Highland Council Issues Covid-19 Advice To Tenants
7th April 2020
The Highland Council is sending a bulletin to all council tenants providing them with advice about issues related to Coronavirus.
The bulletin contains information of a wide range of topics including energy advice, details on changes to homelessness services, how to get housing support, support for anyone in rent arrears, awareness tips from Trading Standards on staying safe from scams, a reminder on how to continue receiving free school meals, specific information for any tenants shielding, what practical support is available in communities and sharing national helplines for people to stay connected. The briefing also gives a long list of key contact details for organisations and service providers.
As well as issuing the Briefing the Council's Housing Team are currently contacting all tenants to make sure that they are ok or to provide advice and assistance where needed. They are doing this by text, email and telephone. If a tenant receives a text, email or call from the team, it is not a scam.
A tenant who has received the briefing said: "It is very decent and kind of the Highland Council to be so supportive at this very difficult time for everyone.
Councillor Ben Thompson, Chair of the Housing and Property Committee said: "Our housing staff are receiving lots of messages of support from tenants who are very appreciative of the work going on to keep them informed.
“As a landlord, the Council's priority is maintaining the welfare of our tenants and providing people with essential services at this difficult time, so I am glad the bulletin, which contains so much information, is being issued to tenants.
“The situation is changing daily, but the bulletin contains the most up-to-date information about where they can seek advice if they have any concerns about their wellbeing, income or other tenancy matters."
He added: “We are continuing to carry out emergency repairs and we will ask tenants 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."
The briefing, which is available of the Highland Council’s website from this link - https://www.highland.gov.uk/coronavirus/tenant_briefing , explains that all the information in it is correct at that time of issue but as national guidance is being updated on a regular basis and the situation may have moved on, tenants are asked to check the web sites listed on the next page for current updates
Anyone in need of urgent help regarding the COVID-19 situation should call the free helpline on 0300 303 1362. If your query is related to other urgent council business, please contact our Service Centre on 01349 886602.
For further information, latest coronavirus developments and changes to key Council services visit www.highland.gov.uk/coronavirus
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.