The Highland Council responds to the impact of severe weather
9th January 2015
THE Highland Council has been working with partners in other agencies to plan for the impact of the severe storms overnight and throughout today. Senior staff have been taking part in regional and local multi-agency meetings to ensure appropriate arrangements are in place and staff across the council have been working extremely hard to deal with the impacts of the weather and provide service continuity.
Due to the severe weather, power supplies, computer networks and some phone lines have been affected this morning. Most services have been restored, but there may be disruption continuing during the day at some sites due to power outage and telephony issues.
13 Service Points are currently closed due to loss of power. Service Point closures are now linked to the severe weather page on our website. http://www.highland.gov.uk/info/591/council_and_government/590/service_points_closed
The Service Centre has been extremely busy with high call volumes. As at 1pm today, the Centre had received 1315 calls. The normal call volume is around 1000 calls per day.
Around 98 schools were closed today, however we would expect that most schools will re-open as usual on Monday. Decisions on school closures are made locally by Head Teachers who assess local circumstances and conditions. Some structural damage is currently being assessed at Brora and Kyleachin schools.
Deputy Chief Executive Michelle Morris said: "As several thousand households are still without power, we are working with our partners to ensure vulnerable residents are cared for. We would also encourage people to look out for elderly or vulnerable neighbours who may be without heat or light.
"Many roads across the highlands continue to be affected by fallen trees and debris. Teams of staff have been working very hard, during the night and throughout the day, to clear branches and make the roads safe. The forecast is for further strong winds this evening and overnight, which may result in more trees and branches falling on roads.
“There is also expected to be snow at all levels tomorrow and Sunday with a yellow weather warning in place. Road conditions, therefore are likely to continue to be difficult and caution should be exercised when travelling."
The latest road report shows the following road closures:
· A838 near Merkland
· B9176 Struie Hill Road
· B9154 Daviot to Dalmagarry closed (trees at Moy Station)
· B9163 Black Isle - tree damage to the Newhall Burn bridge, between (Jemimaville and Balblair)
In addition there are minor road closures:
· Galcantray to Croy (Tree resting on building)
· C1242 Kilbeg/Ostag Tarskavaig road (culvert collapse).
Close to 100 professionals met yesterday for what is one of the largest Career Long Professional Learning (CLPL) events of its kind in the country that specifically targets Gaelic Education staff. The event took place in Merkinch Community Centre, Inverness for Highland Council's annual Gaelic Education In-Service.
The safety of children walking and cycling to and from school and traffic calming measures in Wick were under the spotlight at yesterdays meeting of the Caithness Committee (Wednesday 21 February 2018). Local Councillors have given the go-ahead for proposals to introduce a 20mph speed limit and traffic calming measures across Wick designed to get motorists to slow down when driving around the town.
The Highland Council has agreed to use City-Region Deal funding to part fund new mid-market housing projects throughout the Highlands. The affordable housing projects will be developed by Albyn Housing Society and Highland Housing Alliance in Ullapool, Fort William, Alness, Inverness, Aviemore, Grantown, Drumnadrochit and Newtonmore and will deliver 61 new homes targeted at young people working in the area.
The Highland Council is set to make it easier for the public to report incidents of fly tipping and be advised when action is taken. As part of an evaluation of its street cleaning service an in-depth LEAN review of how the council deals with fly tipping has been carried out to look at ways of improving responsiveness and customer satisfaction.
Highland Councillors agreed a council tax increase of 3% which will mean an increase of £35.93 per annum on a Band D property. Overall, the budget gap of £15,146 million has been met by a package of savings which includes increasing Council Tax income by £3.448 million, increasing income by £3,059 million, setting a target of £2,250 million to be saved through Redesign and reducing expenditure by £5.1 million.
Redesign is about the Council being more open-minded to new ways of delivering services, more commercially-minded to raise income to support services and jobs across the region and being more community-minded, listening locally and supporting more community-run services. The Highland Council is seeking to release over £2.2 million in savings this year through redesign projects.
An election will take place for Dunnet and Canisbay Community Council on Wednesday 21 February 2018. The maximum permitted membership for the Community Council is 7 and as 8 nominations have been received, the 1349 electors in the community council area are being invited to cast their vote via a postal ballot.
Over three thousand people visited Inverness Town House last weekend to see for themselves the completion of interior works on the public historic Grade A listed building following recent renovations. Around 2,000 visitors passed through the Town House doors on Saturday 10th and another 1,200 people on Sunday 11th February.
Nomination packs for prospective candidates for the Caol and Mallaig Ward by-election are now available from The Highland Council's website. The by-election is being held following the sad death of Councillor Billy MacLachlan who was one of three Councillors representing Ward 11.
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. It is not intended to imply that any individual route is entirely snow and ice free and drivers must be aware that conditions can change rapidly and make their own assessment of conditions for travelling.
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