Review of Political Arrangements In Highland
9th March 2008
The Highland Council has agreed to form a working group to review the political arrangements that have been in place since the new council was elected in May, last year. The group of 15 members of the Independent/Scottish National Party Administration will examine:-
~ the strategic committee structure;
~ the Planning Applications and Review Committees, Licensing Committees and Licensing Board, currently set up in each of the three operational areas;
~ the operation of the wards and ward forums; and
~ the potential for technological solutions to secure improved access to
the democratic process for elected members and the public.
The Group will aim to report back to the Council meeting of 26 June 2008.
Council Convener Sandy Park said: "In order to satisfy ourselves that the new arrangements are working well, the time is right to undertake a review of the politically arrangements currently in place."
The Council has seven strategic committees, namely Resources, Housing and Social Work, Education Culture and Sport, Planning Environment and Development, Transport Environmental and Community Services; Audit and Scrutiny and Gaelic.
In recognition of the importance of Inverness as the administrative and transport hub of the Highlands, an Inverness City Committee has been created.
There are three Planning Application and Review Committees and three Licensing Committees/Boards covering Caithness Sutherland and Easter Ross; Ross Skye and Lochaber and Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey.
Elected members serve on Ward Forums, which are discussion forums open to the public. Ward members are joined by the ward manager, key partners and agencies, including Community Councils, in discussing matters of local interest.
The Working Group will comprise the following councillors: David Fallows, Donnie Kerr, George Farlow, Alan Torrance, David Bremner, John Rosie, Bill Clark, Donald Cameron, Jimmy MacDonald, Hamish Fraser, Richard Greene, Billy Barclay, Jaci Douglas, Laurie Fraser, Peter Corbett.
The Convention of Scottish Local Authorities has warned that the Scottish Government's Budget will hit vulnerable communities the hardest. COSLA has warned the Government that it has not considered successive years of cuts, or rising inflation and demand and have therefore put council services at risk.
Following a review taxi fares in Highland have been held at the same level by the Highland Council Licensing Committee held on 18 February 2019. The papers and the debate on this issue can be seen at items six on the webcast - https://highland.public-i.tv/core/portal/webcast_interactive/469655 There is a 14 Day period for appeal.
A study is underway into the feasibility of replacing Scotland's second busiest ferry service with a fixed link bridge or tunnel. The Highland Council, HITRANS and Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) are joint funding the study at the Corran Narrows in Lochaber.
The standstill period under the Council's Trades Services Framework agreement was due to close with effect from Monday 17th February 2020, with the intention of a proposed go live date with the new arrangements and contracts of 24th February. The standstill period is a defined period of time between the notice of the contract award decision and the award of the contract.
On 14th February 2020 the Highland council place an advert in the Northern times newspaper regarding the Spaceport planning application as follows. - THE HIGHLAND COUNCIL TOWN AND COUNTRY PLANNING (SCOTLAND) ACT 1997 TOWN and COUNTRY PLANNING (ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT) (SCOTLAND) REGULATIONS 2017.
Members today approved a modest 3% rent increase for residential rents and service charges following detailed consultation with tenants. The increase will result in a rise in the average weekly council house rent from £75.38 to £77.74 (£2.26), which means that Highland rents are still 8th lowest of the 26 councils which retain housing.
Highland Council's new Chief Social Work Officer's first annual report highlights successes and challenges.` Highland Council's new Chief Social Work Officer for Highland Council, Karen Ralston, has enjoyed a successful first year in her role. Members today noted the 2018/19 annual report at the meeting of the Health, Wellbeing and Social Care committee.
Highland Council Trading Standards are again warning unsuspecting residents of the emergence of a new Council Tax scam. Today a call was received by the Council from a Council Tax payer alerting to a Council Tax scam whereby scammers are now texting people and informing them that they are due a Council Tax rebate.
The Highland Council has published the Highland Common Good Asset Register following the completion of a consultation process required by the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015. The Register has been published on the Council's website and can be accessed from the download link on the page titled "Common Good Asset Register" or at the following link: https://www.highland.gov.uk/info/20010/community_planning/840/common_good_asset_register For ease of reference, the Register has been divided in the separate former Burghs having recorded Common Good Funds - Cromarty, Dingwall, Dornoch, Fortrose and Rosemarkie, Invergordon, Inverness, Nairn and Tain.
According to the draft Scottish Govenment budget, Highlands and Islands Enterprise will get £58.2 million in the upcoming financial year - down from £61.1 million last year. 2018/19 the budget was £71.7 million.
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