Help available for Council Tax payers in Highland
1st April 2020
Council tax payers in Highland who have lost their jobs or are experiencing a drop in their income are being encouraged to apply as quickly as possible for a reduction in their council tax.
This help, known as the ‘Council Tax Reduction Scheme', is available for lower income households, including home owners.
The person named on the council tax bill can apply online using the Highland Council's Apply Once form. Applicants supply their details only once and the Council will automatically award a range of Council-administered benefits that the applicant is entitled to receive.
Council tax payers who live alone are also prompted to apply for a 25% single person discount using the Apply Once form which is available on the Council's website at:
Council tax payers who are experiencing a reduction in their income and can make reduced payments to their council tax payment, are encouraged to pay as much as they can, when they can, to minimise the amount of council tax they will eventually have to pay.
There is no need to contact the Council if you are unable to make payments or will be making reduced payments to your council tax accounts, as the Council has suspended all action to recover unpaid sums.
The money the Council collects from council tax helps to provide vital services for local communities. It is also being used to help support the Council’s humanitarian response to the coronavirus and will then be used to support the local economy through delivery of essential services for families, children and businesses.
Council tax payers whose income has not been impacted by coronavirus, or who can still afford to pay their council tax bill should continue to pay the full amount due each month. The Council will continue to collect Direct Debit payments and payments can still be made in several ways, including online, via our automated payment line on 01349 886605 and by bank credit transfer.
Help, advice and support to complete application forms for all benefits and entitlements, including ways to reduce council tax, are available from the Council’s Welfare Team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Following discussions at the recent Council meeting, the Council Leader has formally written to the Local Government Boundary Commission on their proposals for councillor numbers and ward boundaries in the Highland Council area. She advised the Boundary Commission that the Council rejected the Commission's proposals in their entirety and formally requested that they halt this process immediately and review the whole issue of remote and rural area boundaries and councillor numbers in consultation with the Highland Council and other local authorities who have mainland councils with inhabited islands.
The Scottish Government has launched a £1,500 grant scheme to assist each individual licensed taxi or private hire driver with their fixed costs including licence plate fees, rental fees and insurance payments for taxis not on the road. The Highland Council's Chair of the Economy and Infrastructure Committee, Cllr Trish Robertson said: "The Highland Council has been asked by the Scottish Government to deliver this grant scheme on their behalf.
Applicants for the Scottish Government's Temporary Business Closure Grant can now apply even if they do not have a formal business bank account. Businesses will now be able to use a personal bank account as evidence, if the account is mainly used for their business banking.
A significant top-up to the grant support available for hospitality, retail and leisure businesses across Scotland closed by level 4 restrictions will be paid following an announcement by Finance Secretary Kate Forbes. In addition to the grants businesses receive through the Strategic Business Framework Fund, eligible businesses will also get a one off grant of.
Members at yesterday's previously adjourned and re-scheduled meeting of Highland Council voted to carry a motion introduced to make adjustments to the agenda in light of the situation in relation to COVID-19 and Brexit. The urgent motion was proposed by Highland Council Leader Cllr Margaret Davidson and supported by the Leader of the official Opposition, Cllr Raymond Bremner.
The Highland Council has issued a letter to all parents providing an update regarding the reopening of schools and early learning and childcare settings following the announcement made yesterday by the First Minister that the country is now in a national lockdown. All Highland schools will remain open but the only pupils who should attend are those identified as vulnerable and the children of Key Workers when no other arrangements can be made.
The Highland Council met today (7 January 2021) and took the opportunity to discuss Brexit. A number of issues arising from the UK's exit from the EU were discussed and the complexity of the situation was recognised particularly since there are a number of other concurrent issues such as COVID.
The Council wishes to provide re-assurance to communities that it's Winter Gritting teams are continuing to work extremely hard throughout the area during the current lock-down, providing a road and pavement gritting service following the Council's policy on prioritisation of routes. Details of the council's highland wide and local area gritting policies and maps are on the Council’s website at www.highland.gov.uk/gritting.
The Highland Council today launched the Temporary Business Closure Grant. This grant is available for businesses who have had to close due to the COVID-19 protective measures introduced on Boxing Day.
The Highland Council is giving more time for people to take part in it's draft food growing strategy - Growing Our Future. The extension, until the 28 February, will allow outcomes from the up-coming Highland Good Food Conversation to be incorporated in the strategy.