Short Term Lets To Require Licences - Fee Charges For Landlords To Be Decided Later
30th October 2020
Members at yesterday's meeting of Highland Council homologated its response to the Scottish Government's consultation on the proposals for the regulation of short-term lets in Scotland.
The response was submitted by the 16 October deadline following consultation with the chairs of the Tourism and Licensing committees.
Councillors noted that short-term lets have significant economic benefits to Highland communities, but acknowledged that in some circumstances there can be negative impacts.
Members also noted the significant resource implications for the Council and agreed that the costs of administering the scheme would be recovered in full by way of fees, as permitted by the licensing scheme.
The report which went before full council today also highlighted that any costs incurred through the establishment of Control Areas under planning legislation cannot be recovered and would be additional costs. Members also agreed that the implementation of Planning Control areas will be the subject of a report to the Economy and Infrastructure Committee following consultation with the Housing and Property Committee and relevant Area Committees].
It was further agreed that the setting of fees for the proposed licensing scheme will be the subject of a report to the licensing committee after the regulations are finalised.
Members agreed to an amendment to recommendation (d) from Cllr Emma Roddick: Agree the implementation of Planning Control Areas will be the subject of a report to the Economy and Infrastructure Committee after the regulations are finalised [and following consultation with the Housing and Property Committee and relevant Area Committees].
Chair of the Tourism Committee, Cllr Maxine Smith, said: "The Council recognise the benefits of short-term lets in the Highlands to both hosts and visitors. The proposed changes will ensure the Council have appropriate powers to balance the needs and concerns of their communities with wider economic and tourism interests."
The Council will publicise the new requirements to businesses in the area when the regulations are finalised by the Scottish Government.”
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.
The category B listed suspension Infirmary footbridge in Inverness which traverses the River Ness between Ness Walk and Ness Bank may need to close for public safety until The Highland Council considers and secures funding for necessary repairs. This was the message that the Council's Roads Operations Manager, John Taylor informed Members of the City of Inverness Area Committee this week.
A new useful guide has been produced to provide people across the Highlands with information and advice on the financial and other support that is available to them. The Highland Council, along with NHS Highland Public Health, Independent Food Aid Network and the Trussell Trust, have brought a wide range of relevant financial advice and support with contact details together in a user-friendly format aimed at people who are struggling to make ends meet.
Dr Tim Allison, Director of Public Health for NHS Highland, opened today's meeting with a presentation on Covid-19, including a Highland perspective. Cllr John Finlayson, Chair of the Committee, said: "I want to take this opportunity to thank Dr Allison for his informative presentation on the virus that he delivered to Committee this morning." The presentation began by providing a brief background to Covid-19 before then providing an explanation of how the virus transmits between individuals and the presence of coronavirus in the Highland region.
At today's meeting (18 November) of the Council's Education Committee, Members were provided an update on the ongoing rollout of 1140 hours of funded ELC provision in settings across Highland. A report to the Committee outlined that of the 241 settings across the region, 202 Highland settings will be delivering 1140 hours by spring 2021.
The Highland Council is today (17 November 2020) launching a consultation giving the community until 12 March 2021 to comment on the proposed contents of the Common Good Fund Asset Register for Wick. The Highland Council does not currently hold a Common Good Fund for the former Royal Burgh of Wick.
This week, The Scottish Government has confirmed that The Highland Council area will again be placed into Protection Level One in The Scottish Government's 5 tier framework. This means our communities will for now continue to able to operate with fewer restrictions for our hospitality, retail and leisure sectors than other parts of the country.
More than 1,250 new teachers and support staff have been recruited as a result of £80 million of support announced in the summer. Education Secretary John Swinney pledged the ring-fenced package of funding to help local authorities' recruitment for the re-opening of schools.