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Local Voices, Highland Choices

1st September 2017

The Highland Council's ruling coalition Administration will be presenting its five-year Programme at the Council meeting next week (7 September). The Programme sets out a number of strategic goals delivered through 5 themes: a place to live, a place to learn, a place to thrive, a welcoming place and a redesigned council.

Council Leader, Margaret Davidson said:"We are taking a new approach to the development of the Council's Programme. Next week, I will be asking the Council to agree our high level strategic priorities for the Highlands. Once approved, I will be going on the road and engaging locally to ensure that we deliver the programme on the ground in a way that is responsive to local circumstances. This is not a document that will grow dusty on a shelf somewhere. It is the catalyst for the delivery of locally responsive and democratically accountable services. It takes both a revolutionary and evolutionary approach to ensure we reflect the many and diverse voices of the Highlands to deliver what is right for them."

The Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group and Depute Leader of the Council, Alasdair Christie said:"I hope the public will appreciate the new approach we have taken. Our Programme is simple and accessible and shows great clarity of purpose. It sets out a vision for the Highlands that I believe everyone can get behind, as well as highlighting the critical role of the Council in representing and protecting Highland interests on the national stage."

The Leader of the Labour Group, Councillor Jimmy Gray added:"The Council needs to listen to local voices and deliver collaboratively. By working with our staff, our communities and our partners I am confident we can deliver our Programmes' strategic goals and priorities in a way that puts democracy at the heart of our local communities."

The Convener of the Council, Bill Lobban said: “The public sector in Scotland is facing unprecedented financial challenges and local government perhaps most of all. We cannot afford to continue to deliver the same services in the same way as we’ve always done. It is absolutely right that the choices about where to prioritise and direct our scarce resources are made as locally as possible. We trust our communities to have mature conversations about the decisions which affect them.”

Council will be asked to agree the draft Programme at its meeting on 7 September. The agreed priorities will form the basis of the Council’s corporate and service plans.

Highland Council Meeting Agenda and papers for 7 September 2017


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