Highland Council To Provide School Meals Throughout Easter Break
4th April 2020
Highland Council will continue to provide school meals through e-vouchers to families throughout the school Easter break. This is to recognise the particular difficulties many families will be experiencing due to the Coronavirus emergency.
This innovative and easy-to-use service is being delivered digitally through the use of e-vouchers which will ensure over 4,000 school children will continue to receive support for school meals while schools are closed. Families who are already receiving free school meal provision do not need to apply as the Council will automatically provide barcoded e-vouchers to eligible families.
The impact of Coronavirus has caused additional hardship and this process will ensure that the most vulnerable children can get food. Those who have been impacted, and haven't yet claimed free school meals, are being encouraged to apply for free school meals as soon as possible on the Council's website at this link
This will enable these families to benefit from school meal provision through the Council's e-voucher scheme. Arrangements are also in place to support vulnerable families who are receiving free school meals.
Highland Council continues to investigate other ways of providing food across the Highlands for vulnerable groups within the rapidly changing environment. This includes working closely with High Life Highland, Eden Court and our many partners including the Third Sector.
Cllr Alister Mackinnon, Budget Leader, said: "The provision of food for many families is vitally important now, more especially than ever. We have taken the decision to continue the provision over the Easter fortnight to make sure children and families have what they need".
"The e-vouchers can be used in various supermarkets and staff are working really hard to extend this important scheme so that it reaches all families, especially those who live rurally, recognising that transport is not easy at the present time".
Help and support to apply for free school meals and benefits is available by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
A helpline number has also been set up for anyone who is struggling and needing urgent help during this crisis. The single line number - 0300 303 1362 - will connect callers to relevant Council specialist teams and will operate Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm. All calls are free.
At the Caithness Area Committee on 22 October 2020 members unanimously confirmed their full support to the business case for Wick John O'Groats Airport to receive Public Service Obligation (PSO) status by putting forward a motion and reinforcing their commitment to working with stakeholders and partners to deliver this as a matter of urgency. The motion lodged recognises the fundamental strategic importance of Wick John O’Groats Airport to the economy of the region, and the energy, business and tourism sectors in particular.
Members of the Caithness Committee have identified fuel poverty as their number one concern and are pleased to announce that the member-led capital housing budget has increased to 10% as they welcome £2,253,000 of investment which will be used to carry out improvements to the housing stock across the county. A specific priority of the capital programme is improving heating and make homes more energy efficient, with over £1,300,000 of budget approved to replace the oldest and most inefficient heating systems with a further £150,000 for one-off heating replacements.
Highland Council Trading Standards supports FASathon - the Friends Against Scams marathon day Highland Council Trading Standards is encouraging Highland residents to take part in ‘FASathon', the Friends Against Scams marathon day, on 21st October 2020. The aim of the FASathon campaign is to get as many people as possible to complete the free Friends Against Scams online awareness session to learn about the different types of scams and how to protect yourself and others against scams.
By intervening, Local Government has reduced the worst impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic for the most vulnerable in our communities, COSLA said today (Wednesday). COSLA also said that is why their Blueprint outlines the lead role of Local Government in securing a fair and inclusive recovery with a strong focus on human rights, tackling poverty and addressing inequalities.
In advance of the 2021 tourism season, Members of The Highland Council's Tourism Committee have agreed that the local authority will continue to work and engage with partners, national agencies and local communities to meet the challenges and opportunities that exist in the region for motorhomes and wild camping tourism. Councillor Maxine Smith, Tourism Committee Chair said: "While coronavirus and the increased demand for staycations in the UK have played a large part in the massive increase in demands placed on the Highlands of Scotland from across the UK, the evidence does show that motorhome ownership and hire has been increasing over recent years.
The Highland Council has published new information on the Coronavirus Covid-19 button on the front page of its website on how people can access the new Covid-19 Self-Isolation Support Grant. https://www.highland.gov.uk/coronavirus Funded by the Scottish Government, the new grant is available for individuals who are asked to self-isolate by the NHS Test and Protect Service, in receipt of low-income benefits and who will lose income as they are unable to work from home.
Highland Council is currently looking at options to secure the future of the lifeline ferry service at Corran Ferry, Lochaber. The local authority is responsible for operating the Corran Ferry service, which is the busiest single vessel route in Scotland.
The Highland Council would like to thank householders who have purchased a Garden Waste Collection Service permit for 2020/21. The current permit started on the 1st of September and will run until the 31st of August 2021, with collections continuing until the end of November.
The Highland Council is reminding the public that although their offices and buildings remain closed to the public a full range of support and information is still available. Access into all service point buildings continues to be currently restricted for people to complete birth registrations and other high priority registrations by appointment only, and following all current social distancing and hygiene guidance.
Additional spending powers and funding for councils. A package of financial flexibilities and extra funding for councils which could be worth up to £750 million has been agreed by the Scottish Government in partnership with COSLA.