Notice Of Elections Published For Highland Council By-elections - Wick and East Caithness and Inverness West
1st July 2021
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. She said: "As an inclusive Council and to provide greater representation of the diversity in our Council we encourage prospective candidates from all backgrounds to come forward. Information can be found on our website but you can also drop us an email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or an informal chat.
The closing date for nominations is 4pm on Friday 9 July. Completed nomination papers must be delivered to the appropriate Depute Returning Officer by prior appointment between the hours of 10.00 am and 4.00 pm on any working day (excluding Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays)
Ward 3 - Wick and East Caithness
Alex Macmanus, The Highland Council, Caithness House, Market Place, Wick KW1 4AB
Ward 13 - Inverness West
Charles Stephen, The Highland Council, Town House, High Street, Inverness IV1 1JJ
Prior to lodging papers Candidates and Agents should contact Alex Macmanus on 07568 544190 for Ward 3 and Charles Stephen/Linda Johnstone for Ward 13 on 07899 671489 or 07496 176004 to arrange an appointment.
If the seats are contested, voting will take place on Thursday 12 August with the electronic count taking place in Inverness on the following day.
Anyone over 16 years old who is living in Ward 3 or Ward 13 is eligible to take part if they are registered to vote. To register to vote visit www.gov.uk/register-to-vote (external link) . Alternatively, call the Electoral Registration Officer on 0800 393 783 to request a paper application form. The last date to register to vote in these by-elections is midnight on 26 July 2021.
Voters will be able to cast their vote in person on the day by visiting their polling station or they can apply for either a postal vote or to vote by proxy. The latest time to apply for a postal vote is 5.00pm on Tuesday 27 July and the deadline for anyone wishing to appoint a proxy, which is someone to vote on their behalf, is Wednesday 4 August.
Advice on postal and proxy voting is available by contacting the Electoral Registration Office on 0800 393783.
The current political make-up of The Highland Council is as follows;
Highland Matters (HM) - 4 Independent (Ind) – 25
Real Independent (RI) - 1
Scottish Conservative and Unionist (Con) - 10
Scottish Labour Party (Lab) - 3
Scottish Liberal Democrats (Lib Dem) - 9
Scottish National Party (SNP) - 18
Sutherland Independent Group (SIG) - 1
Non-aligned (NA) - 1
Vacant - 2
The Highland Climate Change Conference is taking place on Thursday 21 and Friday 21 October 2021. Chair of Highland Council's Climate Change Working Group, Cllr Trish Robertson, said: "The conference is a fantastic opportunity to bring people together from across and beyond Highland to discuss the climate and ecological emergency.
Members of the Audit and Scrutiny Committee (which took place yesterday, Thursday 23 September) were presented with a report outlining the areas of work which have been undertaken by Highland Council's Internal Audit section since the Committee’s previous meeting during June 2021. Of the five audit reports considered, three were given the audit opinions of significant assurance or full assurance.
The high point of the year for celebrating our heritage starts on Saturday 25 September. For three weeks, the Highland Archaeology Festival will offer a range of walks, talks, workshops, exhibitions, and activities for all ages.
Zero Waste Scotland has launched a digital recycling tool to help combat confusion and meet Scottish recycling targets. This Recycle Week (20-26 September 2021), Zero Waste Scotland is launching the first ever Recycling Sorter.
The Highland Council's resilient digital learning estate continues to connect and support learners and educators across Highland, including the creation of a new digital toolkit for teaching staff. Education Chair, Cllr John Finlayson said: "The extensive digital learning estate available across Highland for staff, pupils, parents and carers is an effective way to empower and develop digital opportunities across Highland schools.
Members of the public are being invited to comment on a Draft Gambling Policy Statement for the coming years 2022-25. The Highland Council is consulting on the draft policy statement on behalf of The Highland Licensing Board under the Gambling Act 2005.
At the meeting of The Highland Council Members supported a starred item put forward by Caithness Members. The Thurso and North West Caithness and the Wick and East Caithness Ward Councillors asked that the Council creates and implements a Council wide playground strategy that considers the needs and expectations of communities and supports the active play, well-being and social activity of children and their families.
Members at a meeting on 9 September 2021 of the Highland Council agreed the scope, budget, phasing and timescale for 5 priority school projects including Beauly Primary, Culloden Academy, Dunvegan Primary, Park Primary, and St Clements School. It was also agreed that these projects are to be incorporated into the Council's current capital programme.
Given the importance of tourism to the Highland economy and the need for the tourism experience to be positive for visitors and communities, members have agreed to extend the Visitor Management Plan funding into the 2022 season by a one-off investment of £1.5m. A one-off Visitor Management Plan investment of £2.4m agreed by the Council in March 2021 for this year's season has enabled a range of service improvements.
On behalf of The Highland Council, High Life Highland has this week advertised a tender and invitation to quote seeking creative filming and photography input to the Inverness Castle - Spirit of the Highlands project. The tender and invitation to quote will contribute to Spirit:Journeys, a natural and cultural heritage initiative that will deliver many benefits for local communities, helping to unlock economic potential and improve visitor experiences across the region.