Talks continue to maintain parking controls in Highland communities
5th December 2013
The Highland Council and Police Scotland are to work together to ensure parking management is maintained in the Highlands when the traffic warden service – currently provided by the police - ends.
Police Scotland have given notice of the completion of their phased withdrawal from the service from 3 February, next year. This is when the remaining five traffic wardens based at Inverness (2), Dingwall, Tain and Fort William are redeployed to other duties. At one time there were 18 full and part-time traffic wardens employed in the Highlands.
Talks between the Council and Police Scotland have been taking place at a senior level for several months and both are committed to putting in place a plan to ensure continuity of a service in communities that require traffic/parking management.
Looking further ahead, the Council will be focusing on the introduction of a Decriminalised Parking Enforcement (DPE) scheme, which gives the Council responsibility for parking controls.
An authority which operates a DPE regime employs parking attendants, who place penalty charge notices on vehicles parking in contravention of parking regulations. Penalty charges are civil debts, due to the local council. Motorists wishing to contest a penalty charge may first appeal to the council and then to independent adjudicators, whose decision is final.
Until then, the onus remains with the police to continue to enforce parking law.
Councillor Drew Millar, Chair of the Council’s Community Safety, Public Engagement and Equalities Committee, said: “Safety is a crucial consideration in our deliberations on this important matter. Parking management in our main communities is essential and the public should be assured that the Council is working at the highest level with Police Scotland officers to ensure a continuity of enforcement of parking offences.
“Until we are able to introduce the DPE regime, the police will continue to use their powers to take appropriate action on our streets when a parking problem arises and to closely monitor parking management.”
Councillor Millar hinted that the Council would be examining a new model of community officer, whose role would include a range of community enforcement issues, such as parking, litter and dog fouling.
Chief Superintendent Julian Innes gave a categorical assurance that the police will continue to enforce parking offences once the traffic warden service is withdrawn.
He said: “The onus clearly lies with the police and we will continue to promptly respond to any parking issue that requires our attention. We are working closely with the Council to introduce a short and long-term plan of action.”
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.
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