Council support for young LGBTI receives national recognition
29th June 2017
Highland Council is delighted and honoured to have been announced as the ‘Most Improved Local Education Authority' and top performing Council in Scotland in Stonewall's seventh annual Education Equality Index.
This extremely welcome announcement was made at Stonewall's Education for All conference held yesterday (28 June) at the University of Birmingham.
The Index is a comprehensive benchmarking exercise for local authorities from across the country, showcasing how well they are celebrating difference and tackling homophobia, biphobia and transphobia in schools and supporting LGBT young people in their local communities.
This year, 39 local authorities from England, Scotland and Wales took part and The Highland Council was awarded ‘most improved local authority’.
Cllr Alasdair Christie, Chair of Highland Council’s People Committee, warmly welcomed the Stonewall award for Highland Council, he said: "This is fantastic news for our young people that we are making Highland a better place to live and learn in.
"I am very pleased to see that Stonewall’s 2017 School Report highlights some positive statistics as well as clear next steps in moving forward. Highland Council’s Equality and Diversity Improvement Group and LGBTI+ sub-group will continue to work next year to support children and young people, their families, our workforce and our communities across Highland. Congratulations to all our staff, schools and partners who thoroughly deserve this accolade."
Ruth Hunt, Chief Executive of Stonewall presented the award at the conference to James Cook, Highland Council’s Project Co-ordinator - Raising Attainment in Literacy, and Cath King, Highland Council’s former Health Improvement Policy Manager, who through her role was a catalyst of Highland’s collaboration with Stonewell’s Equality Education Index in 2015.
Ruth Hunt said: "The Council’s LGBTI+ sub group of the Equality and Diversity Improvement Group has wide representation from schools, local authority administrations, youth services, Police Scotland, LGBT groups and third sector agencies. That partnership approach has allowed for the key individuals in services around children and young people to support LGBTI education and actively prevent homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying.
She added: “That shares Stonewall’s vision of getting more people around a table a greater multi-agency approach to this work and trying to cut some of those corners and making sure that we have a joined up approach. I am very pleased to present the award to The Highland Council. Well done."
Stonewall’s 2017 School Report can viewed at: http://www.stonewall.org.uk/school-report-2017
Close to 100 professionals met yesterday for what is one of the largest Career Long Professional Learning (CLPL) events of its kind in the country that specifically targets Gaelic Education staff. The event took place in Merkinch Community Centre, Inverness for Highland Council's annual Gaelic Education In-Service.
The safety of children walking and cycling to and from school and traffic calming measures in Wick were under the spotlight at yesterdays meeting of the Caithness Committee (Wednesday 21 February 2018). Local Councillors have given the go-ahead for proposals to introduce a 20mph speed limit and traffic calming measures across Wick designed to get motorists to slow down when driving around the town.
The Highland Council has agreed to use City-Region Deal funding to part fund new mid-market housing projects throughout the Highlands. The affordable housing projects will be developed by Albyn Housing Society and Highland Housing Alliance in Ullapool, Fort William, Alness, Inverness, Aviemore, Grantown, Drumnadrochit and Newtonmore and will deliver 61 new homes targeted at young people working in the area.
The Highland Council is set to make it easier for the public to report incidents of fly tipping and be advised when action is taken. As part of an evaluation of its street cleaning service an in-depth LEAN review of how the council deals with fly tipping has been carried out to look at ways of improving responsiveness and customer satisfaction.
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.
An election will take place for Dunnet and Canisbay Community Council on Wednesday 21 February 2018. The maximum permitted membership for the Community Council is 7 and as 8 nominations have been received, the 1349 electors in the community council area are being invited to cast their vote via a postal ballot.
Over three thousand people visited Inverness Town House last weekend to see for themselves the completion of interior works on the public historic Grade A listed building following recent renovations. Around 2,000 visitors passed through the Town House doors on Saturday 10th and another 1,200 people on Sunday 11th February.
Nomination packs for prospective candidates for the Caol and Mallaig Ward by-election are now available from The Highland Council's website. The by-election is being held following the sad death of Councillor Billy MacLachlan who was one of three Councillors representing Ward 11.
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. It is not intended to imply that any individual route is entirely snow and ice free and drivers must be aware that conditions can change rapidly and make their own assessment of conditions for travelling.
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