Councillors approve over £4.786 million investment in Inverness housing
20th November 2020
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.
Provost of Inverness and Area Cllr Helen Carmichael welcomed the programme for Inverness which includes kitchens, bathrooms, windows and doors replacements, and structural work to roofs, chimneys and the external fabric of properties, with allowance for environmental improvement works and continued funding of equipment and adaptations to allow disabled and elderly tenants to remain in current tenancies.
She said: "This significant investment in our housing stock in the Inverness area will make positive improvements to the lives of many tenants, particularly those improvements relating to the energy efficiency of their homes. I would like to thank tenants for their continued support and understanding that works are being delivered at a slower pace than usual due to coronavirus to ensure their safety. Members also welcome and look forward to identifying priority projects for environmental improvements in their local areas with local housing teams."
A specific priority of the programme approved by Members is improving heating and making homes more energy efficient, with over £2,000,000 of budget approved to replace the oldest and most inefficient heating systems and a further £400,000 for one-off heating replacements. In addition, £300,000 is provisioned for energy efficiency measures on Swedish Timber properties. These priorities reflect the commitment towards improving the energy efficiency of council housing stock in line with the Energy Efficiency Standard for Social Housing (EESSH).
Projects will be progressed as soon as possible in line with government guidance, ensuring the safety of tenants. Progress against current and future programmes will be reported to the next Area Committee and Members will continue to be updated through Ward business meeting updates.
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.
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.