Community Council Elections 2023 - Opportunity To Be The Voice Of Your Community
4th September 2023
From Monday 4 September, nominations are invited from people seeking election to all Community Councils. This is your chance to help represent the views of your community to The Highland Council and other public agencies.
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.
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.
The notice of Election and Online Nomination Form to be completed for candidates wishing to serve their local Community Council's in the Highlands for the next four years is published on our website at www.highland.gov.uk/ccelections.
Those wishing to stand as a Candidate must be 16 years of age, be a reside within the Community Council boundary and must be a registered voter. Please contact the electoral registration office on 0800 393783 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to check if you are a registered voter.
The deadline for submitting nomination papers online is 12noon on Tuesday 3 October 2023.
Guidance and full details on the role of a community council is available from the Council’s website at www.highland.gov.uk/ccelections
The statements of persons nominated for each Community Council will be published thereafter by Wednesday 4 October 2023.
A postal ballot will be held in instances where the number of nominations exceeds the maximum membership. Ballot papers will be issued by post on Tuesday 31 October 2023 and must be returned no later than 12noon on Monday 27 November 2023.
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.