Council Tax Reduction Supports Half A Million Scots
23rd June 2021
Scotland's Chief Statistician today released the latest Council Tax Reduction statistics. In March 2021, Scotland’s Council Tax Reduction scheme supported 496,580 households (compared to 469,370 in March 2020) and the total weekly income forgone by local authorities was £7.328 million (compared to £6.525 million in March 2020).
The impact of Covid-19 caused a rise in CTR recipients in Scotland, most markedly in April and May 2020 as the economic effects of the pandemic began to be felt, with a peak of 501,680 CTR recipients in August 2020, in contrast to the gradual decreasing trend observed previously.
The total number of Council Tax Reduction recipients in Scotland is now only 10 per cent (55,800 recipients) lower in March 2021 than it was when the scheme began (April 2013), similar to levels observed in September 2016. The total number of CTR recipients in Scotland increased sharply by 4.4 per cent in April 2020 to 490,160 from March 2020 (469,370), with further increases recorded in subsequent months as a result of the economic impacts of Covid-19.
The agreement secured with local authorities, to cap increases in Council Tax to 4.84 per cent in cash terms (3 per cent in real terms) in 2020-21 is also reflected in the increase in income forgone.
The Highland Council's Garden Waste service for 2021/22 starts on Wednesday 1 September 2021 and customers have until Monday 2 August to order their permits to ensure delivery in time for the first collections of the new service year. The service will run to 31 August 2022, with a winter break in the months of December, January and February.
No bills for families. Fees for children learning a musical instrument at school will be removed thanks to more than £7 million funding from the Scottish Government.
Polling will take place on Thursday 12 August to elect one of five candidates standing in The Highland Council's Wick and East Caithness ward and one of seven candidates standing in the Inverness West ward so voters are being reminded to make sure they are ready to make their vote count. The Local Government by-election has arisen in Wards 3 and 13 due to the resignations of Councillor Nicola Sinclair, one of 4 Councillors representing the Wick and East Caithness Ward, and Councillor Graham Ross, one of 3 members of the Inverness West Ward.
Nomination packs for prospective candidates wishing to stand in both the Wick and East Caithness and the Inverness West ward by-elections are now available on The Highland Council's website The two vacancies have arisen as Councillor Nicola Sinclair, one of 4 Councillors representing the Wick and East Caithness ward and Councillor Graham Ross, one of 3 members for the Inverness West ward are both stepping down. The Returning Officer, Chief Executive of The Highland Council Donna Manson is encouraging people to put themselves forward as candidates.
The Highland Council and the contractor for the Inverness West Link Stage 2 Project RJ McLeod have confirmed that the new Torvean Swing Bridge will open to traffic during the afternoon of Thursday 1 July following the comprehensive testing and commissioning phase. The bridge has been opened as part of the commissioning process over the last few weeks to allow for systems to be fine tuned and painting work under and on the bridge to be carried out as well as training of the Scottish Canals staff on the use of the new bridge, which is now complete.
The Highland Council is looking to recruit some talented engineering staff to help deliver key infrastructure projects across the Highlands. Senior Engineer, Golspie Senior Engineer Alness Principal Engineer, Inverness Chair of the Economy and Infrastructure Committee, Councillor Trish Robertson said: "The Highland Council is very much focused on being ambitious, sustainable and connected.
A financial plan which will invest a further £10M across a range of projects in phase 2 of the investment strategy for Health and Prosperity and £54M of capital investment in schools. The detailed designs and costings for the five schools identified for investment will be brought to Council in September for approval.
The Highland Council noted this week's announcement on the changes to the Scottish qualifications and assessment system following the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Organisation (OECD) report which backs Scotland's school curriculum in its independent review. Last year, the Scottish Government commissioned the OECD to carry out a review of Curriculum for Excellence (CfE).
The public is being asked for its views on proposals by The Highland Council to review the maximum level of charges for the hire of taxis or private hire cars fitted with taxi meters operating under licence of The Highland Council. The Council has a statutory duty in terms of Section 17 of the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 to review its scales for the fares and other taxi related charges every 18 months.
Scotland's Chief Statistician today released the latest Council Tax Collection Statistics which provides Council Tax collection figures for Scottish local authorities, up to and including the financial year 2020-21. In 2020-21 for Scotland as whole the total amount of Council Tax billed (after Council Tax Reduction) was £2.675 billion.