Councillors approve over £2 million of investment in Caithness council housing
22nd October 2020
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. These works will assist towards achieving the Scottish Government's Energy Efficiency Standard for Social Housing (EESSH).
In addition, the programme includes an allowance for kitchen replacements, bathrooms replacements, structural work to roofs, chimneys and the external fabric of properties, allowance for environmental works, regeneration works and continued funding of equipment and adaptations.
Cllr Nicola Sinclair said: "Firstly I would like, on behalf of our committee, to sincerely thank our housing staff for their hard work - those involved in repairs and maintenance and the staff who have been busy liaising with and supporting tenants. It's impressive that repairs targets have been met in spite of the extra demands of covid-19.
"I am heartened that we’ve been able to increase the member-led element of the housing capital budget to allow us to target resources where our tenants tell us it’s most needed. We have a plan in place to gather tenants’ views and as local members we’re very much aware of the need to accelerate the heating replacement programme as fuel poverty is front of our minds coming into winter. We all appreciate the efforts of our Housing team in addressing this and look forward to continuing our close working relationship."
Members will continue to be updated on progress against both the current year programme and the 2021-2022 programme through ward business meeting updates and further reports to their Committee.
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.