Highland Council asks are you ready for winter?
11th October 2016
The Highland Council is asking people in the Highlands - ‘Are you ready for winter?'.
The Council is again supporting the Scottish Government's Ready Scotland campaign at www.readyscotland.organd urges people in the Highlands to take some time to get ready for winter and all kinds of severe weather.
Councillor Allan Henderson, Highland Council's Chair of Community Services Committee, said: "Are you ready at home and on the move for winter? Have you got a winter kit in your car? Are you prepared for all eventualities? Are you looking out for elderly neighbours? Do you know how to find out and what to do if your school is closed? I urge folks to be prepared and be ready for winter so that you are not caught out."
Within its winter roads maintenance budget of £5.22 million for 2016/17, the Council is ready to salt - according to its policy - the 6,744km of roads for which the Council has responsibility. Trunk roads in Highland are the responsibility of Transport Scotland and their operators Bear Scotland.
Highland Council's road salt stocks are currently at 35,000 tonnes. Another 25,000 tonnes of salt are on order and due for delivery by 1 November. Arrangements are in place to re-stock during the winter if the rate of use is high. The Council's suppliers have adequate reserves for this to happen and no shortage is anticipated.
The Council has 105 gritters, 45 footpath tractors and 1 snow cutter with over 200 staff providing winter maintenance services.
Roads are gritted according to policy and priority. Primary routes are gritted Mondays to Saturdays 6am to 9pm and on Sundays and public holidays from 7am to 9pm. Secondary routes will follow the completion of Primary routes and are gritted Mondays to Saturdays from 6am to 6pm within available resources. ‘Other' routes are treated as resources permit. In extreme conditions all efforts will be made to keep Primary routes clear.
Grit/salt bins on council roads have a telephone number displayed on them to allow the public to request a refill. The Council’s Winter Maintenance Policy and existing local area gritting maps are on the council’s website at
To find out if Highland schools are closed check the Council’s website www.highland.gov.uk/schoolclosures
or call the school information line on 0800 564 2272 and dial in your local school PIN number to get the latest pre-recorded message from the head teacher. The list of school PIN numbers is on the council’s website at
Make sure you have the phone number and PIN number ready in a handy place now.
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.
[Printer Friendly Version]