New team to tackle homelessness in the Highlands
18th September 2010
The Highland Council is to establish a dedicated team to reduce the growing number of homeless individuals and families in the Highlands.
The move by the Housing and Social Work Committee aims to help the Council meet the target set by the Scottish Government to ensure that all unintentionally homeless people have access to permanent housing by 2012.
Most recent figures highlight that at any time there are around 1,300 households in temporary accommodation and that 2,300 homeless applications are being received each year.
At the same time, 53% of all social rent housing allocations are to homeless households.
The homeless team will be based in the Council's Housing and Property Service and will come from within existing resources, such as accommodation officers and those staff with an existing remit for homelessness.
Their role will be to offer housing options advice and adopt a preventative approach, including engagement with the private rented sector. At the same time the Council has developed a new approach for assessing and planning to meet the housing needs of the small proportion of homeless people who have multiple or complex needs, such as alcohol or substance misuse. This approach involves working more closely with partner agencies to assess, plan and engage with these clients in order to prevent homelessness.
Councillor Margaret Davidson, Chairman of the Housing and Social Work Committee, said: "The formation of the team, together with other measures, are aimed at improving the way we deal with homelessness to reduce assessments and provide more effective services for clients with multiple/complex needs. Hopefully, this will reduce the number of people presenting as homeless and get more people into decent homes "
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.