New Extended Way Of Paying Council Bills
24th January 2011
Highland householders are being advised by The Highland Council of new and extended ways of paying their Council Tax, rent and other Council bills. The new payment system takes effect from 1 April - the start of the new financial year.
From then, the public will be able to pay by cash or cheque at any Post Office and more than 300 PayPoints and Payzones throughout the Highlands.
From 1 April, the public will NOT be able to pay by cash or cheque at a Council Service Point, although they will continue to be able to pay by debit or credit card.
As a result of the new arrangements, the HQ cash office on Glenurquhart Road, Inverness, is closing permanently on 31 March.
Already 67,400 people pay their Council Tax by direct debit, so they will not be affected by the change.
The Council is following a number of other Councils throughout the United Kingdom in modernising the way it accepts payments from the public to ensure it does so in the most efficient and effective way.
Leaflets advising the public of the changes will be included in the 116,500 Council Tax demand notices which will arrive on doorsteps ahead of the implementation date. The change will also be prominently featured on the Council's web site and posters are being displayed in public offices.
Councillor Carolyn Wilson, Chairman of the Council's Resources Committee, said: "The change to the way we receive payments is aimed at providing a service that is more efficient but fair to everyone. The new extended service will give the public a greater choice of where to pay and more flexibility about when to make payments. It is also cheaper to collect payments at the new outlets and this keeps our administration costs down.
"There will be outlets right across the Highlands, making it more convenient for many customers to make payment locally. There will be longer opening hours at many of the new outlets.
"The additional Council business will help post offices that are important to so many communities and help sustain small businesses, such as local convenience stores and garages."
The public can also pay by Direct Debit - the easiest way to pay bills or by debit or credit card at any Service Point; online via the internet at www.highland.gov.uk.
Close to 100 professionals met yesterday for what is one of the largest Career Long Professional Learning (CLPL) events of its kind in the country that specifically targets Gaelic Education staff. The event took place in Merkinch Community Centre, Inverness for Highland Council's annual Gaelic Education In-Service.
The safety of children walking and cycling to and from school and traffic calming measures in Wick were under the spotlight at yesterdays meeting of the Caithness Committee (Wednesday 21 February 2018). Local Councillors have given the go-ahead for proposals to introduce a 20mph speed limit and traffic calming measures across Wick designed to get motorists to slow down when driving around the town.
The Highland Council has agreed to use City-Region Deal funding to part fund new mid-market housing projects throughout the Highlands. The affordable housing projects will be developed by Albyn Housing Society and Highland Housing Alliance in Ullapool, Fort William, Alness, Inverness, Aviemore, Grantown, Drumnadrochit and Newtonmore and will deliver 61 new homes targeted at young people working in the area.
The Highland Council is set to make it easier for the public to report incidents of fly tipping and be advised when action is taken. As part of an evaluation of its street cleaning service an in-depth LEAN review of how the council deals with fly tipping has been carried out to look at ways of improving responsiveness and customer satisfaction.
Highland Councillors agreed a council tax increase of 3% which will mean an increase of £35.93 per annum on a Band D property. Overall, the budget gap of £15,146 million has been met by a package of savings which includes increasing Council Tax income by £3.448 million, increasing income by £3,059 million, setting a target of £2,250 million to be saved through Redesign and reducing expenditure by £5.1 million.
Redesign is about the Council being more open-minded to new ways of delivering services, more commercially-minded to raise income to support services and jobs across the region and being more community-minded, listening locally and supporting more community-run services. The Highland Council is seeking to release over £2.2 million in savings this year through redesign projects.
An election will take place for Dunnet and Canisbay Community Council on Wednesday 21 February 2018. The maximum permitted membership for the Community Council is 7 and as 8 nominations have been received, the 1349 electors in the community council area are being invited to cast their vote via a postal ballot.
Over three thousand people visited Inverness Town House last weekend to see for themselves the completion of interior works on the public historic Grade A listed building following recent renovations. Around 2,000 visitors passed through the Town House doors on Saturday 10th and another 1,200 people on Sunday 11th February.
Nomination packs for prospective candidates for the Caol and Mallaig Ward by-election are now available from The Highland Council's website. The by-election is being held following the sad death of Councillor Billy MacLachlan who was one of three Councillors representing Ward 11.
Maps of the Council's gritting routes by priority and policy are available online at www.highland.gov.uk/gritting The information provided is a summary of reports from operational staff and is intended to give a general indication of typical conditions in each area at a point in time. It is not intended to imply that any individual route is entirely snow and ice free and drivers must be aware that conditions can change rapidly and make their own assessment of conditions for travelling.
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