduate engineer student has been named as The Highland Council's Apprentice of the Year 2023. Michael joined the Council's Structures Section as a graduate apprentice in 2018 after completing his 5th year at Invergordon Academy, where he finished top of his class and was rewarded with "the Highest Attainment Award".
Councillors at yesterday's meeting of Highland Council approved the local authority's Net Zero Strategy which was recommended by members at May's Climate Change Committee. Climate Change Committee Members had reinforced the importance of making progress and agreed several recommendations.
A heated debate ensued at the full meeting of Highland council on 29th June 2023. The highly politicised debate included accusations on both sides of the argument.
Following a report agreed by Full Council in May 2023 on the Inverness and Cromarty Firth Green Freeport (ICFGF), Council members have received a further update (Thursday 29 June 2023) on the current Outline Business Case (OBC) stage of the Green Freeport process and the work to date. Leader of the Council, Raymond Bremner said: "Work continues at pace to develop a robust Outline Business Case (OBC).
The Highland Council are pleased to announce that between now and the end of July local communities will notice new 20mph speed limit signage being installed replacing, where relevant, the existing 30mph signage. Councillor Ken Gowans, Chair of the Council Economy and Infrastructure Committee said: "I am delighted so see the signage for this 20mph programme now appearing in our communities.
The Highland Council has appointed a new Chief Executive. The successful candidate is Derek Brown, currently the Deputy Chief Executive with North Lanarkshire Council.
The Environmental Health team has warned that some private water supplies in the region could run low due to lack of rainfall. Some surface water supplies are particularly at risk and the Council is advising users of private water supplies to take preventative steps to preserve their drinking water.
Highland Council Garden Waste Permits are now available to purchase for the 2023/24 permit season. To help all customers to continue recycling their garden waste, the cost of a garden waste permit for the next season (2023/2024) has not increased and will remain at the same price as last year - £47.75 per permit.
All eligible young people are being encouraged to apply for a weekly, term time allowance of £30 per week from August 2023. The Highland Council administers Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) in respect of eligible young people from across its 29 secondary schools.
A Highland Council project which aims to better support customers, who need supported the most, will now move to a second stage which includes focussing on the development of the Council's website with a £150,000 allocation of funding to appoint two dedicated web officers. The "My Council" programme is a review of the Council's customer contact experience, and part of this latest phase will prioritise the Council’s website and online customer offering over an 18-month period.
At the meeting of the Caithness Area Committee of Highland council on 29 May 2023 it was agreed to transfer assets at cost of £1 each to two groups. Development in Caithness is no longer totally being left to the cash strapped Highland council as two groups show what potentially can be done on their own.
Caithness Councillors have paid tribute to the work being done to ensure young people in the area are more prepared to enter a ‘positive destination' on leaving school such as higher education, further education, training, employment, and voluntary work. My Future, My Success (MFMS) is a partnership approach to empower young people across the Highlands to think about their future careers and aspirations by connecting them with a network of support, employability and enterprise learning, mentoring and personal skills building, ensuring that their future is determined by potential not by background, barriers, or the postcode that they come from.
Leader of the Highland Council, Raymond Bremner (SNP) welcomed the announcement today by the Scottish Government on their intention to introduce a bill to allow local authorities to introduce a local tourist levy. He said: "The Highland Council has long supported the idea of a tourist levy to enable the local authority to invest in local infrastructure and is a commitment in our Council Programme.
The use of mobile shredders to treat bulky waste was among several projects that Highland Councillors were updated on today (24 May 2023) at the Communities and Place Committee. Councillors were informed that the Council has agreed to invest in 3 mobile shredders to treat larger domestic items or ‘bulky waste' that are too large to fit into a kerbside bin.