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
Nominations are being invited from people seeking election to 15 Highland community councils covering areas in Caithness Sutherland, Easter Ross, Wester Ross, Isle of Raasay, the Black Isle, Inverness, Nairnshire, Badenoch and Strathspey and Lochaber. Community Councils are voluntary organisations that express the views and concerns of local people within their area across a wide range of issues from new buildings and roads to local services and facilities.
COSLA leaders meet tomorrow (Friday 5 August 2022) to discuss the local government pay offer and how they can avert substantial, long term, strikes in 1200 schools and early years centres and waste and recycling centres in councils across Scotland . UNISON is urging COSLA to use this leaders meeting to agree a substantially improved pay offer to avert serious disruption across Scotland - otherwise few if any councils will avoid some level of significant disruption.
The Highland Council is urging businesses - particularly those in the tourism and hospitality sectors - to be prepared for the end of relaxation of planning and building warrant controls on 30 September 2022. In line with changes to the COVID-19 guidance from the Scottish Government many of the pandemic mitigations that were put in place in terms of the provision of temporary structures and their uses – are no longer required.
The Highland Council has launched a public consultation to ask people's views on where and how they would like to see free period products made available in the Highland area. In 2021, Scotland became the first country to pass a law to make period products freely available and reasonably easily accessible to anyone who needs them.
At the Highland Council meeting held on, 30 June 2022, elected Members agreed to progress the submission of two separate bids for round two of the UK Levelling Up Fund, these include the North Coast 500 (Transport Bid) and Portree Harbour (standalone Heritage bid). Economy and Infrastructure Committee Chair, Cllr Ken Gowans said: "The Levelling Up Fund offers Highland an opportunity to bid for funds that will make a transformational impact across our communities.
Members of full Council, who met yesterday - Thursday, 30 June – were presented with a report on the UK Government's Shared Prosperity Fund and provided with an update on the process currently underway to develop a Highland Investment Plan which will determine how the funding may be used locally. A financial allocation of £9,445,515 has been awarded to Highland Council over a three-year period, which runs from 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2025.
At the Highland Council meeting held yesterday, 30 June 2022, elected Members approved a package of support totalling £3.639m for low-income households and economic growth. The approved package consists of: £0.591m - one-off grants of £125 each will be paid automatically for around 4,700 vulnerable children and young people in Primary 1 to 6th year who received school clothing grants as at 31 May 2022.
A report outlining the key points within The Highland Council's annual accounts for the year to 31st March 2022 was presented to full Council today (30 June 2022), ahead of their submission for full audit. The report shows that the Council continued to demonstrate strong financial management during financial year 2021/22, with an overall surplus of £9m recorded against the revenue budget for the general fund.
Councillor Ron Gunn, who represents the Thurso and Northwest Sutherland Ward of The Highland Council, has been appointed as Chair of the new Caithness Committee which met for the first time (Friday 1 July 2022). After taking the Chair, Cllr Gunn thanked Members for their support and then called for nominations to the roles of Vice Chairs and Civic Leaders for Thurso and Wick.
A pioneering bid for Green Freeport status by the Opportunity Cromarty Firth (OCF) consortium today received seismic boost after Members of Highland Council homologated the local authority's cross-chamber support. Members agreed their continued support for the OCF project and Green Freeport bid and acknowledged the potential benefits to the Highland region.