Director of Community Services steps down after 20 years service
3rd June 2019
William Gilfillan, Director of Community Services will be leaving the Council on Friday, 7th June 2019.
William joined Highland Council from Fife Council in 2000 to lead the New Community School development in Alness Academy. Following the successful roll out of that initiative across Highland schools, several other roles followed. As Customer Services Manager, he took the Service Point Network through a significant change programme and sponsored the introduction of the Council's new Service Centre. He was then appointed Area Manager for Nairn and Badenoch & Strathspey, establishing the first community planning partnerships in those areas.
Following a restructure of the Council in 2007, William became one of three Corporate Managers, his role covering Inverness, Nairn and Badenoch & Strathspey. Three years later, following a merger of these roles, he became Corporate Manager for the Council, leading on community benefit. Following a further senior management restructure, William took on his current role as Director of Community Services in 2014. His Directorate covers services that are very important to the people of the Highlands - roads maintenance, housing, winter maintenance, waste management, burials and cremations, amenities, harbours, environmental health and much more.
William has been a member of the Council's Executive Leadership Team for the past 14 years and had this to say: "I have really enjoyed my 19 plus years with Highland Council. When I think back it is with fondest memories of the honesty of the people living in this beautiful area and the hard work and willingness of my staff to do their very best. There have been many high points and also many challenges, especially financial. However, it is the right time for me to move on and I wish all staff and Members the very best going forward."
Leader of the Council, Margaret Davidson said: "William has been with the Highland Council for nearly 20 years. In all the time I have known William, he has been totally dedicated to the Council, supportive of his staff and a truly genuine and compassionate person. I know William loves the outdoors and fishing and I am sure he will enjoy spending more time with family and following the pursuits he loves. I wish him all the best."
Chief Executive Donna Manson said, “William has contributed much to the Council and to Highland Communities during his tenure and we wish him and his family every success for the future.”
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.
The Highland Council is pleased to announce that preparations are well underway for re-opening many of the Household Waste Recycling Centres across the region to the public from Monday 1 June 2020. The sites in Highland, along with all other Scottish Local Authorities, have been closed since the end of March due to the government's Covid-19 restrictions on non-essential travel.
Highland Council's Recovery Board Chair, Cllr Alasdair Christie has welcomed the publication of the Scottish Government's road map phasing the way out of lockdown, which was published earlier today. The First Minister revealed that Phase 1 of the Government's new four phase plan, could come into effect on 28 May, however the advice remains stay home, protect the NHS and save lives for now.
[Printer Friendly Version]