Christmas Comes Early For Wick With Town Centre Funding Boost
19th December 2019
A FUNDING package worth in excess of £650,000 is in place to help in the regeneration of Wick town centre.
Wick and East Caithness councillors Raymond Bremner and Nicola Sinclair revealed the details at meeting of key stakeholders on Monday night.
The funds are committed for a range of projects designed to breathe life back into the area, including:
£200,000 to turn the riverside car park into a travel hub, including additional spaces, electric vehicle charging points, a new cycle shelter, a new bus shelter, new signage, CCTV security and landscaping.
£225,000 for the purchase, demolition and site clearance of derelict buildings.
£200,000 in-kind value of Sustrans Scotland's street design programme, which will create new designs for the High Street and Bridge Street areas.
An £18,000 options appraisal into suitable use for the former Woolworths building.
A £20,000 refurbishment of public toilets.
Councillors could not reveal the specific derelict buildings targeted in the regeneration plan for legal and commercial reasons, but told the audience in the Norseman Hotel they expect to have an update in the early new year.
When demolition and clearance is complete the sites will be transferred to the community for £1 each. A new development trust has been created which will work with the community to decide on a future use for the sites.
Following a review taxi fares in Highland have been held at the same level by the Highland Council Licensing Committee held on 18 February 2019. The papers and the debate on this issue can be seen at items six on the webcast - https://highland.public-i.tv/core/portal/webcast_interactive/469655 There is a 14 Day period for appeal.
A study is underway into the feasibility of replacing Scotland's second busiest ferry service with a fixed link bridge or tunnel. The Highland Council, HITRANS and Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) are joint funding the study at the Corran Narrows in Lochaber.
The standstill period under the Council's Trades Services Framework agreement was due to close with effect from Monday 17th February 2020, with the intention of a proposed go live date with the new arrangements and contracts of 24th February. The standstill period is a defined period of time between the notice of the contract award decision and the award of the contract.
On 14th February 2020 the Highland council place an advert in the Northern times newspaper regarding the Spaceport planning application as follows. - THE HIGHLAND COUNCIL TOWN AND COUNTRY PLANNING (SCOTLAND) ACT 1997 TOWN and COUNTRY PLANNING (ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT) (SCOTLAND) REGULATIONS 2017.
Members today approved a modest 3% rent increase for residential rents and service charges following detailed consultation with tenants. The increase will result in a rise in the average weekly council house rent from £75.38 to £77.74 (£2.26), which means that Highland rents are still 8th lowest of the 26 councils which retain housing.
Highland Council's new Chief Social Work Officer's first annual report highlights successes and challenges.` Highland Council's new Chief Social Work Officer for Highland Council, Karen Ralston, has enjoyed a successful first year in her role. Members today noted the 2018/19 annual report at the meeting of the Health, Wellbeing and Social Care committee.
Highland Council Trading Standards are again warning unsuspecting residents of the emergence of a new Council Tax scam. Today a call was received by the Council from a Council Tax payer alerting to a Council Tax scam whereby scammers are now texting people and informing them that they are due a Council Tax rebate.
The Highland Council has published the Highland Common Good Asset Register following the completion of a consultation process required by the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015. The Register has been published on the Council's website and can be accessed from the download link on the page titled "Common Good Asset Register" or at the following link: https://www.highland.gov.uk/info/20010/community_planning/840/common_good_asset_register For ease of reference, the Register has been divided in the separate former Burghs having recorded Common Good Funds - Cromarty, Dingwall, Dornoch, Fortrose and Rosemarkie, Invergordon, Inverness, Nairn and Tain.
According to the draft Scottish Govenment budget, Highlands and Islands Enterprise will get £58.2 million in the upcoming financial year - down from £61.1 million last year. 2018/19 the budget was £71.7 million.
The Highland Licensing Committee, at their meeting on 14 January 2020, made their final resolution in relation to the licensing of the public performance of plays under the public entertainment licensing regime after the repeal of the Theatres Act 1968. This was after the completion of the 28 day statutory consultation period as set out in section 9 of the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982.
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