Caithness Map :: Links to Site Map Great value Unlimited Broadband from an award winning provider  


Council budget blog asks - can some services be provided less often?

6th June 2014

People in the Highlands are being invited - on a new blog - to have their say on how the Council should meet its savings target of £63.7m over the next 4 years.

On Monday (9 June), The Highland Council will launch its 2014 budget blog on the home page of its website: The Budget Blog is another way in which people are able to let the Council know how they would to see savings being made.

Budget Consultation Forums have been taking place across Highland over the last two weeks and the blog provides an opportunity for those who could not attend forums to have their say. People who have attended their local forum are also encouraged to make further comments.

The blog will ask two sets of questions each week to encourage discussion about how we provide our services and if there are ways we can generate income and prevent future costs.

The first topic is: "Can we provide some services less, some less frequently or stop providing some altogether?" It will ask about how we can provide services more efficiently, which might result in a reduction in some services.

One suggestion will consider if the Council should merge some schools that are close together or have old buildings. It looks for suggestions of what factors the Council should consider when deciding which schools to merge.

It also asks if we could shorten the school day by 30 minutes for Primary 4-7 pupils which could save over £3m. Shortening the school day would result in savings as additional staff will not need to be hired to cover 2.5 hours a week not currently included in teachers contracts.

The blog also asks for opinions on other suggestions, such as a reduction in street lighting or the frequency of bin collections. It could also mean reducing the grants we give to organisations or to High Life Highland, which could result in the reduction or closure of some services they provide.

The blog will open for comments on Monday 9 June and the Council's Budget Leader Councillor Maxine Smith, will lead the discussion. The aim of the consultation is to understand the public's priorities as the Council aims to make savings of £63.7m over the next 4 years.

Councillor Smith said: "I hope people will get involved with the blog, and offer their views and comments on our suggestions. This is a great opportunity to engage and have your voice heard, especially if you were unable to attend your local Budget Forum.

"The first topic about reducing services is an important topic and will affect people in all areas, across all age groups. This is a chance for you to let us know your priorities and I look forward to engaging with you in this discussion."

The next few topics will consider what the Council could do to generate more income, how we should provide our services, including working more with voluntary groups and public sector partners, and how we can organise our customer service provision (Service Points).


Related Businesses


Related Articles

Interim elections for Highland Community CouncilsThumbnail for article : Interim elections for Highland Community Councils
Nominations are being invited from people seeking election onto eight community councils across the Highlands.   The resignation of some members have brought the following six community council's down to below half of their memberships so interim elections have been called in order to fill the vacancies.  
Helping businesses and third sector supply to the public sectorThumbnail for article : Helping businesses and third sector supply to the public sector
The Highland Council and its Commercial and Procurement Shared Services partners Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Councils are running a series of events to help businesses supply to the public sector.   Some of the events are hosted by other organisations and we will be signposting suppliers to these as well.  
Leader Of Highland Council Speaks After Budget Process LeaksThumbnail for article : Leader Of Highland Council Speaks After Budget Process Leaks
Leader of the Highland Council, Margaret Davidson has moved to reassure communities about forthcoming budget decisions.   She said: "No decisions will be made until the Council meets on 15 February.  
Highland Council Revises Budget Figures But Still Anticipates Big CutsThumbnail for article : Highland Council Revises Budget Figures But Still Anticipates Big Cuts
At Highland Council work has been ongoing for some months to prepare a Revenue and Capital Budget for 2018/19 and beyond, with the anticipation of a significant cut to available funds.   The Scottish Government's proposed grant settlement was announced on 14 December 2017.  
Highland Residents To Benefit From Pioneering Fithomes Thanks To £3m City-region Deal WindfallThumbnail for article : Highland Residents To Benefit From Pioneering Fithomes Thanks To £3m City-region Deal Windfall
Around £3 million of funding has been agreed for a ground-breaking Highland project that could transform the lives of people with complex health needs as part of the Inverness and Highland City Region Deal.   The business case for the ‘FitHome' assisted living project was approved in November last year with £3m funding from the Scottish Government.  
The staggering true scale of council job cutsThumbnail for article : The staggering true scale of council job cuts
An article in the Press and Journal today 9th January 2018 highlights the cuts in staffing levels across Scottish councils with Highland being one of the highest.   In 2009 Highland had 9953 Full-time Equivalent Staff and in 2017 it had dropped by 21% to 7838.  
Highland Businesses Urged To Be On Scam Alert
Highland Council Trading Standards team has recently seen an increase in scams targeting Highland businesses.   The most common scams reported by businesses relate to marketing and publishing but other frauds such as those involving demands for payment for unsolicited goods sent to businesses (such as ink cartridges which were never ordered) are also on the rise.  
Permanent Extension To Blue Badge Scheme CriteriaThumbnail for article : Permanent Extension To Blue Badge Scheme Criteria
Cognitive improvements to be included in Blue Badge scheme The disabled person's parking badge pilot, which was launched in April 2016, has been made permanent by the Scottish Government.   The eligibility criteria were revised and extended under a pilot to allow carers and relatives of people who pose a risk to themselves or others in traffic to apply for a disabled person's parking badge, provided they meet the criteria.  
Stay safe with New Year sales advice from Trading Standards
People looking to pick up a New Year bargain in the sales on the internet, by mail order or on the high street are being encouraged by The Highland Council's Trading Standards team to be aware of their consumer rights and to stay safe online from scams and fake websites that try to dupe inexperienced online shoppers trying to buy a bargain.   Consumers have extra protection when they shop online.  
Scottish Government rules out ‘tourist tax' measures
The British Hospitality Association secured a major victory today (21 December2017) as the Scottish Government confirmed that any plans for a ‘tourist tax' in Edinburgh - or any other Scottish cities - are firmly off the table.  The BHA has been campaigning consistently for over six years against the implementation of any such additional and uncompetitive tax and is delighted that the Scottish Government has recognised our reservations.  

[Printer Friendly Version]