Councillors commend carbon reduction measures being achieved in Highland
24th September 2020
Highland Councillors have commended the Council's ongoing efforts to reduce carbon consumption over the past year.
Members have welcomed the information that the Council has saved over 6,000 tonnes of carbon this year. This comprised 15% of last year's output.
This significant carbon saving has measured in a real positive outcome of the Council's Energy Team which equates to £85,000 in savings for the Council.
Finlay MacDonald, Highland Council’s Head of Property & Facilities Management explained: "Everything we are doing cuts across services in the Council - such as deliveries and travel affecting our carbon footprint. We are heavily involved in the installation of LED lighting into schools and offices and replacing our street lighting across the region which has been upgraded to LED so there are actual physical improvements that we are demonstrating in communities that we are delivering on. That will continue with our travel and electric vehicles."
He added: "How we pull the information together as a council to highlight to communities on what benefits we are producing across different areas and council services is something that we can improve upon. We can show where we are successful and going forward, we will work with council services together to demonstrate the benefits that are being achieved.
"We are also looking at Passivhaus construction to meet strict energy house construction compliance for new builds. Although they will cost more to construct with higher levels required for more air tightness and triple glazing - they will ultimately reduce the cost to the Council on the life cycle of its assets. Collectively we are making savings in the long term for the right reasons, for better comfort, combined with improved user behaviour and consuming less energy which are all improving the council’s carbon reduction commitments."
Members commended the level or carbon and financial savings being made to the Council.
At the Caithness Area Committee on 22 October 2020 members unanimously confirmed their full support to the business case for Wick John O'Groats Airport to receive Public Service Obligation (PSO) status by putting forward a motion and reinforcing their commitment to working with stakeholders and partners to deliver this as a matter of urgency. The motion lodged recognises the fundamental strategic importance of Wick John O’Groats Airport to the economy of the region, and the energy, business and tourism sectors in particular.
Members of the Caithness Committee have identified fuel poverty as their number one concern and are pleased to announce that the member-led capital housing budget has increased to 10% as they welcome £2,253,000 of investment which will be used to carry out improvements to the housing stock across the county. A specific priority of the capital programme is improving heating and make homes more energy efficient, with over £1,300,000 of budget approved to replace the oldest and most inefficient heating systems with a further £150,000 for one-off heating replacements.
Highland Council Trading Standards supports FASathon - the Friends Against Scams marathon day Highland Council Trading Standards is encouraging Highland residents to take part in ‘FASathon', the Friends Against Scams marathon day, on 21st October 2020. The aim of the FASathon campaign is to get as many people as possible to complete the free Friends Against Scams online awareness session to learn about the different types of scams and how to protect yourself and others against scams.
By intervening, Local Government has reduced the worst impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic for the most vulnerable in our communities, COSLA said today (Wednesday). COSLA also said that is why their Blueprint outlines the lead role of Local Government in securing a fair and inclusive recovery with a strong focus on human rights, tackling poverty and addressing inequalities.
In advance of the 2021 tourism season, Members of The Highland Council's Tourism Committee have agreed that the local authority will continue to work and engage with partners, national agencies and local communities to meet the challenges and opportunities that exist in the region for motorhomes and wild camping tourism. Councillor Maxine Smith, Tourism Committee Chair said: "While coronavirus and the increased demand for staycations in the UK have played a large part in the massive increase in demands placed on the Highlands of Scotland from across the UK, the evidence does show that motorhome ownership and hire has been increasing over recent years.
The Highland Council has published new information on the Coronavirus Covid-19 button on the front page of its website on how people can access the new Covid-19 Self-Isolation Support Grant. https://www.highland.gov.uk/coronavirus Funded by the Scottish Government, the new grant is available for individuals who are asked to self-isolate by the NHS Test and Protect Service, in receipt of low-income benefits and who will lose income as they are unable to work from home.
Highland Council is currently looking at options to secure the future of the lifeline ferry service at Corran Ferry, Lochaber. The local authority is responsible for operating the Corran Ferry service, which is the busiest single vessel route in Scotland.
The Highland Council would like to thank householders who have purchased a Garden Waste Collection Service permit for 2020/21. The current permit started on the 1st of September and will run until the 31st of August 2021, with collections continuing until the end of November.
The Highland Council is reminding the public that although their offices and buildings remain closed to the public a full range of support and information is still available. Access into all service point buildings continues to be currently restricted for people to complete birth registrations and other high priority registrations by appointment only, and following all current social distancing and hygiene guidance.
Additional spending powers and funding for councils. A package of financial flexibilities and extra funding for councils which could be worth up to £750 million has been agreed by the Scottish Government in partnership with COSLA.