Caithness Map :: Links to Site Map Great value Unlimited Broadband from an award winning provider  

 

Highland Council Will Set The Budget On 5 March 2020

29th January 2020

Leader of The Highland Council will highlight the need for investment in roads at tomorrow's Corporate Resources meeting, Thursday 30 January 2020, in the light of an improving financial outlook.

After considerable effort by officials and councillors, a revenue monitoring report is forecasting a net year end underspend of £0.452m based on current trends. More rigorous financial governance and efficiency measures have the potential to improve the overall financial position further in the remainder of the year. However certain risks remain, including the impact of any severe weather on resources, along with the fact that the Scottish Government funding settlement will not be known until 6 February. The Council will now set its budget, later than intended, on 5 March, in an effort to ensure the best possible financial picture.

Mrs Davidson signalled the way ahead; She said: "We have been working along with our officials to create an improving financial outlook, through sustained control on spending across services over the past year. An element of caution remains as there are still a number of risks ahead. However, we are very clear about two things.

"Firstly, we need to rebuild our reserves and establish medium to long term financial plans for a more sustainable future for the Council and to ensure that we can deal with any emergency that may arise.

"Secondly, despite all the challenges, we desperately need to find a way to invest in our roads and infrastructure. This is a high priority for communities and fundamental to connectivity and the entire economy of the Highlands.

"We have the largest network of roads of any Local Authority along with the fact the Highlands has to deal with some of the most severe weather in the UK.

"Climate change is another factor which is creating an additional burden on our limited resources for even the most basic of repairs.

“I am hopeful that the Scottish Government recognises the real impact of climate change in the Highlands while finalising its budget and that this recognition will enable us to protect and invest in our infrastructure is a sustainable way."

The Highland Council has the longest road network in the UK with 4,000 miles of local roads, 1,000 miles of footpaths and 1,400 bridges spanning a region covering one third of Scotland.

Despite the upbeat statements by the council Audit Scotland just a few days ago issued a report that suggest things will be very tough for years to come.

Highland Council must make significant savings and change the way it delivers services to ensure it can live within its financial means.

A report by the Accounts Commission, Scotland's local authority watchdog, says in recent years the council has had a poor record of delivering on savings. It must also increase the current pace of change to realise budget savings of up to £77.3 million by 2023.

At the same time, over the last five years, the performance of many services has declined against national indicators, notably education. The council must also get better at evaluating and reporting on its own performance. This will help Highland Council understand why service performance is falling and drive forward improvement that's necessary for the future.

There have been recent changes within the council, including restructuring the senior management team. With difficult decisions to make, it is essential that councillors continue to work together constructively and involve staff and local communities.

Andrew Burns, member of the Accounts Commission says,"This report makes clear the very challenging financial position faced by the council and changes to the way services are delivered are vital. It is reassuring that change is now happening more quickly and it is really important that this momentum is maintained. It will, however, be very challenging for the council to meet all of its commitments and priorities.

 

Related Businesses

 

Related Articles

19/2/2020
Scottish Government Budget In Current Form Will Devastate CommunitiesThumbnail for article : Scottish Government Budget In Current Form Will Devastate Communities
The Convention of Scottish Local Authorities has warned that the Scottish Government's Budget will hit vulnerable communities the hardest.   COSLA has warned the Government that it has not considered successive years of cuts, or rising inflation and demand and have therefore put council services at risk.  
18/2/2020
Taxi Fares Held Level For Another 18 Months In Highland And Tuk Tuk Licence For Wick RefusedThumbnail for article : Taxi Fares Held Level For Another 18 Months In Highland And Tuk Tuk Licence For Wick Refused
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.  
18/2/2020
Study Into Corran Narrows Fixed Link OptionsThumbnail for article : Study Into Corran Narrows Fixed Link Options
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.  
18/2/2020
Trades Services Framework Standstill Period Extended In Highland Council Area
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.  
15/2/2020
Spaceport Planning ApplicationThumbnail for article : Spaceport Planning Application
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.  
13/2/2020
Highland councillors approve small rise in council home rents
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.  
12/2/2020
Chief Social Work Officer's first annual report highlights successes and challenges
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.  
12/2/2020
Council Tax Scam warning
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.  
11/2/2020
Council publishes Highland Common Good Asset Register
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.  
More Pain For Highland As HIE Budget Gets Second Year Of Cuts
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.  

[Printer Friendly Version]