Staff praised as Council toilets receive top awards
7th January 2015
Cleaning staff responsible for looking after The Highland Council's Care and Learning services' toilets are been praised after scooping 7 national category awards, and 2 major national awards in the annual Loo of the Year Awards. With 20 facilities receiving platinum certificates and a further 23 gold, the Council has also been awarded a Champions League Standards of Excellence Certificate.
Chairman of the Education, Children and Adult Services Committee, Councillor Alasdair Christie thanked staff for their hard work and commitment in providing top class toilets. He said: "To win so many national awards is a great achievement and reflects the hard work and commitment of our staff who take pride in ensuring the very best of toilet facilities are provided. Our school pupils and teaching staff should also be given credit for their support and efforts to ensure the work of cleaning staff is respected."
Competition from across the whole UK for these awards has got stronger each year. Our percentage of platinum awards has increased by over 46% so everyone involved should take pride in the fact that they are setting the high standards for the rest of the UK to follow and behalf of the whole council I give them our sincere congratulations."
The Scottish National Category Award for Primary Schools and Play Centres went to Alvie Primary in Badenoch and Strathspey while Invergordon Academy won the Higher and Adult Education category and the Education Early Years top prize went to Carbost Primary Nursery on the Isle of Skye. The Scottish Historic Buildings award went to Inverness Town House with Merkinch Community Centre taking the best Community Centre category. The other two national awards went to The Glen Centre in Aviemore for best Day Centre and Osprey House in Alness in the category for Commercial & Public offices.
The two Scotland National Award Winners were The Highland Council for the Local Authority Entries category and Alvie Primary School for the Toilets in Education Entries.
Each successful entry was assessed using a strict judging criteria which included signage, decor and maintenance, cleanliness, fixtures and fittings, accessible facilities and overall management and customer care made during an unannounced visit by an authorised Loo Of The Year Awards Inspector.
Highland facilities, maintained by Care and Learning staff which were awarded top Platinum gradings are:
· Council Offices, Golspie
· Golspie Service Point
· Osprey House, Alness
· Ben Wyvis Primary
· Assessors Office, Dingwall
· Ullapool High School
· Milton of Leys Primary, Inverness
· The Highland Archive Centre, Inverness
· Inverness Town House
· Merkinch Community Centre
· Aldourie Primary
· Court House, Nairn
· The Glen Centre, Aviemore
· Aviemore Primary and Community Centre
· Alvie Primary
· Highland Folk Museum (Main offices)
· Lochaline Primary
· Acharacle Primary
· Roy Bridge Primary
· Carbost Primary Nursery
Those awarded Gold gradings are:
· Halkirk Primary
· Mount Pleasant Nursery
· Pultneytown Academy
· Reay Primary
· Thrumster Primary
· Thurso High School
· Thorr House
· Dornoch Primary Nursery
· Golspie Primary
· Beachview Lodge
· Invergordon Academy
· Kinlochewe Primary
· Ullapool Primary
· Kirkhill Primary
· Council Headquarters, Inverness
· North Tower, Inverness Castle
· Merkinch Family Centre
· Caberfeidh Resource Centre
· St Brides Primary
· Inverlochy Nursery
· Ballachulish Primary
· Eigg Primary
· Tigh Na Sgire, Portree
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.
As Scotland prepares for the easing of lockdown and the re-opening of the tourism and hospitality sector, The Highland Council's Environmental Health are advising holiday accommodation providers to make sure their private water supplies are safe to drink. A large number of self-catering and tourist accommodation in the Highlands are served by private water supplies and with these being closed during the lockdown period, the water supply system may not have been maintained and could create a risk to the quality and safety of the drinking water.
Lesley, who previously worked for Hackney Local Authority in London, expressed how much she has enjoyed working for the Council. Lelsey started with highland council on 13 August 2019.
Following Scottish Government guidance on returning to construction sites across Scotland, works will be restarting on the EES:ABS scheme across the Highlands. In line with the guidance, contractors will be undertaking phased restarts and adhering to social distancing to allow workers to return to construction sites gradually while using measures such as hand hygiene.
Two prominent derelict buildings in Wick High Street are to be demolished following decades lying empty. Numbers 30 and 126 (known locally as Dominoes (the former cinema) and Sloans are to benefit from demolition and site clearance, before ownership is returned to the local community.