The Highland Council Budget is to be set on 15 February 2018
11th February 2018
The Highland Council Budget team have agreed their final budget proposals which will go to Council for agreement on 15 February 2018.
Budget Leader Councillor Alister Mackinnon said: "We have done everything we can to protect frontline services and jobs in a good budget. Our approach has been to explore commercial and income generating opportunities, to identify efficiencies and to use redesign methodology to streamline our processes and make savings.
"It has not helped that we have had to wait until the 11th hour on 31 January for the outcome of our grant settlement. We had always anticipated a significantly larger budget gap and we have been planning for that. We have left no stone unturned in looking for ways to make savings with the least possible impact, but have had to consider some unpalatable but necessary cuts. This has caused a great deal of undue uncertainty and concern for communities and our staff for many weeks until additional funding materialised in the Scottish Government's last minute deal with the Green Party to agree their budget.
"This has meant that we, thankfully, do not have to cut as deeply this year as we had feared. We are able to protect education, additional support needs and roads maintenance completely and avoid deeper cuts considered on a range of other services. We do however still have to agree a range of savings to meet the pressures on our budget.
“Funding cuts to some organisations would also have been much higher if we had not had the additional funding and this, I hope will be welcomed. Our proposals for savings mainly focus on efficiencies and raising additional income where people can pay a bit more for non-essential services such as garden waste and parking."
Leader of the Council Margaret Davidson added: “It is unacceptable to be expected to plan our finances strategically when we are working in the dark with our hands tied behind our back. An announcement of a one year budget and local authority grants on 31 January gives us just 8 weeks to deliver a balanced budget for 18-19 and still no idea of what our situation will be in future years. This is not the way for the country to do business. We will continue to lobby for fair and transparent funding with a vastly improved process which allows Scotland to plan ahead."
The full details of the budget proposals can be found at -
On Thursday 16th August 2018 councillors on the Environment, Development and Infrastructure committee will discuss the update from Caithness and North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership which is reproduced below. 3.
The Environment, Development and Infrastructure committee of Highland Council will meet on Thursday 16th August 2018. Item 23 on the agenda is "Parking Services".
The Highland Council is delighted to be working with the University of Dundee and the University of the Highlands and Islands to support Highland-based people who are interested in a career move to gain both their PGDE and complete their induction year within 18 months. Following an earlier event in June, Highland Council and the University of Dundee and University of the Highlands and Islands are hosting a second information evening on Tuesday 14 August 2018 from 5:30pm - 7pm at the University of Highlands and Islands, Inverness College, Inverness Campus IV2 5NA.
The Highland Licensing Board is now consulting on a proposed draft of its next Statement of Policy under the Gambling Act 2005 which, when finalised after consultation responses have been considered and any consequent amendments made, will become its policy statement for the period 2019-2022. The Highland Licensing Board is required to publish, every three years, a statement of the principles that they propose to apply in exercising their functions under the Gambling Act 2005.
Young people across the Highlands are receiving their SQA exam results by text, e-mail or post today (7th August 2018). Schools across The Highland Council area offered candidates the full range of national qualifications from National 2 right through to Advanced Higher.
Works are to begin on an additional £1.5M worth of repair schemes on Highland Council roads this summer. Cllr Alister Mackinnon, Highland Council's Budget Leader said: "At the Council's meeting in March, Members agreed a revised 5 year Capital Plan and agreed to prioritise roads maintenance if there was any underspend in the Council's capital programme for 2018/19.
Highland Council is issuing a reminder to owners of private water supplies and landlords of tenants on private water supplies that it is their responsibility to arrange for the provision of water to their properties. As a result of the prolonged recent dry weather Highland Council's, Environmental Health Team is receiving a few calls from individuals on private water supplies that are drying up.
The Highland Licensing Board has begun consultation on its next Statement of Licensing Policy for the period November 2018 to November 2023. The aim of the Policy Statement is to promote consistency in decision-making on all types of liquor licence applications and to give applicants advance notice of the Board's likely approach to determining licence applications.
The Highland Council is pleased to announce the recent appointment of 5 Head and 10 Acting Head Teachers across the region's schools. All the new teachers will be in their posts by the new term in August 2018.
The Highland Council has approved the recruitment process for a new Chief Executive to replace Steve Barron when he retires in the autumn. Applicants are invited to apply for this important top position to lead one of the largest local authorities in Europe, by the 31 July.
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