Digital Café challenges Highlanders to save money
28th April 2017
People in the Highlands are being invited to drop in to new Digital Café sessions which could save them significant amounts of money.
The Highland Council in partnership with other Highland Social Landlords and the social enterprise company Libertie are hosting a series of mobile Digital Café events during May 2017.
The aims of the Café sessions are to help people save money and access a wide range of online services. This can be achieved by improving digital skills which are taught at the mobile digital cafes.
At the sessions participants will see short demonstrations from Libertie who will show them how to get the best out of the internet. For example they can assist with:
• getting online safely,
• paying bills online,
• shopping online,
• making a claim for benefits online,
• accessing Council and other public services online,
• how to get the most out of your cash, and
• banking online.
Everyone is welcome to come along for refreshments (tea and coffee) and a chat.
The Cafés are being held throughout May as follows:
• Oran Na Mara Café – Aultbea: 2-4pm on the 8th, 15th, 22nd and 29th May
• Ross Memorial Hall – Fort Augustus: 10-12am on the 10th, 17th, 24th and 31st May
• Crigmonie Centre – Drumnadrochit: 2-4pm on the 10th, 17th, 24th and 31st May
The first 12 café session are being piloted with a view to further roll-outs across the region if demand proves successful.
Through this project, funded by Highland Council and the Big Lottery Fund, the Council and partners are committed to assisting residents of the Highlands to maximise their income and be financially and digitally included.
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.
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In recognition that roads are a high priority for communities in Highland the Administration at The Highland Council will be putting forward a budget on Thursday (15 February) that protects the budget for local roads. Chair of the Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee, Councillor Allan Henderson said: "We have nearly 7,000 kilometres of roads in the Highlands and this network is vital to our rural communities and lifeline services.
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The Highland Council Budget team have agreed their final budget proposals which will go to Council for agreement on 15 February 2018. Budget Leader Councillor Alister Mackinnon said: "We have done everything we can to protect frontline services and jobs in a good budget.
The timetable for the election for the return of a councillor for the Caol and Mallaig ward of The Highland Council has been announced today (Monday 5 February) The by-election is being held following the sad death of Councillor Billy MacLachlan who was one of three Councillors representing Ward 11. The other Ward members are Councillors Allan Henderson (Independent) and Ben Thompson (Independent) The Notice of Election and Nomination Form will be published on the Council's website www.highland.gov.uk (external link) on Tuesday 13 February.
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