Final Phase of Child Care Expansion Put On Hold In Highland
7th July 2020
The Highland Council is updating parents and carers of its position on early learning and childcare (ELC).
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, The Scottish Government removed the statutory requirement for Local Authorities to deliver 1140 hours of ELC from August.
Local Authorities were advised to use the ELC funding flexibly to respond to Covid-19 and that this response should also inform decisions regarding the final phase of the local delivery plan of the expansion of 1140hrs of ELC.
Cllr John Finlayson, Chair of the Council's Education Committee said: "The Highland Council is committed to continuing to fund settings that were delivering 600 or 1140 hours of ELC before lockdown and hopefully this continuity of service will support families in their planning. Highland Council recognises the importance of continuing to expand the provision of Early Learning and Childcare and future decisions will be informed by further guidance received from the Scottish Government."
Paul Senior, Executive Chief Officer Education and Learning explained: “For those ELC settings which were due to move to 1140 hours in August, as part of the final phase of the Council’s delivery plan, this transition will be put on hold temporarily.
When the Scottish Government releases the revised date for the statutory requirement to deliver 1140 hours of ELC, a decision will be made as to whether the final phase will be incremental or planned to the required date.
Prior to Covid-19 the Council had made positive steps towards delivering 1140 in August and so an incremental final phase is possible.”
Chair of the Recovery Board, Depute Leader Alasdair Christie added: “We know fully just how important and beneficial this service is in supporting families and providing learning experiences for children. The Education Service is keen to continue with the final phase of ELC expansion at the earliest opportunity, as this will enable the whole Highlands region to move towards recovery both economically and from an education perspective.”
Highland Housing Register Allocation Policy - Public Consultation There is still time to tell the Highland Housing Register landlords what you think about changes to the way that their houses are let and who gets priority. The consultation has been extended to Monday 7 December The landlords contacted everyone who is on the Highland Housing Register re-housing list.
The Highland Council has confirmed that a new date has been set for the Ward 12 - Aird and Loch Ness By-Election The original date of poll was Thursday 5 November but given the current public health advice applying in Scotland, the Returning Officer made the decision to postpone the by-election. Under normal circumstances a by-election must be held within three months of the vacancy arising, however under the provisions of Section 70 of the Coronavirus Act 2020 the filling of the vacancy can be postponed where it is reasonable and appropriate to do so and a date should be fixed for the poll to be held as soon as it reasonably practicable.
New fees for residential caravan site licence applications have been approved by The Highland Council's Communities and Place Committee. The new fees are estimated to affect around 20 residential caravan sites in Highland region.
A pricing regime has been agreed in Highland for the provision of Export Health Certificates which will be required by UK businesses from 1 January 2021 to export products of animal origin to the EU. Chair of The Highland Council's Communities and Place Committee Cllr Allan Henderson welcomed the work carried out to date by Council officers in supporting exporting businesses to the EU, he said: "The Environmental Health Team has a very important role in providing certification for Highland businesses exporting animal products to the EU.
Highland Councillors have noted the scale of achievement by Council staff in meeting the Traffic Commissioner's compliance requirements for the local authority's fleet and welcomed a phased approach to the ‘greening’ of its vehicles. Cllr Allan Henderson, Chair of the Council’s Communities and Place Committee said: "Maintaining a legally safe and compliant fleet of vehicles is essential and is no mean feat for an organisation the size of Highland Council.
The Highland Council is to consult on draft management rules for its 268 burial grounds across the region and crematorium located at Kilvean in Inverness. The Council has a statutory duty to manage burials, oversee memorial safety and cremations for around 1500 burials and 1200 cremations each year.
Motorists are being advised by The Highland Council that there will be a temporary road closure to the section of the U3520 Girnigoe Street, closed between its junction with the U3547 Henrietta Street and its junction with U3523 Glamis Road, at 09:30 until 15:30 on Thursday 3 December 2020. The closure has been made to allow KIER to carry out Iron work repairs.
The Highland Council has welcomed clarification from the Scottish Government that hotels are eligible for the Business Restriction Grant. As hotel restaurants and bars follow the same rules as other restaurants and bars with last entry at 21:30 and closure by 22:30, they have now been included as eligible businesses to receive grant from this scheme.
Members of The Highland Council's City of Inverness Area Committee have today agreed a proposed £4,786,000 investment in council housing for 2021-22. The one-year Inverness Area Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Capital Programme is part of the Highland wide HRA Capital Plan for 2021-22 which will see over £15m invested in improving the housing stock across the region.
The Leader of The Highland Council Margaret Davidson and Chair of the Brexit Working Group Jimmy Gray welcomed the Scottish Government's position paper on the replacement for European Structural Investment Funds. This paper was as a result of a wide consultation process in which the Highlands & Islands made a significant contribution towards.