Council's Garden Aid Service to start
26th May 2020
The Highland Council's Housing Service currently operates an annual garden aid scheme, cutting grass in approximately 1,300 council house gardens.
The Garden Aid service is for older or disabled tenants who don't have anyone to help them cut their grass.
The seasonal annual start of the 2020 Garden Aid service has been delayed due to the Coronavirus pandemic, but the Council is pleased to announce that it plans to restart the service from Monday 1 June.
Chair of the Council's Housing and Property Committee, Councillor Ben Thompson said: "Health and safety is our number one priority, so the decision was made to delay this years’ cutting season. We have now taken on board updated Government advice, so are making arrangements to start up the 2020 service from next Monday.
"Over the last week housing staff have telephoned over 700 tenants to find out whether they are happy for us to cut their grass in line with the current guidance and protective measures. During these phone calls tenants have been advised that they can opt-out of the next few cuts if they wish to do so. So far no one has opted out and tenants have been very supportive of our approach."
The Council has contacted contractors to advise them that they will be able to start work from next Monday. The plan will be that they attempt to carry out two cuts per month as normal for the remainder of the season, accepting that there may be a longer than usual delay between the first and second cut due to gardens taking longer to cut than normal.
Cllr Thompson added: “The contractors will adhere to the Government guidelines regarding social distancing and safe working practices. We would like to thank all our Garden Aid tenants for their patience and understanding."
In anyone has any queries regarding Garden Aid then they are asked to contact Housing Services on 01349 886602.
Earlier today (Wednesday 1 July 2020) members of The Highland Council's Economy and Infrastructure Committee had the opportunity to discuss (by video conference) progress made with the Corran Ferry Project which is reviewing the options for securing a replacement ferry and considering the way forward for the future operation and management of the service. The Corran ferry service has reached a critical point and strategic decisions need to be made.
As Scotland prepares for the easing of lockdown and the re-opening of the tourism and hospitality sector, The Highland Council's Environmental Health are advising holiday accommodation providers to make sure their private water supplies are safe to drink. A large number of self-catering and tourist accommodation in the Highlands are served by private water supplies and with these being closed during the lockdown period, the water supply system may not have been maintained and could create a risk to the quality and safety of the drinking water.
Lesley, who previously worked for Hackney Local Authority in London, expressed how much she has enjoyed working for the Council. Lelsey started with highland council on 13 August 2019.
Following Scottish Government guidance on returning to construction sites across Scotland, works will be restarting on the EES:ABS scheme across the Highlands. In line with the guidance, contractors will be undertaking phased restarts and adhering to social distancing to allow workers to return to construction sites gradually while using measures such as hand hygiene.
Two prominent derelict buildings in Wick High Street are to be demolished following decades lying empty. Numbers 30 and 126 (known locally as Dominoes (the former cinema) and Sloans are to benefit from demolition and site clearance, before ownership is returned to the local community.
Highland Council has produced a new video which shines a spotlight on how children across the region have been able to continue learning during lockdown. Last month the Council produced a video 'Learning During Lockdown' to highlight how teachers were able to continue to deliver education despite the closure of school across the UK.
The Leader of The Highland Council has written to the Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity, Michael Matheson MSP, raising her deepest concerns over Eastern Airways decision to withdraw their Wick - Aberdeen Service. The decision by Eastern Airways follows Loganair's earlier decision to withdraw its Wick-Edinburgh route, which now leaves Wick John O'Groats Airport with no commercial services operating.
£257.6 million to help tackle COVID-19 approved by Parliament. Almost £258 million of additional funding for vital local services, such as food provision for those in need, education and social care, has been approved by the Scottish Parliament.
The Highland Council is inviting private landlords and providers of short-term lets, including Air B&B hosts who may be interested in leasing their property to the Council to get in touch. Chair of the Housing and Property Committee, Councillor Ben Thompson said: "The COVID-19 outbreak has affected all aspects of our daily lives and we have seen increased pressure on our homelessness service, including demand from the loss of tied accommodation in the hotel industry.
Councillor John Finlayson, Chair of the Highland Council's Education Committee responded to the announcement today by John Swinney, Deputy First Minister on the return of education. "Today’s announcement by the Deputy First Minister that the planning assumption will now be for a full return to school for all pupils in August if it is safe to do so, is very welcome news for everyone and it reflects the aspirations that have been communicated to me over recent days by so many parents.