Council Calls for 4th Scottish Parliamentary Boundary for Highland
9th March 2008
Highland Councillors are calling on the Boundary Commission for Scotland to reconsider proposals for new Scottish Parliamentary boundaries in the Highlands so that the area is represented by four directly elected constituency MSPs instead of the current three.
The Commission is consulting on a proposal to establish three constituencies, called North Highland, West Highland and East Highland. North Highland would replace the existing constituency of Caithness Sutherland and Easter Ross and have an electorate of 56,170. West Highland would replace Ross and Skye and Inverness West and have 55,900 electors. East Highland would replace Inverness East, Nairn and Lochaber and have 61,690 electors.
In objecting to these proposals, the Council believes that, given the vast size of the proposed constituencies, there should be four in Highland called Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross; Ross Skye and Strathglass; Inverness; and Loch Ness, Lochaber, Badenoch and Nairn. Electorates range from 42,091 in Caithness Sutherland and Easter Ross to 44,741 in Inverness.
If the Commission rejects this position, the Council believes it is possible to divide the Highland area into three alternative constituencies, namely North Highland and Wester Ross (55,718); Ross Skye Lochaber and Badenoch (61,162); and Inverness and Nairn (56,900).
The deadline for representations to the Boundary Commission is 14 March.
Council tax payers in Highland who have lost their jobs or are experiencing a drop in their income are being encouraged to apply as quickly as possible for a reduction in their council tax. This help, known as the ‘Council Tax Reduction Scheme', is available for lower income households, including home owners.
Around 19,000 business rate payers in Highland will not receive their annual rates bill this April. The Highland Council recognises the exceptional economic challenges for local business and has therefore decided to pause business rates bills in respect of financial year 2020/21.
What is 'shielding'? If you fall within one of the groups recommended to shield, you will have received a letter or text from the NHS. Shielding is a measure to protect extremely vulnerable people by minimising contact between those who are extremely vulnerable and others.
During this time of restrictions it is important that we all stay active, for our physical health and mental well being. Recreation outside is an important element of this, but it is essential that each of us practice good social distancing while outside.
The Highland Council has launched a free helpline to give assistance and to collect details of individuals and community groups looking to provide volunteering support during Covid19. The single line number - 0300 303 1362 - will connect callers to relevant Council specialist teams and will operate Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm.
Highland Council will be providing e-vouchers to families to support access to free school meals from week commencing 30 March 2020. This innovative and easy-to-use service will ensure over 4,000 school children will continue to receive support for school meals while schools are closed.
The Council has been working at pace to set up centres for the children of key workers. Anyone who has applied for a place at one of the key worker hubs in the Highland Council area will be contacted by the end of today (Wednesday 25th) with confirmation of the arrangements that have been put in place.
THE HELPLINE GOES LIVE TODAY FROM 2:00pm ONWARDS. The Highland Council has launched a free helpline to give assistance and to collect details of individuals and community groups looking to provide volunteering support during Covid19.
Due to the COVID19 restrictions and the closure of Council Service Points, there has been a change in the way Highland Council provides its Homeless services. If you become Homeless, please contact the Council's Service Centre on 01349 886602 (during office hours) and 01349 886691 (out of hours) for further help and support.
As a landlord, the Council's priority is maintaining the welfare of our tenants and providing you with essential services at this difficult time. The situation is changing daily, but this bulletin contains the most up-to-date information about where you can seek advice if you have any concerns about your wellbeing, income or other tenancy matters.
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