The Highland Council responds to the impact of severe weather
9th January 2015
THE Highland Council has been working with partners in other agencies to plan for the impact of the severe storms overnight and throughout today. Senior staff have been taking part in regional and local multi-agency meetings to ensure appropriate arrangements are in place and staff across the council have been working extremely hard to deal with the impacts of the weather and provide service continuity.
Due to the severe weather, power supplies, computer networks and some phone lines have been affected this morning. Most services have been restored, but there may be disruption continuing during the day at some sites due to power outage and telephony issues.
13 Service Points are currently closed due to loss of power. Service Point closures are now linked to the severe weather page on our website. http://www.highland.gov.uk/info/591/council_and_government/590/service_points_closed
The Service Centre has been extremely busy with high call volumes. As at 1pm today, the Centre had received 1315 calls. The normal call volume is around 1000 calls per day.
Around 98 schools were closed today, however we would expect that most schools will re-open as usual on Monday. Decisions on school closures are made locally by Head Teachers who assess local circumstances and conditions. Some structural damage is currently being assessed at Brora and Kyleachin schools.
Deputy Chief Executive Michelle Morris said: "As several thousand households are still without power, we are working with our partners to ensure vulnerable residents are cared for. We would also encourage people to look out for elderly or vulnerable neighbours who may be without heat or light.
"Many roads across the highlands continue to be affected by fallen trees and debris. Teams of staff have been working very hard, during the night and throughout the day, to clear branches and make the roads safe. The forecast is for further strong winds this evening and overnight, which may result in more trees and branches falling on roads.
“There is also expected to be snow at all levels tomorrow and Sunday with a yellow weather warning in place. Road conditions, therefore are likely to continue to be difficult and caution should be exercised when travelling."
The latest road report shows the following road closures:
· A838 near Merkland
· B9176 Struie Hill Road
· B9154 Daviot to Dalmagarry closed (trees at Moy Station)
· B9163 Black Isle - tree damage to the Newhall Burn bridge, between (Jemimaville and Balblair)
In addition there are minor road closures:
· Galcantray to Croy (Tree resting on building)
· C1242 Kilbeg/Ostag Tarskavaig road (culvert collapse).
Highland council members today (9 December 2019) wholeheartedly gave their support to a report to Council on tackling gender-based violence. Highland Council has been working closely with trade union colleagues and Close the Gap to create a zero-tolerance culture towards gender-based violence.
Highland councillors today approved the findings of a public consultation supporting the introduction of a Highland Transient Visitor Levy and committed to further work to develop an optimal scheme for Highland. The results of more than 6600 responses gathered through online and face-to-face surveys, alongside a pre-consultation with the tourism industry and written submissions received from representatives from the tourism industry and local communities were considered by Members.
Members have approved a proposal to substantially increase the payment to foster carers at the meeting of Highland Council today, Monday 9 December 2019. The new payment proposal recognises the valuable role of foster carers in providing a home and care for the most vulnerable children within their Highland community.
Voters in the three Highland constituencies for the UK Parliamentary general election of: Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross; Ross, Skye and Lochaber; and Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey are being reminded by Returning Officer Donna Manson that their vote matters. On Thursday 12 December voting begins with all Highland polling stations opening their doors at 7am and remaining open for voters until 10pm.
New guidance for parents and carers who wish to apply for deferred or early entry to Highland schools for their children has been approved (subject to some additional conditions agreed) by Members of The Highland Council's Care, Learning and Housing Committee. The guidance is helping to deliver the Council's Programme priority to ‘expand early years provision and provide the best start for young people across Highland’.
A question from Councillor Ben Thomson to Highland Council meeting next week. To the Chair of the Corporate Resources Committee "What reassurance can the Council provide that it is applying discretion where appropriate to the imposition of the 200% Council Tax rate applicable to empty homes? i.e.
Members will be asked to approve a proposal to substantially increase the payment to foster carers at the meeting of Highland Council on Monday 9 December 2019. The new payment proposal recognises the valuable role of foster carers in providing a home and care for the most vulnerable children within their Highland community.
The public is being asked for its views on proposals by The Highland Council to review the maximum level of charges for the hire of taxis or private hire cars fitted with taxi meters operating under licence of The Highland Council. The Council has a statutory duty in terms of Section 17 of the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 to review its scales for the fares and other taxi related charges every 18 months.
Improving literacy and numeracy is giving more young people a better chance of fulfilling their potential in life. Highland Council is committed to tackling poverty and inequality and enabling all our children and young people to reach their full potential, with a focus on reducing the attainment gap for those from more disadvantaged communities across the Highlands.
Helen Budge, Director of Children's Services at Shetland Islands Council, has taken up the mantle as Lead Officer for the Northern Alliance. She will be supported in leading the improvement collaborative by a quality improvement manager, working with Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Argyll & Bute, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (Western Isles), Highland, Moray, Orkney and Shetland councils to improve the life chances of children and young people.
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