Council Calls for 4th Scottish Parliamentary Boundary for Highland
9th March 2008
Highland Councillors are calling on the Boundary Commission for Scotland to reconsider proposals for new Scottish Parliamentary boundaries in the Highlands so that the area is represented by four directly elected constituency MSPs instead of the current three.
The Commission is consulting on a proposal to establish three constituencies, called North Highland, West Highland and East Highland. North Highland would replace the existing constituency of Caithness Sutherland and Easter Ross and have an electorate of 56,170. West Highland would replace Ross and Skye and Inverness West and have 55,900 electors. East Highland would replace Inverness East, Nairn and Lochaber and have 61,690 electors.
In objecting to these proposals, the Council believes that, given the vast size of the proposed constituencies, there should be four in Highland called Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross; Ross Skye and Strathglass; Inverness; and Loch Ness, Lochaber, Badenoch and Nairn. Electorates range from 42,091 in Caithness Sutherland and Easter Ross to 44,741 in Inverness.
If the Commission rejects this position, the Council believes it is possible to divide the Highland area into three alternative constituencies, namely North Highland and Wester Ross (55,718); Ross Skye Lochaber and Badenoch (61,162); and Inverness and Nairn (56,900).
The deadline for representations to the Boundary Commission is 14 March.
Works on the Inverness West Link Stage 2 were suspended on the 24 March 2020 following COVID-19 guidance from the Scottish Government. The Highland Council has been in dialogue with Contractors RJ McLeod and has agreed that essential works are required to begin to address safety issues but primarily the works to be undertaken are to provide for physical distancing and encourage active travel, walking, wheeling and cycling as part of, and to augment the successful Spaces for People project.
The COVID-19 small business and self-catering grant schemes, set up to help companies stay in business during the coronavirus crisis, have now paid out £59,628,750 to over 5500 Highland businesses. The Council has now processed 99% of the applications received since the grant schemes opened.
Blueprint for safe return to classes. Detailed guidance on practical measures to allow schools to re-open on 11 August has been published.
The Highland Council is assessing the implications of the First Minister's announcements made on the 21st May about the first stage relaxation of lockdown, concerning teachers and other education staff returning to the workplace during June to prepare for the return to school and settings on 11th August. Highland Council's Education Committee Chair, Cllr John Finlayson said: "The return to workplace and Highland schools for our Education staff will have to be undertaken carefully and gradually.
The Highland Council's Environmental Health Team is advising consumers to use their water wisely and check their private water supply systems for any signs of water leaks or risks of contamination. A private water supply is a property that does not have a Scottish Water mains water connection.
The Highland Council can now confirm which of the Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRC) across the region will re-open from Monday 1st June 2020. A phased approach to re-opening the sites will be adopted with strict controls in place to help manage social distancing and to ensure the anticipated high number of visitors and volume of waste can be handled safely and efficiently.
The Highland Council's Housing Service currently operates an annual garden aid scheme, cutting grass in approximately 1,300 council house gardens. The Garden Aid service is for older or disabled tenants who don't have anyone to help them cut their grass.
Following an ambitious bid by Highland Council supported by NHS Highland, to deliver rapid active travel interventions in response to the Coronavirus pandemic, The Highland Council has been awarded £752,954 from the Scottish Government's Spaces for People fund, which is administered by Sustrans. Over the coming weeks towns across Highland and the City of Inverness will see a roll-out of temporary walking, wheeling and cycling infrastructure along priority routes.
Public assurance is being provided by Highland Council that the organisation is fully transparent and accountable during the COVID-19 emergency response as it publishes decisions made by its group of senior officers - or Gold Group* - under emergency procedures. The list of decisions made since 19 March 2020 is on the Council's website at the following link and will continue to the added to and updated as further decisions are made using emergency procedures.
The COVID-19 small business and self-catering grant scheme, set up to help companies stay in business during the coronavirus crisis, has now paid out £56,286,250 million to 5135 Highland businesses. The Highland Council's Head of Development and Regeneration, Allan Maguire, said: "We now are processing applications and approving payment within days of a business submitting a complete online application form and its accompanying evidence.
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