Advance Notice Of Community Council Elections 2023
15th August 2023
The Highland Council can confirm that on Monday 4 September the process for the 2023 Community Council elections will begin.
From this date nominations will be invited from people seeking election to all Community Councils across Highland. This is your chance to help represent the views of your community to the Highland Council and other public agencies.
The Highland Council is responsible for running the Community Councils election, which must be held every 4 years. The maximum membership of each of the Highland Community Council's is determined by the population it serves and varies from 7 to 13 members.
Community Councils are voluntary organisations that act as a voice for their local area. They express views and concerns of local people within their area across a wide range of issues such as new buildings and roads to local services and facilities. They also have legal duties: by law, the highland Council must consult with Community Councils on planning and licensing applications in their area.
In some areas, Community Councils receive Community Benefit money from windfarm projects which they can reinvest in the community. Others are involved in setting up Community Development Companies which can lead on larger scale projects to improve the area.
Community Councils also work to make positive changes in their local communities. Some Community Councils have worked to improve patient transport, dental services and care services as well as looking at ways to improve their environment for the good of the community and visitors to the area.
On Monday 4 September 2023 the Council will publish on its website the Notice of Election to officially launch the process along with nomination forms, a publicity toolkit to help communities spread the word and lots of helpful information for anyone considering standing.
Highland councillors will meet on 29th February 2024 to agree the proposals set out in the papers published today. There has been a long period of public consultation on the proposals and although there are unpalatable suggestions they will balance the books.
Over £100m investment programme proposed as part of 3-year budget Highland council are about to use significant amounts of reserves to cover shortfalls in the budget for 24/25 and possibly 25/26. Despite pushing out big figures it disguises the cuts about to fall on Highland services.
A collaborative network of Head Teachers and Education Officers are working closely together with the goal of improving attainment and achievement in Highland primary schools. Cllr John Finlayson, Education Chair said: "It is essential that we have strong, consultation and communication strategies in place and there is effective and ongoing collaboration between our schools and our central education service.
The Highland Council is currently unable to confirm whether funding will be available to support the Wick-Aberdeen Public Service Obligation (PSO) after 31st March 2024. The funding for the PSO is currently provided on the basis of £1.3m annually, with £1m committed by the Scottish Government and £0.3m committed by The Highland Council.
The Chair of The Highland Council's Economy and Infrastructure Committee has announced that a 3-week trial of a thermal process for pothole repairs will be taking place. An external contractor, Thermal Road Repairs, has been appointed to undertake the trial before the end of the 2023/24 financial year.
Caithness Committee Members today (Monday 29 January 2024) considered and assessed applications submitted to the area's Community Regeneration Fund. Community Regeneration Funding is an umbrella term for a number of funds that are available for communities/organisations to access in Highland.
The Council at the Caithness Area Committee agree the roads budget for 2024/25 with exactly the same amount as for 2023/24. Clearly with rapidly increasing costs this will come nowhere near to maintaining the roads to even the poor condition they are now in.
A briefing has been provided to all members of the Council on an accounting flexibility introduced by Scottish Government and available to Councils to utilise in 2022/23 or 2023/24. A number of reports to Council in recent months have covered this topic, and a number of other Councils have utilised the flexibility in 2022/23 or are considering doing so in 2023/24.
The information provided is a summary of reports from operational staff and is intended to give a general indication of typical conditions in each area at a point in time. It is not intended to imply that any individual route is entirely snow and ice free and drivers must be aware that conditions can change rapidly and make their own assessment of conditions for travelling.
Weather is still hitting school transport services around the county. Wick Unfortunately we have made the decision to close the school tomorrow, Friday 19th January, due to the ongoing snowfall and hazardous road conditions.