The Scottish Police Authority Accused Of Breaking Assurances To People Of The Highlands
5th September 2017
Chair of Badenoch and Strathspey Area Committee questions Police Control Room decisions
Chair of the Council's Badenoch and Strathspey Area Committee, Cllr Bill Lobban (Independent), has questioned Police Scotland's proposals for closing the Inverness Control Room and establishing two National Database Enquiry Units (NDEUs).
His comments follow a presentation by Police Scotland to members at the local Committee today, Tuesday 5 September.
Councillor Lobban said: "The Highland Council was promised a National Database Enquiry Unit in Inverness to serve the whole of Scotland. This was part and parcel of the decision to close the Inverness Control Centre. Proposals for an alternative model which spreads the work between two centres in Govan and Inverness have been developed without proper consultation and public engagement. The business case for this remains a secret and indeed the Leader of the Council has been forced to submit an FOI to request a copy of this.
"The Scottish Police Authority (SPA) is to be asked to approve this model later in September without any transparent scrutiny of the various options and the rationale. It would be an outrage and a travesty of governance and trust to allow this two-centre model to go ahead, breaking all the previous assurances made to the people of the Highlands."
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.
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.
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