Your community needs you - Community Council Elections 2015
9th September 2015
Nominations are invited from people seeking election to all Community Councils across Highland this autumn. This is your chance to help represent the views of your community to the Highland Council and other public agencies.
Community Councils are voluntary organisations that act as a voice for their local area. They express the views and concerns of local people within their area across a wide range of issues from new buildings and roads to local services and facilities. They also have statutory duties: by law, the Highland Council must consult with Community Councils on planning and licensing applications in their area.
Community Councils also work to make positive changes in their local communities. Some Community Councils have worked to improve patient transport, dental services and care services as well as looking at ways to improve their environment for the good of the community and visitors to the area.
In some areas, Community Councils receive Community Benefit money from windfarm projects which they can reinvest in the community. Others are involved in setting up Community Development Companies which can lead on larger scale projects to improve the area.
Anyone can be a Community Councillor, provided they are aged 16 or over, are on the Electoral Register and live within the Community Council boundary. Becoming a Community Councillor is a great way to help represent and improve the community in which you live.
Candidates wishing to serve their local Community Councils can nominate themselves from Monday 21 September 2015.If the number of nominations exceeds the number of places on the Community Council then there will be an election ballot in that local area.
Those aged 16 and 17 at the time of the nomination deadline are also eligible to seek election and to register to vote in the election. However 16 and 17 year olds must be registered on the supplementary register. Registration forms are available on the Highland Council website and are being distributed through secondary schools.
The Returning Officer for the elections is Steve Barron, Chief Executive of The Highland Council. He said: "Community Councils play a significant part in local democracy and in strengthening communities across a range of issues. These elections will include 16 and 17 year olds both as candidates and voters for the first time and I encourage all to consider standing and to vote on the day."
Further information on nominations and the election is available on the Council website www.highland.gov.uk
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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