Highland Council Appoints New Depute Chief Executive
1st November 2017
Following the decision of a Member recruitment panel today, Derek Yule has been appointed to the role of Depute Chief Executive which he will undertake alongside his new role of Director of Corporate Resources. Highland council have taken the opportunity to further reduce management level staff by combining two roles to make further savings.
Leader of the Highland Council, Margaret Davidson said: "Derek has always provided sterling advice and has a calm and reflective approach. Derek will make an excellent Depute and I really pleased, on behalf of Members, to congratulate him on his appointment to this very important role."
Chief Executive Steve Barron said: "Derek brings a wealth of experience to the depute role. He has served The Highland Council for 6 years as a very talented Director of Finance and, in such challenging financial times, we are extremely privileged to have a Director of such high calibre working in such an important role. I am sure everyone will join with me to congratulate Derek and welcome him to this key position in the Council."
Prior to his time with Highland Council, Derek has worked for over 10 years in senior roles in local authorities in Scotland.
Derek Yule said: "I am delighted to be appointed as Depute Chief Executive and look forward to working with colleagues and members in this capacity."
The Depute role became vacant with the departure Michelle Morris, in September. While it is the case that not all Councils in Scotland appoint to a depute post, this arrangement has worked well for Highland in the past, recognising the geographical challenges and addressing Members' expectations of resilience in leadership and advisory roles. In the current context of heightened security risks it was agreed by Council that this arrangement should continue and that one of the 4 Directors be appointed.
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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