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


Highland Council signs up to Digital Participation

9th September 2016

Photograph of Highland Council signs up to Digital Participation

Highland Council has made a continuing commitment to tackling digital exclusion in the Highlands. The council has become the latest organisation to sign SCVOs Digital Participation Charter.

Scotland's Digital Participation Charter is run by SCVO and demonstrates a public commitment to addressing issues around digital inclusion. The charter aims to increase levels of digital participation in Scotland by bringing together organisations from all sectors that want to develop both individuals' and / or their own Basic Digital Skills.

The Charter has already been signed by over 200 organisations, including other councils, public and private sector organisations, charities and community groups. Signing the charter commits the organisations to work in partnership with other signatories to promote digital participation and basic digital skills, as well as the following commitments:

Ensuring that all of our staff and volunteers have an opportunity to learn basic digital skills, and that they take advantage of this opportunity.

Encouraging and supporting our staff and volunteers to help other people learn basic digital skills, and help other organisations to embrace digital tools.

Contributing resources and practical support for digital participation initiatives in Scotland in whatever ways we can.
Channelling our efforts through the Digital Participation Programme, so that our activities can be coordinated for maximum impact and measured consistently.

Using common language based on digital participation and basic digital skills, to make our thinking and actions as clear as possible.

Chair of Resources Committee, Councillor Bill Fernie said: "Digital skills are essential for everyone to participate fully in modern life and access all the advantages and opportunities which come with those skills."

He added: "Highland Council is currently part of the Digital Highland partnership, a group of organisations working together to provide a sustainable, partnership approach to support Highland residents to go online and addressing issues around digital inclusion. This work also supports Highland Council's ongoing development of online services, allowing customers to access services anytime, anywhere, on any device."

The Highland Council’s Digital First project aims to have 40% of customer transactions carried out online by April 2017, offering customers the opportunity to engage with the council at a time and place that suits them. As well as increasing the number of available online forms, the project looks to redesign each process to make it as efficient as possible, developing functionality to improve the online experience and carrying out communication activity to inform and encourage customers to go online.

To date, Digital First has launched 91 online forms, ranging from reporting potholes and paying council tax to applying for council housing and benefits. Currently, 31% of transactions with customers are carried out online as opposed to by telephone and face to face, with customer feedback demonstrating we are offering customers a simple and user friendly online option.

While we are looking for 40% of transactions online, we understand and appreciate that not all our customers are able to choose online as an option. Some customers face barriers to maximising the benefits on offer by being online, not just using online services but also accessing other benefits, applying for work, skyping with family etc.

Alongside the Digital First project, we are also supporting digital participation organisation "Citizens Online" with the Digital Highland project. This project aims to develop a sustainable, partnership approach to addressing issues around Digital inclusion in the Highlands. This project has recruited digital champions throughout the Highlands to support communities and individuals with digital skills. A website has been created ( to signpost customers to free internet access and digital support and training in their area. And the Digital Highland partnership has been created, involving 15 public and third sector organisations who work together to ensure we collaborative meet the digital needs of local communities.

David McNeill, Director of Digital at Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, said: “We’re really excited that Highland Council has joined the national movement to get everyone in Scotland online. With each new organisation that signs up, we take another step towards our ambitious target to break down the digital divide in Scotland by giving people the support, motivation and skills they need to get the most out of the digital age.”

Cllr Bill Fernie with Eilidh Little, SCVO One Digital Development Officer.


Related Businesses


Related Articles

Redesign continues to deliver improvements
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.  
Resurfacing road works on B862 and B851
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.  
Highland Council agrees 5-year Capital Programme
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.  
Council Issues More Fines In Caithness For Dog Fouling and Fly Tipping
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.  
Council Administration to present a programme of investment
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 to make special case for capital investment
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.  
Highland Council Winter Road Condition And School Closure Report For Wednesday 7 March 2018
Maps of the Council's gritting routes by priority and policy are available online at   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.  
Wick High Finalist In Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) Awards for Planning Excellence 2018.Thumbnail for article : Wick High Finalist In Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) Awards for Planning Excellence 2018.
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.  
Partnership for Procurement - Supplying to the Public Sector
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.  
Northern Alliance data demonstrates Highland Schools ‘closing the attainment gap'
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.  

[Printer Friendly Version]