Council Commitment to Keeping Highland Communities Cleaner
3rd February 2008
The Highland Council is set to spend an additional £1 million in the new financial year in keeping Highland communities cleaner and tidier. The commitment to community works is a priority of the Council Administration and, subject to confirmation by the full Council on 14 February, communities will see:-
- Increased levels of education and enforcement in littering and dog fouling by employing three enforcement officers (£90,000);
- Increased standards of litter picking and street cleaning by employing an additional 17 street cleansing staff (£500,000);
- Increased standards of grounds maintenance by employing the equivalent of 34 additional seasonal grounds maintenance operatives (£410,000).
The Transport Environmental and Community Services Commmittee was told today (Thursday) that it is proposed to engage 7 full-time street cleansing operatives in Inverness, Nairn and Badenoch and Strathspey and five each in Caithness Sutherland and Easter Ross and Ross Skye and Lochaber.
Spending on grounds maintenance will be allocated as follows: £150,000 for Inverness Nairn and Badenoch and Strathspey and £130,000 each in Caithness Sutherland and Easter Ross and Ross Skye and Lochaber.
Committee Chairman Councillor John Laing said on behalf of the Council's Administration: "The wellbeing of our communities is very important and this has been recognised in the Administration's commitment to give a high priority to community works. The public has consistently identified street cleanliness and grounds maintenance as important services in the Council's public performance survey.
"Additional funding will allow us to target enforcement campaigns in the Highlands to reduce litter, especially around fast food establishments, and other areas where regular litter occurs. Clean streets present a good image and discourages littering. Our aim will be to remove litter as soon as possible, so streets look clean. It is also important to improve the standard of grounds maintenance by increasing the frequency of grass cutting."
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 ‚ÄėFitHome' 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 ‚Äėtourist 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.
Chief Executive of The Highland Council, Steve Barron said: "The Council is continuing to do all it can to support employees who lost their jobs following the change in contract for the processing of recycled waste. Evanton-based William Munro Construction laid off the staff after Highland Council transferred a recycling contract.
The Highland Council has successfully prosecuted a food business after discovering unsafe hygiene practices in the transportation of food. An investigation by officers of the Council's Environmental Health Team discovered that N E Meats Ltd of Newcastle had been transporting and delivering foods from the North of England to the Highlands without any temperature control measures.
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