Launch of Ready for Winter Campaign
20th October 2013
The Highland Council is fully supporting the Scottish Government’s Ready for Winter Campaign which was launched today (Monday 21st October 2013).
The national campaign focuses on being prepared in the community; at home; on the move and in the workplace and encourages people to use the “extra hour”, when the clocks go back at the weekend to “Take an Hour” to make themselves better prepared.
For its part, the Council has increased its winter maintenance budget to £5.6 million per year and is introducing an improved service this winter. It has 45,500 tonnes of salt in storage in in readiness for winter.
Councillor Graham Phillips, Chair, The Highland Council’s Transport Environment and Community Services Committee, said: “We are encouraging individuals, families, businesses and communities across the Highlands to think ahead and be prepared for winter and all kinds of severe weather.
“The 2013 Ready for Winter campaign is designed to encourage each of us to think about how we could be affected, to put in place simple plans and take some straight-forward action that all together will help us be more prepared should we experience extreme or prolonged winter weather, or severe weather at other times.”
The Highland Council is responsible for 4,200 miles (6,700km) of roads. The Council's winter roads maintenance budget for 2013/14 is £5.6 million.
As at 21 September road salt stocks are at 45,500 tonnes. This equates to 13 days of extreme conditions or 48 days restricted use. Arrangements are in place to re-stock during the winter if the rate of use is high. Our suppliers have adequate reserves for this to happen and no shortage is anticipated.
Improvements to the winter maintenance service provided by The Highland Council were confirmed by the Transport Environmental and Community Service Committee at its meeting on Thursday 19 September 2013..
A review of priority routes has resulted in a 76-mile increase in the length of Priority One routes to 1,319 miles (31% of the network).
Snow gates are to be installed on the Bealach na Ba – the high route to Applecross, Wester Ross – to allow the road to be closed in heavy/drifting snow in the interest of public safety. An alternative coastal route is available.
An improved service on Priority 1 and 2 routes is to be provided on Boxing Day and 2nd January in recognition that they have become busy shopping days.
Three additional snow clearing vehicles – one per operational area – have been sourced for the coming winter.
Sheltered housing footpaths have been included in the schedule of footpath routes and a number of Community Councils have already responded to an offer to provide a self-help snow-clearing service.
Grit bins now have a telephone number displayed to allow the public to request a refill.
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: â€¢ B862 Fort Augustus - Whitebridge - Torness - Dores â€“ Inverness Road; specifically at Errogie Village (North Gateway), Errogie Village (South Gateway), and Compass Farm; and â€¢ B851 Errogie â€“ Strathnairn â€“ Daviot Bridge â€“ 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 Â£482m over the next 5 years. The Highland Council serves the largest geographical area in Scotland (over 30%) and has just under Â£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 Â£80 fine for dog fouling in the Stafford Lane and Back Bridge area of Wick, a Â£200 fine for fly-tipping on Ackergill Street and another Â£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.
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.
The Â£48.5m Wick Community Campus built by Morrison Construction has been announced as a finalist at the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) Awards for Planning Excellence 2018. The project is entered in the category for "Excellence in Planning for a Successful Economy" against eight other finalists from across the UK with the winner to be announced during a ceremony at Milton Court Concert Hall on 24 May 2018.
A Partnership for Procurement event was held in Inverness today (Thursday 6 March) to raise awareness and the capability of the third sector to successfully bid, supply and deliver services for the public sector. Partnership for Procurement (P4P) is a new initiative funded through the Scottish Government's 10 Year Social Enterprise Strategy; supporting social enterprises and third sector organisations to better access public contracts and build partnerships.
Across the Northern Alliance local authorities an exciting project has been rolled out to raise attainment in literacy, language and communication. The programme is being delivered in around 50% of primary schools across the Northern Alliance and is aimed at supporting practitioners to take a developmental approach to supporting early literacy development.
[Printer Friendly Version]