The Highland Council lead the charge for resource efficiency in business
23rd June 2014
The Highland Council is to take a lead role in helping businesses save money, be more competitive and reduce their environmental impact by using resources more efficiently, by backing the national Resource Efficiency Pledge scheme. The Resource Efficiency Pledge is a new scheme from Resource Efficient Scotland, a programme of Zero Waste Scotland which works with businesses to help them reduce both their running costs and carbon emissions. By making the Pledge, businesses can choose a number of actions that will help them reduce their use of energy, water and raw materials, and also provides a way to demonstrate to customers and partners that the business is environmentally responsible.
The Highland Council will be an official Resource Efficiency Pledge Ambassador, working with local businesses to promote the scheme and support them to make savings. The council's ambassador role for the Pledge scheme compliments the Carbon CLEVER Declaration, a leading project in the Council led Carbon Clever initiative, set up to achieve a carbon neutral Inverness in a low carbon Highlands by 2025.
Many Highland businesses are already reaping the benefits of resource efficiency. Over 3000 businesses in the Highlands have received support from Resource Efficient Scotland (RES), including The Boat Hotel in Boat of Garten, which will save over £16,000 and 115 tonnes of CO2 annually thanks to an interest-free loan to purchase a biomass boiler and advice from RES. The Pledge scheme is an ideal way for businesses to start their journey towards greater resource efficiency, and several Highland businesses including Mackays Hotel in Caithness and McInnes Plumbing and Heating in Inverness, have already made a Pledge.
Iain Gulland, Director of Zero Waste Scotland said: "I'm delighted that Highland Council are becoming Ambassadors for the Resource Efficiency Pledge and supporting us to reach businesses in this area. The Pledge helps businesses to save significant sums of money on their running costs, cut their carbon footprint and show off their green credentials all in one easy step. "
Leader of The Highland Council, Councillor Drew Hendry said: “The Resource Efficient Scotland Pledge is a fantastic opportunity for organisations to receive support to implement real action and achieve actual savings while reducing carbon emissions.
“The Highland Council role as pledge ambassador reinforces our commitment to supporting the transition to a Carbon CLEVER Highlands. Carbon CLEVER is about practical solutions and creating an environment that fosters growth and attracts investment. "
Depute Leader, Councillor David Alston said: “It is great to see Highland organisations receiving support from Resource Efficient Scotland, and as an ambassador the Council can promote this further. It’s an opportunity for business to implement win/win efficiency solutions, saving themselves money while at the same time reducing greenhouse gas emissions. "
Convener of The Highland Council, Councillor Jimmy Gray added: “There is already a lot of very positive work being done by organisations and community groups across the Highlands. This new scheme provides the inspiration and motivation for businesses to become more efficient and we look forward to supporting and promoting the benefits for the area.”
The Highland Council is warning the public to be on their guard for the latest COVID-19 scam which is circulating around the country. Information on this scam was received by Highland Council Trading Standards, through a national intelligence network.
Following the freezing of some charges and suspension of enforcement for others during the lockdown period, The Highland Council has been following a phased return to normal operations since the 26th of June. Further details are given below.
Many Highland Council tenants may be missing out on help towards their rent from Universal Credit because they have not notified the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) of their annual rent increase which came into effect on the 30th March 2020. Those tenants who have not yet reported their rent increase could be facing a shortfall in the help they receive towards their rent, putting them at risk of rent arrears.
The Highland Council is updating parents and carers of its position on early learning and childcare (ELC). In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, The Scottish Government removed the statutory requirement for Local Authorities to deliver 1140 hours of ELC from August.
Following on from the recent publication of Highland Council's Supporting Economic Recovery in Highland - A Guide for Businesses - the Council is announcing relaxation of some controls that will assist tourist accommodation providers have been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. In recognition of this where there are specific planning and licensing controls in relation to occupancy, for example: a restriction on the occupancy of any caravan for a continuous 12 month period; or where conditions restrict occupancy for specific periods of time, ...these will be relaxed by the Council up to and including April 2021.
The Caithness Committee met virtual today for the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic and it's agenda focused on the actions taken by the Council and the third sector to deal with the effects of Coronavirus in Caithness. The Executive Chief Officer for Education and Learning, Paul Senior, gave members an update on the plans and preparations underway to prepare for the return of pupils and staff to Caithness schools in August.
Margaret Davidson, the Leader of the Highland Council has given her strong support to the efforts of the Scottish Government to obtain greater fiscal flexibility from the UK Government. The Scottish Government have sought flexibility to offset capital underspend against resource expenditure, more flexibility over resource borrowing and greater flexibility over the use of the reserve for capital.
The Highland Council is planning to re-open play areas across the region throughout summer. Advice was provided by the Scottish Government on 28 June as to the safety measures that should be applied.
The Highland Council was one of the first local authorities in Scotland recognised to develop a Schools Digital Learning Hub, which provides a resource for staff, parents and pupils to support home learning. Prior to Covid-19, we had an estate of 27,000 Chromebooks that were already a part of our ICT in Learning Strategy.
Earlier today (Wednesday 1 July 2020) members of The Highland Council's Economy and Infrastructure Committee had the opportunity to discuss (by video conference) progress made with the Corran Ferry Project which is reviewing the options for securing a replacement ferry and considering the way forward for the future operation and management of the service. The Corran ferry service has reached a critical point and strategic decisions need to be made.