Highland Council Advice Service Wins Top Scottish Award
24th May 2010
A value added service offered by The Highland Council in partnership with a number of other national agencies including Scottish Natural Heritage, Scottish Environment Protection Agency and Transport Scotland has received national recognition at the Homes for Scotland Awards 2010.
The Pre-Application Advice Service for Major Developments, a cross Council service led by the Planning and Development Service, received an award in the Key Agency Working category. Organisers of the Awards said that the aim was to demonstrate the further evolution of the development industry's commitment to improvement across the board, and to send out a message that the industry is determined to embrace the many challenges which lie ahead in overcoming the difficulties of the past two years. The Highland Council were the only Scottish Local Authority to be short listed.
The Pre-Application Advice Service helps to make the planning process more efficient by encouraging early and effective consultation which will assist in avoiding some of the difficult situations that may arise during the application process. The service offers advice on a range of issues including transport arrangements, design, sustainability and community engagement.
Central to the provision of the Pre-Application Advice Service is the partnership approach and commitment which helps the Council and its partners to deliver pre-application advice in a consistant and transparent manner to all developers helping to demonstrate the Council's commitment to facilitating growth in the local economy.
The Council was presented with their award at the Homes for Scotland Annual Lunch, held in Edinburgh on Friday 21st May 2010.
Councillor Ian Ross, Chairman of The Highland Council's Planning Environment and Development Committee, added: "We are delighted to have received this prestigious award which reflects the strong and constructive working relationship between the council and its partners since the inception of this service in February 2009. The Pre-Application Advice Service offers a great opportunity for the Council and the development industry to work closely together to help deliver better quality new developments and stengthen our communities."
The Highland Council is calling on the UK Government to help resolve the inequity of fuel poverty experienced in the Highlands of Scotland where people pay more for fuel and energy than other regions in the UK. Leader of The Highland Council, Cllr Margaret Davidson has written to the UK Government's Minister of State (Minister for Business, Energy and Clean Growth) The Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng MP calling on the government to replace the current electricity distribution system with one that replicates that of gas and telecoms and share the cost of energy distribution equally across the UK.
To mark Scotland's Climate Week for 2020, which runs from today until the 20th September, The Highland Council has organised a range of virtual events to share information and seek views from Highland residents and Council employees on climate related topics. Whilst the circumstances for Climate Week 2020 are very different to previous years, it still provides an important opportunity for organisations and communities to celebrate and showcase what they are doing to tackle climate change.
Highland residents are being warned that letters claiming they have won a share of £425,000 in a ‘postcode lottery' is a scam. The letters appear to be targeting the Skye area but are likely to be sent to various addresses across the Highland area.
Fiona Malcolm, has been appointed by The Highland Council as Interim Executive Chief Officer with immediate effect for Health and Social Care, pending recruitment of the permanent ECO post which is currently taking place. A qualified solicitor, Fiona has worked within the legislative and policy frameworks in place for both children's care and adult social care since joining The Highland Council in 2001.
Communities in The Highland Council area are to benefit from Crown Estates funding to be disbursed by the local authority. Councillors have agreed a funding distribution model to enable the disbursement of over £3million Crown Estates funds across the region.
Council today agreed an urgent motion by Cllrs Margaret Davidson, Andrew Jarvie, Alasdair Christie and Jimmy Gray with a call for more detailed local information sharing on Covid-19 for members in local government. The motion is as follows: "Throughout the pandemic we have received information on national and Highland wide numbers infected with Covid 19.
At the meeting on 9 September 2020 of the Council's Housing and Property Committee, Officers confirmed that house building targets will be met despite lockdown caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Chair of the committee, Cllr Ben Thompson, said: "I am delighted that we are able to continue to meet our targets for the Council house building programme.
Highland Council members will debate rejecting electoral arrangement proposals put forward by the Local Government Boundary Commission for Scotland at a meeting of The Highland Council later this week. The Boundary Commission wrote to the Council's Chief Executive earlier this year with proposals for new electoral boundaries from 2022.
Highland Housing partners are asking their tenants to have their say on proposed changes to the mutual exchange policy. Mutual Exchanges help tenants to move by swapping their homes with other tenants.
COSLA has today (Monday 7th September 2020) launched a new Blueprint for Scottish Local Government. The Blueprint will allow Local Government to build around an ambitious vision for Scotland's future - one based on the empowerment of people and communities.