Has Interest In Community Councils Collapsed - Timetable For Community Council Elections Confirmed
4th December 2023
The Highland Council has announced the timetable to make a final attempt to reform the 30 Community Council elections that failed to form in September 2023.
Community Councils are voluntary organisations that express the views and concerns of local people within their area across a wide range of issues from new buildings and roads to local services and facilities.
To help promote those community councils listed and to explain more about the important role community councils play, the Council has created an online digital toolkit with lots of helpful information. This is now available on the Council's website - www.highland.gov.uk/ccelections
Anyone considering putting themselves forward must be 16 years of age or over (by the date of the close of nominations), be registered as an elector on the local government electoral register and be a resident of the community council area.
The Communities that failed to form following the 2023 Community Council Elections are:
Balintore and Hilton
Cawdor and West Nairnshire
Cromdale and Advie
Dalneigh and Columba
Dornie and District
Grantown On Spey
Muir of Ord
Nairn West and Suburban
Nigg and Shandwick
Stromeferry and Achmore
The Notice of Election will go live on Monday 15 January 2024 and anyone living in those 30 communities that did not form will have until midday on Tuesday 30 January 2024 to put themselves forward.
The online nomination process is quick and simple to use and full details will be provided when the Notice of Election is published and for anyone that does not have access assistance is available by contacting the election helpline on 01349 886657.
In the meantime, detailed information about the role community councils play and the election process are on the website - www.highland.gov.uk/ccelections
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.