Highland Council responds to Syrian Refugee Crisis
8th September 2015
A cross party meeting of Group Leaders from The Highland Council has today met to discuss Highland Council's initial response to the Syrian Refugee Crisis.
The Group Leaders also met with Bylthswood representatives to hear of the work they are doing to support the Syrian Refugees.
The Highland Council has advised COSLA that it would be willing to play its part in any government arranged Syrian Resettlement Scheme.
Speaking on behalf of the Group Leaders of Highland Council, Leader of the Council, Margaret Davidson said: "We understand and share the genuine concerns of people across the Highlands about the desperate situation of thousands of people fleeing from the war in Syria.
"The Council is committed to do whatever it can to offer practical support. We have today advised COSLA that we are willing to play our part in the government's Syrian Resettlement Scheme. Clearly this is a fast moving and complex situation and we await further details from the UK and Scottish Governments as well as COSLA, as to how this scheme will operate.
"We will be meeting with our community planning partners on Friday to explore what practical assistance can be given in the event of receiving refugees into the Highlands.
"If people wish to help in the short term, the most effective way to help at this stage is to donate cash to recognised UK charities. Blythswood have set up an appeal which people can donate to very simply."
Blythswood Chief Executive, James Campbell welcomed the opportunity to brief Group Leaders on the work they are doing to support the Syrian Refugees. He said; “I am grateful for the support of the Council for the work that we are doing. I wish to thank all those who have already contributed to our special appeal. If anyone wishes to help they can text SYRI15 £5 or donate at www.blythswood.org."
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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