Highland Carbon CLEVER vision and action plan approved
14th March 2014
An action plan and vision of what a low carbon Highlands would be like by 2025 was welcomed by members of The Highland Council - Thursday 13 March 2014. The vision supports an earlier statement of Inverness as a Carbon CLEVER City by 2025 which was recently approved by the Council’s City of Inverness Area Committee on 4 March 2014.
Members endorsed the vision statement of a low carbon Highlands which states:
“By 2025, the Highlands will be a region where its residents and visitors can move around easily by low carbon and sustainable forms of transport. The region is well connected both in terms of transport links and through digital connectivity. Buildings across the region will have been energy renovated, and new buildings are energy efficient. The growing majority of buildings in rural areas will be heated by renewable sources. Electricity will be generated from a range of renewable sources, and excess energy can be transmitted to surrounding regions through smart grids, or stored efficiently. Land and resources across the Highlands are utilised for optimal economic, social, and environmental gains. Communities across the region are engaged, are highly active, more healthy and empowered.”
Support was also given to the development of a Carbon CLEVER strategy and action plan focussing on five themes: Economy; Energy; Land Use and Resources; Transport; and Engagement Strategy.
Members also gave their backing for a second Carbon CLEVER conference to be held in November 2014 following the success of the inaugural conference held in Highland Council’s headquarters in November 2013 which attracted 100 delegates from a wide range of organisations.
Leader of The Highland Council Councillor Drew Hendry said: “We have to tackle carbon use and the Carbon CLEVER Programme and Action Plan is about delivering real things for our communities, by providing a healthier, safer and more prosperous and active environment for us to live in.
“A key part of this is providing a healthier place for our young people by tackling some of the challenges we have across the Highlands to ensure they have the right start in life.
“Carbon CLEVER is also about doing practical things for people across the Highlands and the low carbon Highlands Declaration aims to give us greater access to inward investment support from Scotland, the UK and Europe. Carbon CLEVER touches virtually every aspect of our lives and Services running deep across the Council. The Carbon CLEVER Action Plan gives us a backbone which will be reactive and proactive across the Highlands – positively seeking opportunities as we go forwards.
Councillor Hendry added: “Cycling is important in our plans but is just the first step forwards as we seek to advance better public transport plans in Highland. We have to look at better transport and interconnectivity supporting rural economies as well as urban across the Highlands. There isn’t a single Highland community - urban or rural - that cannot benefit from the Carbon CLEVER Action Plan.”
The vision statement and Action Plan are key steps the Council is taking towards meeting the Council’s commitment to create a Carbon Neutral Inverness in a Low Carbon Highlands by 2025. The Council is working with Highland businesses, organisations and Home Energy Scotland to launch the Carbon CLEVER Declaration in April this year to take action to reduce carbon emissions.
Some of the key projects already in motion are the development of cycling routes for Inverness (the first on Millburn Road); Carbon CLEVER Cycles - an electric bicycle hire scheme in Inverness; and sponsorship of the Etape Loch Ness cycling event.
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: • B862 Fort Augustus - Whitebridge - Torness - Dores – Inverness Road; specifically at Errogie Village (North Gateway), Errogie Village (South Gateway), and Compass Farm; and • B851 Errogie – Strathnairn – Daviot Bridge – 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 £482m over the next 5 years. The Highland Council serves the largest geographical area in Scotland (over 30%) and has just under £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 £80 fine for dog fouling in the Stafford Lane and Back Bridge area of Wick, a £200 fine for fly-tipping on Ackergill Street and another £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 £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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