Council to consult on management rules for burial grounds and Inverness crematorium
25th November 2020
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.
To ensure consistent service delivery across the Council area, Members of the Council's Communities and Place Committee have agreed an updated Burial and Cremation Policy and the public will now be consulted on draft management rules.
Cllr Allan Henderson, Chair of the Council's Communities and Place Committee said: "Members are acutely aware of the potential sensitivities involved in communicating with the public on the management of burials and cremations - particularly at this difficult time during a pandemic.
"The Council, however, has a statutory duty to consult with the public on any changes to the management rules and I would urge anyone with an interest to take part and have their say."
The Highland Council will promote the public consultation in due course and the results of the consultation will be presented to the next meeting of the Council’s Communities and Place Committee in February 2021 for Members’ consideration.
Cllr Henderson added: “It is important to say that anyone who has potential concerns about funeral poverty (where the price of a funeral is beyond the ability to pay) can seek assistance from the Council’s Welfare Team who already provide advice on help with funeral costs and help with related benefits."
Members of The Highland Council's Caithness Committee have approved additional funding for a project to bring new life to the site of a former derelict building on Wick High Street. In September last year the Scottish Government announced extra funding through the Town Centre Fund as part of its national economic recovery stimulus package, particularly aimed at supporting construction activity across Scotland.
Inverness Councillors on The Highland Council's City and Area Recovery Group today discussed the importance of local businesses having an online digital presence for customer access during the pandemic and post-lockdown recovery. Good digital access via websites and social media was the common theme raised by two speakers from Business Gateway and the Highland Food and Drink Trail in presentations to Councillors.
The Highland Council has begun detailed designs works on a major £2.5m energy project, part-funded by the Scottish Government through Salix Finance. At a site on the River Ness, near Whin Park in Inverness, the council is preparing to install a 92kW ‘Archimedes Screw' hydroelectric power turbine.
The Council's ICT in Learning team have been working hard to continue to support our school communities as we deliver remote learning to all children and young people across Highland. Chair of Education committee, Cllr John Finlayson said: "I want to thank all of our staff in Education who have worked incredibly hard to ensure that our school communities are receiving support and a quality education experience.
Enrolment for all ELC providers, including local authority nurseries, partner settings and commissioned childminders, will take place online this year. Enrolment week for ELC places will take place on Monday 8 February to Friday 12 February 2021.
Following discussions at the recent Council meeting, the Council Leader has formally written to the Local Government Boundary Commission on their proposals for councillor numbers and ward boundaries in the Highland Council area. She advised the Boundary Commission that the Council rejected the Commission's proposals in their entirety and formally requested that they halt this process immediately and review the whole issue of remote and rural area boundaries and councillor numbers in consultation with the Highland Council and other local authorities who have mainland councils with inhabited islands.
The Scottish Government has launched a £1,500 grant scheme to assist each individual licensed taxi or private hire driver with their fixed costs including licence plate fees, rental fees and insurance payments for taxis not on the road. The Highland Council's Chair of the Economy and Infrastructure Committee, Cllr Trish Robertson said: "The Highland Council has been asked by the Scottish Government to deliver this grant scheme on their behalf.
Applicants for the Scottish Government's Temporary Business Closure Grant can now apply even if they do not have a formal business bank account. Businesses will now be able to use a personal bank account as evidence, if the account is mainly used for their business banking.
A significant top-up to the grant support available for hospitality, retail and leisure businesses across Scotland closed by level 4 restrictions will be paid following an announcement by Finance Secretary Kate Forbes. In addition to the grants businesses receive through the Strategic Business Framework Fund, eligible businesses will also get a one off grant of.
Members at yesterday's previously adjourned and re-scheduled meeting of Highland Council voted to carry a motion introduced to make adjustments to the agenda in light of the situation in relation to COVID-19 and Brexit. The urgent motion was proposed by Highland Council Leader Cllr Margaret Davidson and supported by the Leader of the official Opposition, Cllr Raymond Bremner.