Highland Council to Support Climate Week 2020
14th September 2020
To mark Scotland's Climate Week for 2020, which runs from today until the 20th September, The Highland Council has organised a range of virtual events to share information and seek views from Highland residents and Council employees on climate related topics.
Whilst the circumstances for Climate Week 2020 are very different to previous years, it still provides an important opportunity for organisations and communities to celebrate and showcase what they are doing to tackle climate change.
The Council, in collaboration with Home Energy Scotland, will be delivering a series of talks on the future of electric transport in Highlands.
Communities will be updated on current work taking place, the ambition for a net-zero carbon future, and current funding streams to enable Highland residents to make a shift toward carbon-neutral transport.
Communities across the region are invited to voice their views, experiences and ideas regarding Electric Vehicle uptake, and the sessions are each focused on a particular area of the Highlands:
Monday 14th September 6pm: Caithness & Sutherland
Tuesday 15th September 6pm: Ross & Cromarty
Wednesday 16th September 6pm: Lochaber, Skye & Kyle of Lochalsh
Thursday 17th September 6pm: Badenoch & Strathspey
Saturday 19th September 10am: Inverness-Shire & Nairn-Shire
Book a place on any of these sessions here - https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/driving-highlands-to-an-electric-future-tickets-116907061167?ref=estw
The discussions will help inform the new Highland EV infrastructure strategy, due to be launched in 2021.
On 16th September, the Council's Climate Change Officer, Keith Masson, will help the Sustainable Scotland Network (SSN) mark the launch of its new strategy by presenting how Highland Council is approaching the climate and ecological emergency - you can register for this event by copying and pasting the link into your browserhttps://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/ssn-strategy-launch-tickets-117551169713?aff=odeimcmailchimp&mc_cid=d01118fa52&mc_eid=e5d6d9c983
In addition, a meeting of the Council’s Climate Change Working Group is being held on Thursday 17th September, where an update on various Council workstreams related directly to the climate and ecological emergency will be discussed and debated by Members. The agenda and papers for this meeting can be accessed by clicking https://www.highland.gov.uk/meetings/committee/138/climate_change_panel
Finally, on 18th September, the Chair of the Council’s Climate Change Working Group and the Council’s Economy & Infrastructure Committee, Cllr Trish Robertson, will be co-hosting an online discussion alongside Climate Change Coordinator, Joe Perry, on the topic of "Grow-your-own and the Climate Emergency". The session, which will be held between 1pm and 2pm via Microsoft Teams, will feature talks on allotments, community gardening and the impact of growing your own food on the environment. Anyone can take part in this session and should email email@example.com to receive the link.
Cllr Robertson said: "The Highland Council is delighted to support Climate Week 2020, and we recognise that it gives us an excellent opportunity to engage with our communities regarding some of the most important issues related to our journey towards a net zero future."
She added: "The events organised as part of Climate Week will give Highland residents an opportunity to ask questions and have their voices heard in respect of how we move the low carbon travel and local food growing agenda forward, and I would encourage as many people as possible to take part."
Members of The Highland Council's Caithness Committee have approved additional funding for a project to bring new life to the site of a former derelict building on Wick High Street. In September last year the Scottish Government announced extra funding through the Town Centre Fund as part of its national economic recovery stimulus package, particularly aimed at supporting construction activity across Scotland.
Inverness Councillors on The Highland Council's City and Area Recovery Group today discussed the importance of local businesses having an online digital presence for customer access during the pandemic and post-lockdown recovery. Good digital access via websites and social media was the common theme raised by two speakers from Business Gateway and the Highland Food and Drink Trail in presentations to Councillors.
The Highland Council has begun detailed designs works on a major £2.5m energy project, part-funded by the Scottish Government through Salix Finance. At a site on the River Ness, near Whin Park in Inverness, the council is preparing to install a 92kW ‘Archimedes Screw' hydroelectric power turbine.
The Council's ICT in Learning team have been working hard to continue to support our school communities as we deliver remote learning to all children and young people across Highland. Chair of Education committee, Cllr John Finlayson said: "I want to thank all of our staff in Education who have worked incredibly hard to ensure that our school communities are receiving support and a quality education experience.
Enrolment for all ELC providers, including local authority nurseries, partner settings and commissioned childminders, will take place online this year. Enrolment week for ELC places will take place on Monday 8 February to Friday 12 February 2021.
Following discussions at the recent Council meeting, the Council Leader has formally written to the Local Government Boundary Commission on their proposals for councillor numbers and ward boundaries in the Highland Council area. She advised the Boundary Commission that the Council rejected the Commission's proposals in their entirety and formally requested that they halt this process immediately and review the whole issue of remote and rural area boundaries and councillor numbers in consultation with the Highland Council and other local authorities who have mainland councils with inhabited islands.
The Scottish Government has launched a £1,500 grant scheme to assist each individual licensed taxi or private hire driver with their fixed costs including licence plate fees, rental fees and insurance payments for taxis not on the road. The Highland Council's Chair of the Economy and Infrastructure Committee, Cllr Trish Robertson said: "The Highland Council has been asked by the Scottish Government to deliver this grant scheme on their behalf.
Applicants for the Scottish Government's Temporary Business Closure Grant can now apply even if they do not have a formal business bank account. Businesses will now be able to use a personal bank account as evidence, if the account is mainly used for their business banking.
A significant top-up to the grant support available for hospitality, retail and leisure businesses across Scotland closed by level 4 restrictions will be paid following an announcement by Finance Secretary Kate Forbes. In addition to the grants businesses receive through the Strategic Business Framework Fund, eligible businesses will also get a one off grant of.
Members at yesterday's previously adjourned and re-scheduled meeting of Highland Council voted to carry a motion introduced to make adjustments to the agenda in light of the situation in relation to COVID-19 and Brexit. The urgent motion was proposed by Highland Council Leader Cllr Margaret Davidson and supported by the Leader of the official Opposition, Cllr Raymond Bremner.