Council urges action on A82
7th September 2017
The Highland Council has opted to take the lead in a proposed Strategic Transport Appraisal of the wider Fort William area as a priority, due to congestion and delays on the A82.
A motion put to the Council today, 7 September, signed by Councillor N McLean, Councillor A Baxter and Councillor M Smith states:
"Highland Council acknowledges that congestion on the A82, as it passes through Fort William, has reached a point where it is causing unacceptable delays for all road users. Highland Council acknowledges that the economic impact and wider inconvenience caused by the current situation is unacceptable and needs urgent action.
"Highland Council urges Transport Scotland to bring forward the proposed Strategic Transport Appraisal of the wider Fort William area. Highland Council will write to the Transport Minister to provide an update on the current position and urge that the appraisal is carried out as a priority.
“Concurrent to the appraisal process, short term measures must be investigated and executed by Transport Scotland to bring immediate relief.
"The involvement of Elected representatives from the Lochaber area, alongside officials from Transport Scotland and BEAR Scotland, are vital as part of this process."
Chair of the Places Committee, Councillor Allan Henderson added: “There is already work underway to take forward a STAG pre-appraisal to be led by the Council with assistance from TS, which I hope will take us further forward in getting improvements in this area."
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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