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.
The public is being asked for its views on proposals by The Highland Council to review the maximum level of charges for the hire of taxis or private hire cars fitted with taxi meters operating under licence of The Highland Council. The Council has a statutory duty in terms of Section 17 of the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 to review its scales for the fares and other taxi related charges every 18 months.
Scotland's Chief Statistician today released the latest Council Tax Collection Statistics which provides Council Tax collection figures for Scottish local authorities, up to and including the financial year 2020-21. In 2020-21 for Scotland as whole the total amount of Council Tax billed (after Council Tax Reduction) was £2.675 billion.
Scotland's Chief Statistician today released the latest Council Tax Reduction statistics. In March 2021, Scotland’s Council Tax Reduction scheme supported 496,580 households (compared to 469,370 in March 2020) and the total weekly income forgone by local authorities was £7.328 million (compared to £6.525 million in March 2020).
The Highland Council has submitted bids to the UK Government's Levelling Up Fund and Community Renewal Fund totalling over £80 million. When the Chancellor set out details of the Levelling Up Fund in March 2021 the Council was advised that they could submit one transport bid and one bid for each of the three Westminster constituencies.
Two Highland Council by-elections to take place. Following the recent resignation of two Councillors, preparations are underway to hold by-elections in both the Inverness West ward and the Wick and East Caithness ward.
Boundaries Scotland (external link) has submitted its final proposal for Councillor numbers and wards in the Highland Council Area to Scottish Ministers. The Islands (Scotland) Act 2018 required the Commission to review six councils containing inhabited islands - Argyll and Bute, Highland, North Ayrshire, Orkney, Shetland and Na h-Eileanan an Iar.
The Highland Council today launches Building Our Future Highland - a campaign dedicated to keeping the public updated on the progress of works for the re-profiled capital programme's education, housing, and property projects across the region. Chair of the Housing and Property Committee, Cllr Ben Thompson said: "I would encourage anyone interested in the development of our housing, property and schools to utilise this new campaign and keep informed on the progress of works in Highland.
Taxi and Private Hire Drivers and Taxi Operators are set to benefit from a new grant scheme, following an announcement from Scottish Government. If you are a licensed taxi or private hire driver who previously received support through the Taxi Driver and Private Hire Vehicle Driver Support Fund, and hold a current Driver Licence, you are eligible for an additional payment of £1,500.
Councillor Nicola Sinclair will stand down as an independent councillor for East Caithness on 25th June 2021. She will take up a position as reporter for the Press and Journal returning to her former career as a journalist.
All eligible young people are being encouraged to apply for a weekly, term time allowance of £30 per week from August 2021. The Highland Council administers Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) in respect of eligible young people from across its 29 secondary schools.