Highland Council and partners keeping businesses and people safe in the Highlands
27th April 2021
With the majority of businesses re-opening this week, Highland Council's Environmental Health team with assistance from Police Scotland will be undertaking joint visits to premises throughout the Highlands.
The visits aim to help raise public confidence that businesses are doing all they can to protect public safety as the lockdown restrictions are eased.
The focus of the visits will also be to ensure adherence to Scottish Government guidelines and to provide any assistance and advice that businesses may need.
Alan Yates, Highland Council’s Environmental Health Manager said: "The reopening of pubs, bars and restaurants is obviously great news for businesses and the wider Highland economy. However, it is essential that we remember that COVID-19 has not gone away and still poses a considerable public health risk.
“Officers will be conducting joint patrols with our partners Police Scotland throughout the Highlands over the coming weeks to engage and provide reassurance to businesses and customers but also to respond to any issues where non-compliance is identified.
“The Environmental Health Service calls on all pubs, bar, restaurants and retail premises to keep in mind their responsibilities and ensure that physical distancing and other public health measures outlined in the Scottish Government guidance are properly implemented.
“Of equal importance is that members of the public and patrons of premises take a personal responsibility to follow COVID-19 controls that have been put in place by businesses. Should any businesses require further advice or simply to seek clarification on the guidance then I would urge them to contact our service by emailing email@example.com."
Sergeant Katy Duncan said: “The sacrifices people have made have allowed for further easing of regulations around travel, hospitality and non-essential retail as Scotland moves into level three restrictions.
“We will be working with Environmental Health to carry out joint inspections to provide advice and support to the licensed trade. Licensees, along with those who visit premises, have a responsibility to adhere to the regulations that are in place to help stop the spread of the virus.
"Police Scotland’s approach throughout the pandemic has been to engage with the public, explain the legislation and encourage compliance, but our officers will not hesitate to use our enforcement powers as a last resort.”
Members at today's full meeting of Highland Council agreed a motion from the Leader and Chair of Corporate Resources, which would call for a fairer share of income derived from the development of the region’s natural resources to establish a Highland Renewable Fund. In the motion Highland Council Leader, Cllr Margaret Davidson, highlighted that at a time when private energy companies are making huge profits from the abundance of natural resources of wind and water in the Highlands the region’s roads were suffering.
At the Highland Council Gaelic committee to beheld on 18th May 2021 the committee will be asked to agree that the National Mòd for Inverness in 2021 should be given a further £80,000. The council has an agreement to pay £40,000 annually that aids the Mod to come to Highland every three years.
Anja Johnston from Thurso will take up the role of Highland Youth Convener early in May 2021 This full-time role is a bursary position that will run for 12 months. The 24-year-old, has previously worked as an Assistant Youth Worker, delivering the YOJO digital youth project with High Life Highland.
Since the launch of the Highland Employment Recruitment Offer (HERO) in March 2021, there has been a positive uptake of the grant scheme across Highland as 157 applications have been approved in principle, with 73 recruited/currently being recruited. HERO is funded by The Highland Council and the Scottish Government under the No One Left Behind and Young Person's Guarantee Funding Streams.
Members of the Highland Council's Economy and Infrastructure Committee have agreed to allocate up to £200k of the Council's Cycling, Walking and Safer Routes 2021/22 grant award to the delivery of a new Council 20mph programme, and 10% of this annual budget is to be used in future years. The introduction of more 20 mph speed limits on Highland roads will help the Council to meet the challenging road casualty reduction targets set out in the new Scottish Road Safety Framework launched in February this year.
A bid to fund the design and delivery of over £55 Million of transport infrastructure in Highland was submitted to Transport Scotland today. A partnership including The Highland Council, bus operators and other stakeholders has put together a package of measures to prioritise buses in congested parts of the network.
The Highland Council is inviting people to follow them on YouTube so that the local authority can broadcast live the Highland constituencies and the Highland and Islands Regional results. Please follow (subscribe to) Highland Council's YouTube at: www.youtube.com/user/TheHighlandCouncil (external link) Constituency and Regional Returning Officer, Donna Manson explained: "Due to COVID-19 restrictions and the need to provide a safe election we are facing new challenges and opportunities in delivering the Scottish Parliamentary Election count and declaration of results.
The Highland Council's Tourism Committee has approved a final draft Visitor Management Plan for 2021 yesterday (Wednesday 21 April) which aims to assist communities and the public during the anticipated busy summer months. Chair of the Tourism Committee, Cllr Gordon Adam said: "Welcoming visitors back to the Highlands from Monday 26 April is a positive sign that the road to recovery can finally commence.
Twelve successful projects have been awarded a share of £409,652 Highland Coastal Communities Fund (HCCF) yesterday (Thursday 22 April 2021) by The Highland Council's Caithness Committee. £98,803 was agreed to be invested in moving forward an economic development project that will benefit the whole of Caithness, with a view to securing match funding for local partners.
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.