Council budget blog launched
15th May 2010
A budget blog opened on Monday 10th May 2010 on The Highland Council's web site: www.highland.gov.uk, giving the public the chance to have their say on options for achieving major savings over the next three years.
The blog, fronted by the Council's Budget Leader Councillor David Alston, is an important part of the Council's budget consultation which will run until the end of June.
The blog begins with discussion topics on education and will continue with new topics every 10 days.
The Council aims to make decisions on the budget savings in the autumn of this year.
Councillor Alston said: "We have posed some big questions in our consultation documents and intend engaging with as wide an audience as possible in addressing the budget challenges we will face over the coming years.
"This is the first time we have used the web to engage with the public on the Council's budget and I am sure we will attract a large number of constructive suggestions as to how we can achieve the savings required over the coming years. Already some very good ideas are coming forward."
The Council has already held budget consultation meetings at Lairg and Wick and these will continue throughout the Highlands until the end of June as follows:-.
24 May: Tain and East Ross Ward Forum - Tain;
31 May: Joint Lochaber Ward Forum - Nevis Centre, Fort William;
1 June: Inverness Landward Ward Forum - Culloden Academy;
9 June: East Sutherland Edderton Ward Forum - Brora
14 June: Skye Ward Forum - Portree
16 June: Dingwall and Seaforth Ward Forum - Dingwall
17 June: Cromarty Firth Ward Forum - Ardross
18 June: Highland Youth Voice - Sleat, Skye
21 June: Wester Ross, Strathpeffer and Lochalsh Ward Forum - Lochcarron
22 June: Inverness City Ward Forum - Town House, Inverness
23 June: Badenoch and Strathspey Ward Forum - Boat of Garten
30 June: Nairn Ward Forum - Nairn
In addition, a new Citizens' Panel will be asked for its views. Already more than 2,000 people have indicated a willingness to take part.
Council staff and trade unions will continue to be encouraged to identify where savings can be made.
A Corporate Parenting Board is to be established which will have a duty of care for currently around 500 ‘Looked After' children and young people in Highland. Members of the Highland Community Planning Partnership’s, Community Planning Board have this week (21 March 2018) agreed to establish a Corporate Parenting Board the purpose of which will be to: • promote the corporate parenting role of statutory agencies and awareness of the duties towards care experienced young people in Highland.
The Highland Child Protection Committee has launched a Toolkit to assist individuals, volunteers and community groups working with children and young people understand their roles and responsibilities in relation to child protection. Over 60 people providing activities for children, young people and families in a paid and voluntary capacity came along to the launch event in Inverness yesterday.
Bill Alexander, Director of Care and Learning, has announced his intention to retire from The Highland Council. Bill commenced with the Council in 2000, in a joint post with NHS Highland as Head of Children's Services.
Beware of calls from scammers pretending to be the Telephone Preference Service warns Highland Council Trading Standards. Highland Council Trading Standards wish to warn consumers not to fall for a new telephone call scam in which fraudsters pretend to be calling from the Telephone Preference Service (or TPS).
Recent outcomes of Redesign work were noted by Members at yesterday's Highland Council meeting. In the first year of the programme, 8 redesign projects were undertaken using a "Lean" approach and 36 staff have been trained as facilitators.
Motorists are being advised that The Highland Council is currently preparing to carry out resurfacing works at the following locations: • B862 Fort Augustus - Whitebridge - Torness - Dores – Inverness Road; specifically at Errogie Village (North Gateway), Errogie Village (South Gateway), and Compass Farm; and • B851 Errogie – Strathnairn – Daviot Bridge – Culloden Moor Road; specifically at Aberarder House. Advanced works notification signage will be provided at various locations from Thursday 15 March 2018.
The Highland Council has agreed a capital programme of £482m over the next 5 years. The Highland Council serves the largest geographical area in Scotland (over 30%) and has just under £2bn of assets on its balance sheet comprising, amongst other things, 203 operational schools, over 6,700km of roads and over 2,000 properties.
The Highland Council's Enforcement Officers have stepped up patrols in Caithness in a move to tackle the problem of littering, fly tipping and dog fouling. A number of fixed penalty notices have been issued recently including an £80 fine for dog fouling in the Stafford Lane and Back Bridge area of Wick, a £200 fine for fly-tipping on Ackergill Street and another £80 fine for dog fouling in Lybster.
Speaking ahead of today's Council meeting to agree the Council's Capital Programme for 2018/19 to 2022/23, Cllr Margaret Davidson, Leader of the Highland Council said:- "This programme delivers significant investment in a range of key projects across the Highlands. We are investing in schools, roads, bridges, harbours and flood prevention schemes that will benefit our communities.
Highland Council is to make a special case for extra capital investment in the road infrastructure after a winter period which has seen the Highlands battered by some 57 days of severe weather. Highland Council area is particularly subject to severe winter weather, which has a significant impact on the roads and other infrastructure.
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