Highland Council Trading Standards launches webpage on COVID-19 Scams
20th March 2020
It has become apparent that in the wake of the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, individuals and organised groups of criminals are now operating to attack the economy and wealth. Highland Council Trading Standards have today launched a webpage on the Highland Council website aimed at both consumers and businesses to identify the scams known to Trading Standards and our partners. The webpage can be found at www.highland.gov.uk/tradingstandards
David MacKenzie, Trading Standards Manager states, "It is clear that scammers are now seeking to capitalise on the current COVID-19 coronavirus, by attempting to take advantage of consumers and businesses at this difficult time. These are blatant attacks on the economy and attacks on ordinary consumers at a time of great uncertainty. The purpose of this webpage is to focus on the scams associated with COVID-19 coronavirus, to make available advice to business at this time, and to provide a link to wider information for consumers and businesses alike."
The advice from Highland Council Trading Standards is to be extra vigilant at this time. Scammers will go to great lengths to convince you to part your money and scams are evolving all the time. The Trading Standards webpages will be updated on an ongoing basis to keep consumers and businesses informed.
Members of the public wishing advice on a particular matter can contact Advice Direct Scotland on 0808 164 6000 or visit consumeradvice.scot
Highland based businesses wishing advice should contact Trading Standards directly by email at email@example.com.
The Highland Council is warning the public to be on their guard for the latest COVID-19 scam which is circulating around the country. Information on this scam was received by Highland Council Trading Standards, through a national intelligence network.
Following the freezing of some charges and suspension of enforcement for others during the lockdown period, The Highland Council has been following a phased return to normal operations since the 26th of June. Further details are given below.
Many Highland Council tenants may be missing out on help towards their rent from Universal Credit because they have not notified the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) of their annual rent increase which came into effect on the 30th March 2020. Those tenants who have not yet reported their rent increase could be facing a shortfall in the help they receive towards their rent, putting them at risk of rent arrears.
The Highland Council is updating parents and carers of its position on early learning and childcare (ELC). In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, The Scottish Government removed the statutory requirement for Local Authorities to deliver 1140 hours of ELC from August.
Following on from the recent publication of Highland Council's Supporting Economic Recovery in Highland - A Guide for Businesses - the Council is announcing relaxation of some controls that will assist tourist accommodation providers have been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. In recognition of this where there are specific planning and licensing controls in relation to occupancy, for example: a restriction on the occupancy of any caravan for a continuous 12 month period; or where conditions restrict occupancy for specific periods of time, ...these will be relaxed by the Council up to and including April 2021.
The Caithness Committee met virtual today for the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic and it's agenda focused on the actions taken by the Council and the third sector to deal with the effects of Coronavirus in Caithness. The Executive Chief Officer for Education and Learning, Paul Senior, gave members an update on the plans and preparations underway to prepare for the return of pupils and staff to Caithness schools in August.
Margaret Davidson, the Leader of the Highland Council has given her strong support to the efforts of the Scottish Government to obtain greater fiscal flexibility from the UK Government. The Scottish Government have sought flexibility to offset capital underspend against resource expenditure, more flexibility over resource borrowing and greater flexibility over the use of the reserve for capital.
The Highland Council is planning to re-open play areas across the region throughout summer. Advice was provided by the Scottish Government on 28 June as to the safety measures that should be applied.
The Highland Council was one of the first local authorities in Scotland recognised to develop a Schools Digital Learning Hub, which provides a resource for staff, parents and pupils to support home learning. Prior to Covid-19, we had an estate of 27,000 Chromebooks that were already a part of our ICT in Learning Strategy.
Earlier today (Wednesday 1 July 2020) members of The Highland Council's Economy and Infrastructure Committee had the opportunity to discuss (by video conference) progress made with the Corran Ferry Project which is reviewing the options for securing a replacement ferry and considering the way forward for the future operation and management of the service. The Corran ferry service has reached a critical point and strategic decisions need to be made.