Highland Council Advice Service Wins Top Scottish Award
24th May 2010
A value added service offered by The Highland Council in partnership with a number of other national agencies including Scottish Natural Heritage, Scottish Environment Protection Agency and Transport Scotland has received national recognition at the Homes for Scotland Awards 2010.
The Pre-Application Advice Service for Major Developments, a cross Council service led by the Planning and Development Service, received an award in the Key Agency Working category. Organisers of the Awards said that the aim was to demonstrate the further evolution of the development industry's commitment to improvement across the board, and to send out a message that the industry is determined to embrace the many challenges which lie ahead in overcoming the difficulties of the past two years. The Highland Council were the only Scottish Local Authority to be short listed.
The Pre-Application Advice Service helps to make the planning process more efficient by encouraging early and effective consultation which will assist in avoiding some of the difficult situations that may arise during the application process. The service offers advice on a range of issues including transport arrangements, design, sustainability and community engagement.
Central to the provision of the Pre-Application Advice Service is the partnership approach and commitment which helps the Council and its partners to deliver pre-application advice in a consistant and transparent manner to all developers helping to demonstrate the Council's commitment to facilitating growth in the local economy.
The Council was presented with their award at the Homes for Scotland Annual Lunch, held in Edinburgh on Friday 21st May 2010.
Councillor Ian Ross, Chairman of The Highland Council's Planning Environment and Development Committee, added: "We are delighted to have received this prestigious award which reflects the strong and constructive working relationship between the council and its partners since the inception of this service in February 2009. The Pre-Application Advice Service offers a great opportunity for the Council and the development industry to work closely together to help deliver better quality new developments and stengthen our communities."
The Highland Council has been making good progress with paying out grants on behalf of the Scottish Government's COVID-19 Business Hardship Fund. Since applications opened on 20th October 2020.
Highland Council Members approve response to Scottish Government's proposals for the regulation of short-term lets in Scotland. Members at yesterday's meeting of Highland Council homologated its response to the Scottish Government's consultation on the proposals for the regulation of short-term lets in Scotland.
Fiona Duncan has been appointed by The Highland Council as Executive Chief Officer for Health and Social Care, taking over from Fiona Malcolm who has been undertaking the Interim ECO role since early September. Ms Duncan is due to take up the position in January 2021.
At today's meeting of The Highland Council members gave their backing to a motion that highlights the need for the UK Government to review the sick pay system and reform it as a matter of urgency. Councillor Alasdair Christie, Chair of the Council's Recovery Board who put forward the motion along with Councillor Alex Graham said: "It has become more obvious than ever during the current Covid 19 crisis that there are clear and substantial long-standing inadequacies in the sick pay system.
REGIONAL Labour MSP Rhoda Grant has welcomed a commitment from Highland Council to return all schools to a hot meal service. In a letter to the MSP this week, the local authority confirmed more than 60 per cent of schools have gone back to serving hot meals already and it said all schools are expected to follow suit "shortly".
The Leader and the Chief Executive of The Highland Council earlier today took part in a meeting of COSLA focussing on the Scottish Government's new five level protection system for Covid. The meeting gave council leaders the opportunity to examine in more detail the mechanism outlined by the Scottish Government along with the framework of how the tier system will be implemented.
Following its launch on Tuesday 20th October 2020, Highland Council has received and paid out the first Business Hardship Fund grants. As part of the Scottish Government's response to the COVID-19 Brake Restrictions which came into effect on 9 October, the Council has been asked to deliver this grant scheme on behalf of the Scottish Government.
Highland Council Trading Standards are keen to raise awareness of the role of The Small Business Financial Ombudsman Service in resolving disputes between small and medium sized businesses (SME's) and financial service providers which include banks, insurance and money lending businesses. David MacKenzie, Highland Council Trading Standards Manager explains: "We realise the financial struggle that some SME's have had recently because of Covid 19 restrictions.
At the Caithness Area Committee on 22 October 2020 members unanimously confirmed their full support to the business case for Wick John O'Groats Airport to receive Public Service Obligation (PSO) status by putting forward a motion and reinforcing their commitment to working with stakeholders and partners to deliver this as a matter of urgency. The motion lodged recognises the fundamental strategic importance of Wick John O’Groats Airport to the economy of the region, and the energy, business and tourism sectors in particular.
Members of the Caithness Committee have identified fuel poverty as their number one concern and are pleased to announce that the member-led capital housing budget has increased to 10% as they welcome £2,253,000 of investment which will be used to carry out improvements to the housing stock across the county. A specific priority of the capital programme is improving heating and make homes more energy efficient, with over £1,300,000 of budget approved to replace the oldest and most inefficient heating systems with a further £150,000 for one-off heating replacements.