£219,000 Renewal Funds Agreed For Local Play Parks
11th November 2021
Members of The Highland Council's Communities and Place Committee have agreed that a strategy for play parks across the region will be developed from local plans and local investment priorities within the overall aims of play parks. The main aims are being safe, inclusive in design and in use and for play areas to be environmentally and financially sustainable.
Communities and Place Committee Chair, Cllr Allan Henderson said: "Supporting families in the recovery from the pandemic is vital to the wellbeing of our communities and I am very pleased to see the development of a strategy and investment in play parks that will assist with the recovery."
Councillors locally have already agreed around £500k for investing in play areas through their devolved budgets agreed at Area committees. A new source of capital funding is available from the Scottish Government's play area renewal programme. Councillors have agreed on the allocation of this £219,000 capital play park funds by considering play park condition, the number of young people and a factor for rurality. The allocation to Area committees is:
Badenoch and Strathspey - £9,474.
Black Isle - £8,394.
Caithness - £22,813.
City of Inverness and area - £66,167.
Dingwall and Seaforth - £8,343.
Easter Ross -£22,946.
Isle of Skye and Raasay - £7,462.
Lochaber - £37,919.
Nairnshire - £7,926.
Sutherland - £12,591.
Wester Ross, Strathpeffer and Lochalsh - £14,968.
Communities and Place Committee Vice Chair Cllr Hugh Morrison added: "The creation of a play park strategy that supports active play, and wellbeing of our children and families will be facilitated by a remaining £15,000 of the total £234,000 awarded to The Highland Council and used for local engagement and reporting on strategy development."
A review of play parks will take into account play equipment and its condition, and the use and ownership of play parks. Local plans for, and investment in play parks will be agreed at a local level within the available Council budget and other external resources.
Commenting on the investments and creation of a play strategy Cllr John Finlayson, Chair of Education added: “Local partnership working is the key to success. I was delighted, last Friday (5 November) to attend the opening of a new community playpark in Kyleakin. £100,000 was raised in less than a year with support from businesses, local fundraising and the Eilean a' Cheò Ward Discretionary Budget.”
On behalf of The Highland Council, High Life Highland this week announced Airborne Lens as the successful partner for the photography input to Spirit:Journeys, part of the Spirit of the Highlands project. Spirit:Journeys will be delivered in partnership with VisitScotland and aims to deliver benefits for local communities, helping to unlock economic potential and improve visitor experiences across the region by engaging people with the our rich natural and cultural heritage.
RJ McLeod (Contractors) Ltd are starting works at Uig Harbour this week where the ferry terminal will be upgraded with new infrastructure. This forms a key part of the Skye Triangle upgrade where The Highland Council have been working closely with Transport Scotland, Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd (CMAL), CalMac Ferries Ltd and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar to deliver the Uig works with the ongoing upgrade works at Tarbert and Lochmaddy.
The Highland Council is working in partnership with the Scottish Empty Homes Partnership to proactively bring privately-owned empty homes across the Highlands back into use. With funding support from the Scottish Empty Homes Partnership, the Council has been able to employ a full-time Empty Homes Officer for a two-year period.
For many people, literacy is taken for granted - but for some across Highland, reading can be a struggle. High Life Highland is highlighting that help is available, during this year's Book Week Scotland, for those who want to improve their literacy skills.
Carron McDiarmid, Executive Chief Officer Communities and Place is retiring from The Highland Council after 35 years of public service and 20 years as a senior officer in the Council. Carron was previously the Council's Head of Policy for many years and led the first phase of Council Redesign.
The Highland Council is inviting communities to apply for a share of a new fund to support nature restoration projects. The Nature Restoration Fund (NRF) is a new capital fund, established by the Scottish Government, designed to help support projects that will deliver nature restoration, safeguard wildlife, and tackle the causes of biodiversity loss due to climate change.
The work of The Highland Council's Environmental Health Team has been commended by Members of the Council's Communities and Place Committee. A report to Councillors this week has highlighted that the Environmental Health Team responded during COVID-19 in 2020/21 by investigating almost 1000 clusters and outbreaks.
An update on waste management projects was presented to Members of The Highland Council's Communities and Place Committee on 10 November 2021. The Council is undertaking a number of projects aimed at meeting its responsibilities for disposal of waste collected from around 110,000 households and 5,800 businesses.
The Highland Council is reminding communities that its winter gritting programme has started and will continue until 14 April 2022. As in previous years, the Council is offering assistance to communities who wish to take action in their own area to help clear snow and ice from footpaths.
The Highland Council took delivery of two huge Archimedes Screws today on the site where the local authority is building a new hydroelectric generator and interactive visitor experience on the River Ness. The generator will use the Archimedes Screws to harness the energy of the water flowing down the River Ness.