Leader Of The Council And Chair Of The Brexit Working Group Welcomed The Scottish Government's Position Paper On The Replacement For European Structural Investment Funds
20th November 2020
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.
Cllr Jimmy Gray said: "We look forward to the long awaited UK Government’s announcement on Wednesday 25 November about the UK Shared Prosperity Fund which is intended to replace European Structural Funding. European Funding, which was designed to reduce regional disparities across the EU, has played an essential role in the wider development of the Highlands & Islands in the past four decades and recognised the particular challenges we faced.
We have seen significant improvements across our area with obvious benefits such as transport infrastructure including bridges, roads, airports and harbours. EU funding was also a major contributory factor in setting up the University of the Highlands & Islands and broader community benefits have accrued through poverty and social inclusion programmes, green energy developments, tourism initiatives and cultural enhancements.
We would hope that the UK Shared Prosperity will take on board the proposals outlined in the Scottish Government’s position paper particularly as they relate to local involvement".
Cllr Margaret Davidson said: “I welcome the Scottish Government’s position paper which provides a framework for Scotland’s allocation of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. We are pleased to see that our contributions towards this have been included particularly around the areas of decentralisation and local decision making. I would look for the UK Government to take cognisance of these proposals when they announce the future of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund next week particularly since they came about after extensive stakeholder consultation.”
The largest leisure centre in the Highlands will temporarily suspend sporting activities in favour of regional democracy when it becomes one of the locations where votes in the Scottish Parliamentary Elections will be counted. Douglas Wilby, Director of Sport and Leisure with High Life Highland said, "We have been working closely with the Returning Officer and colleagues in The Highland Council to accommodate the substantial changes in the way this count is taking place, in order to offer those involved a COVID-safe environment.
Highland Council has announced that the closing date for applications to the Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle Driver Support Fund this scheme has been confirmed as 5pm on Thursday 25 March 2021. The Scottish Government has also now clarified that if you have received a grant through the Taxi Fund this will not now affect any Universal Credit payments you are also receiving.
To meet the growth in visitors to the Highlands of Scotland, The Highland Council's Tourism Committee has agreed a Visitor Management Plan for 2021 which will be adapted to provide a 5-year plan for the future. The Council will work with other agencies involved in tourism and visitor management to deliver the plan.
On Thursday 6 May residents in the Highlands and Western Isles can have their say on who represents them in the Scottish Parliament. In order to vote in the election, residents must be on the electoral register.
The Scottish Government has just announced that the Strategic Framework Business Fund grant scheme will close to new applicants on 22 March 2021. The Highland Council has already assessed and approved 5178 applications for this grant fund.
The Highland Council has opened applications for the Highland Employment Recruitment Offer (HERO), which offers grant support of up to £6,000 to help employers meet the cost of recruiting and employing someone who fits the criteria. Full details of the HERO fund can be found on the Highland Council website , and we have summarised the key eligibility criteria below.
The Highland Council will be removing padlocks and any other attachments from the Coghill Bridge at Wick Riverside. These padlocks detract from the historic nature of the bridge as well as causing paint damage and encouraging rust spots to the recently refurbished guard rails.
Highland Council has said that illegal fly-tipping is costing the region's taxpayers thousands and is encouraging people to report anyone they see doing it. Council operatives were alerted to an incident of fly-tipping at the Attadale Estate on the A890 at Strathcarron, where 153 tyres were dumped at the side of the road.
A letter has been distributed today to update parents and carers on the next phase of the re-opening of schools in Highland. The Scottish Government announced last week that more pupils are to return to school (external link) from Monday 15 March.
The Highland Council Trading Standards team have been alerted to a smishing scam that is currently targeting Highland residents. The scam involves a text message claiming to be from Royal Mail advising the recipient that they are holding a piece of mail due to unpaid postage.