Caithness and Sutherland prepared for winter
19th November 2013
“The North Highlands are ready for winter” was the message given at the Caithness and Sutherland Area Committee yesterday (18 November 2014) with staff, vehicles and a plentiful supply of salt in place to treat roads and footpaths over the coming winter months.
The Highland Council has increased its winter maintenance budget to £5.6 million this year and has introducing an improved service with 45,500 tonnes of salt in storage in readiness for winter. The average annual usage of salt for Caithness and Sutherland has increased over the last 3 winters and is now approximately 25,000 tonnes.
Area Chairman Councillor Deirdre Mackay added: “Our staff in Caithness and Sutherland do a great job and work extremely hard over the winter months to keep routes open so it is reassuring to know plans are in place for them to spring into action when the bad weather comes. This year’s national Ready For Winter Campaign focuses on being prepared in the community, at home, on the move and in the workplace and gives lots of helpful tips on how we all can be better prepared. I would also like to remind everyone that when Highland experiences severe weather conditions, you can stay informed on school closures and any transport problems by visiting our website www.highland.gov.uk”
Chairman of the Council’s TEC Services Committee, Councillor Graham Phillips said: “We will endeavour to provide the highest level of service possible during the winter but people need to be aware that during severe weather it may not be possible to keep every road free from ice or snow at all times. Today the Winter Maintenance Plan for Caithness and Sutherland was approved which sets out the route priority network and details of these will now be publicised so people are aware of which routes are classed as Primary and will therefore be treated first.
“We have been engaging with communities over the last 6 months to make sure we can be as prepared as possible and to promote our community self-help scheme with local contractors on standby to provide additional resources if needed. Ensuring all the grit bins are kept topped up with salt is also a priority so bins will have a telephone number printed on them so people can call us if more supplies are needed. 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 target treatment times for completion of routes during conditions of ice and light snow are:
Monday - Saturday
Primary Routes 8.30am
Secondary Routes 9.00am
Other As resources and conditions permit
Sundays, 25th/26th Dec & 1st/2nd Jan
Primary Routes 9.30am
Maps showing all the routes for the area will be available from the Council’s website www.highland.gov.uk/gritting.
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: 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.
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