Highland Council responds to SPA decisions on the Inverness Police Control Room
29th September 2017
The Scrutiny Lead for The Highland Council, Cllr Matthew Reiss responded to the decisions made today by the Scottish Police Authority (SPA) at their meeting in Inverness.
He said: "We are naturally deeply disappointed by the decisions today to close the Inverness Control Room and to spread the National Database Enquiry Unit between Inverness and Govan.
"The staff in the Inverness Control Room are extremely dedicated, skilled and experienced, and have served the Highlands and Islands well over many years. At least these decisions offer some certainty about their future and some hope and opportunities in terms of a new role in the national Database Enquiry Unit.
"We will not forget however that we were promised a National Database Enquiry Unit serving the whole of Scotland and an uplift in staff jobs and this promise has been broken. We were also told that the 14 serving officers in the Control Room would become additional officers in the community in the Highlands. We now hear that this additional resource will be gone within a few months as the current resource returns to establishment numbers."
He continued: “I was pleased however, to hear DCC Livingstone's clear commitment to decentralisation and the need to distribute staff jobs across the country."
Leader of the Council Margaret Davidson added: “I welcome the fact that the concerns which have been consistently raised by the Highland Council have been acknowledged by the SPA and I do feel that we have gone a long way to drive a greater transparency and engagement. But I am very disappointed that we will lose our valued Control Room and that we will not get the single NDEU based solely in Inverness as in the long term commitments previously made.
“It has been made clear today that the SPA will hold Police Scotland to account for their new commitment to decentralisation, looking for timescales for actions. As always, actions speak louder than words and we have had too many false promises from Police Scotland."
The Highland Child Protection Committee has launched a Toolkit to assist individuals, volunteers and community groups working with children and young people understand their roles and responsibilities in relation to child protection. Over 60 people providing activities for children, young people and families in a paid and voluntary capacity came along to the launch event in Inverness yesterday.
Bill Alexander, Director of Care and Learning, has announced his intention to retire from The Highland Council. Bill commenced with the Council in 2000, in a joint post with NHS Highland as Head of Children's Services.
Beware of calls from scammers pretending to be the Telephone Preference Service warns Highland Council Trading Standards. Highland Council Trading Standards wish to warn consumers not to fall for a new telephone call scam in which fraudsters pretend to be calling from the Telephone Preference Service (or TPS).
Recent outcomes of Redesign work were noted by Members at yesterday's Highland Council meeting. In the first year of the programme, 8 redesign projects were undertaken using a "Lean" approach and 36 staff have been trained as facilitators.
Motorists are being advised that The Highland Council is currently preparing to carry out resurfacing works at the following locations: • B862 Fort Augustus - Whitebridge - Torness - Dores – Inverness Road; specifically at Errogie Village (North Gateway), Errogie Village (South Gateway), and Compass Farm; and • B851 Errogie – Strathnairn – Daviot Bridge – Culloden Moor Road; specifically at Aberarder House. Advanced works notification signage will be provided at various locations from Thursday 15 March 2018.
The Highland Council has agreed a capital programme of £482m over the next 5 years. The Highland Council serves the largest geographical area in Scotland (over 30%) and has just under £2bn of assets on its balance sheet comprising, amongst other things, 203 operational schools, over 6,700km of roads and over 2,000 properties.
The Highland Council's Enforcement Officers have stepped up patrols in Caithness in a move to tackle the problem of littering, fly tipping and dog fouling. A number of fixed penalty notices have been issued recently including an £80 fine for dog fouling in the Stafford Lane and Back Bridge area of Wick, a £200 fine for fly-tipping on Ackergill Street and another £80 fine for dog fouling in Lybster.
Speaking ahead of today's Council meeting to agree the Council's Capital Programme for 2018/19 to 2022/23, Cllr Margaret Davidson, Leader of the Highland Council said:- "This programme delivers significant investment in a range of key projects across the Highlands. We are investing in schools, roads, bridges, harbours and flood prevention schemes that will benefit our communities.
Highland Council is to make a special case for extra capital investment in the road infrastructure after a winter period which has seen the Highlands battered by some 57 days of severe weather. Highland Council area is particularly subject to severe winter weather, which has a significant impact on the roads and other infrastructure.
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.
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