Water scarcity and Highland Council support for users of private water supplies
28th May 2020
The Highland Council's Environmental Health Team is advising consumers to use their water wisely and check their private water supply systems for any signs of water leaks or risks of contamination.
A private water supply is a property that does not have a Scottish Water mains water connection. These supplies are usually in rural areas and currently there are 2,550 private water supplies registered in the Highlands.
Highland residents are being warned that, following below-average rainfall, some private water supplies within the region could run low and that significant rainfall will be required to replenish water levels.
Officers are advising that if your water supply is untreated or you cannot at this time maintain your water treatment system, that you boil your water before drinking, cooking and brushing teeth as a precautionary public health measure.
The Highland Council in partnership with Scottish Water and the Scottish Government, can today announce that an Emergency Water Scarcity Scheme has been set up to assist persons in obtaining safe drinking water during the challenging emergency period. As part of the scheme, the Council can supply and deliver bottled water at no cost, to domestic private water supply users who are eligible under the scheme. This assistance is in addition to the Council's current grant funding scheme that can offer a grant of up to £800 to undertake longer term improvements to a private water supply system.
Highland Council Senior Environmental Health Officer, Patricia Sheldon, said:"We have recently received a number of calls from vulnerable persons and families concerned about their water supplies so it’s very reassuring that with the help of the Scottish Government, the Council can provide support to communities and individuals who are experiencing problems with their domestic private water supplies at this time.
"It’s important that we all look to use our water wisely, particularly if your water comes from a private water supply. The Council is assisting where we can, and I would encourage anyone who has concerns about their private supply to get in touch with us so that we can discuss short term solutions to their water consumption needs and to think about longer term solutions to improve their water systems."
If you are served by a private water supply and need assistance under the scheme, please contact the Environmental Health team by email firstname.lastname@example.org or phoning 01349 886603.
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.