COVID-19 (Coronavirus) - Advice for Highland Council tenants
25th March 2020
As a landlord, the Council's priority is maintaining the welfare of our tenants and providing you with essential services at this difficult time.
The situation is changing daily, but this bulletin contains the most up-to-date information about where you can seek advice if you have any concerns about your wellbeing, income or other tenancy matters.
We do expect further guidance from the government over the coming days and weeks. We will provide you with relevant information as and when we receive it.
1. Staying Safe and Well
Please seek the latest advice on hygiene and self-isolation from the NHS Scotland website
(ii) Vulnerable Tenants
Supporting our tenants is our main priority at this time. We will be trying to contact as many of our vulnerable tenants to see what support we may be able to assist with while you are self-isolating. Where we can we will direct you to other support at this time.
2. Council services
As you will be aware, most of our offices are now closed until further notice and the way we will deliver services is changing. We are accessing how we can deliver non-essential landlord services at this time, while keeping in line with the changing Government guidance.
We will continue to carry out emergency repairs and we will ask questions to make sure it is safe for a trades person to attend. We have issued detailed guidance to our trades and contractors to ensure they follow Government guidance when carrying out repairs.
We are awaiting Government advice on rents and benefit maximisation at this time, but we would encourage all tenants to keep in contact with the Council if you have any concerns and we can direct you to the required advice and assistance.
We thank you for your cooperation and we will be in contact in due course regarding updates to our services.
If you have any queries, please contact our Service Centre on 01349 886602
The Highland Council, NHS Highland and Police Scotland are working closely to ensure that we all stay alert to the threat of COVID-19. The public are being asked to be vigilant and observe all guidance especially when attending licensed premises.
An update on the recruitment of teaching positions in Highland was presented to Members of the Council's Education Committee yesterday (6 August 2020). Head of Education, Nicky Grant, said: "I want to thank our staff members who have stepped into these vacancies while we continue in our recruitment of teaching and support staff.
Members at yesterday's (6 August) meeting of Education Committee, heard about the success of schools across Highland communities and, specifically, drivers of success from Highland Head Teachers from Portree High, Dingwall Academy, Thurso High, Kingussie High, and St Clement's School in Dingwall. Chair of the Education Committee, Councillor John Finlayson, said: "The achievements and resilience of our young people across the Highlands has to be congratulated along with the positive results we have heard about today.
Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) update. At yesterday's (6 August) meeting of the Education Committee, Members were updated on the Council's provision of ELC, as part of the return of school and ELC settings.
The Highland Council and Police Scotland are urging drivers to slow down near schools as term starts next week across Highland and pupils return to schools from 12th August onward. Highland Council is warning parents and pupils that part time flashing 20mph signs around Highland Schools will not be operating as normal - due to a technical error caused by inactivity of the signs over the long period of lockdown.
The improving trend of attainment is continuing in Highland as demonstrated by the SQA results published today. Attainment in Highland schools has risen against all key indicators and improvement is also around 2% above national levels of improvement.
Members were today asked to note the good progress being made in relation to the local authority's Recovery Action Plan despite the significant challenges faced because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The report highlighted that important work on the 11 key priorities continues at pace.
The Highland Council is issuing a reminder that no more than 20 people should attend a funeral service in person. No changes to these restrictions on funeral services were announced by the Scottish Government following the three weekly formal review of coronavirus controls last week.
Move towards a more sustainable delivery of humanitarian assistance proposed as Highland navigates COVID-19 recovery phase. Staff and Communities have been praised for their outstanding response to the Covid-19 emergency.
Today's announcement from the First Minister is very much what we have been anticipating and preparing for in our return to Highland education settings. It is a great reassurance that we can now continue with our work to achieve a full return of pupils and staff, including those who were previously shielding, in August.