Highland Council agrees 5-year Capital Programme
8th March 2018
The Highland Council has agreed a capital programme of £482m over the next 5 years.
The Highland Council serves the largest geographical area in Scotland (over 30%) and has just under £2bn of assets on its balance sheet comprising, amongst other things, 203 operational schools, over 6,700km of roads and over 2,000 properties.
Cllr Margaret Davidson, Leader of the Highland Council said: "This programme delivers significant investment in a range of key projects across the Highlands. We are investing in schools, roads, bridges, harbours and flood prevention schemes that will benefit our communities over the coming years.
"We recognise the need to invest in our infrastructure and we want to do more. Our capital programme has been significantly reduced due to the financial constraints imposed on us by the Scottish Government, but we intend to campaign hard for more capital funding for the Highlands and I am today calling on all our Councillors, MSPs and MPs to publically support us.
"All these projects are vital to the economy of the Highlands. Of course we all want to do more. We have to watch every opportunity and work with everyone to get all the support that we can. We also need to listen to our communities to hear what ideas they have and to work with us to direct their support to our campaign for better funding for our roads and our schools. We have a hard task ahead and we need to work together."
Budget Leader of the Highland Council, Cllr Alister MacKinnon said:
“It was good to see the consensus across the chamber today. We all want the best for our communities. We intend to push hard for more capital funding for our schools and infrastructure and we will ensure that we deliver the very best value for what we spend. We are determined to ensure that the Highlands has the investment it needs and deserves and that we are not disadvantaged by our geography."
The Highland Council's Capital Programme 2018/19 to 2022/23 can be found at: https://www.highland.gov.uk/download/meetings/id/73257/item_3_capital_programme_201819_to_202223
The Highland Council has appointed a new Chief Executive. The successful candidate is Donna Manson, currently Service Director for Children and Young People in the Scottish Borders.
Local services throughout Scotland could be plunged into crisis after - UNISON, Unite and the GMB - wrote to COSLA to say they will recommend their members reject their revised pay offer when they consult them in the coming weeks. The revised pay offer, made by COSLA on 6th September 2018, was a 3% increase for all local government workers earning up to £80,000, but the trade unions are angry that this is below inflation and does not improve low pay.
Members have discussed the consultation and proposed response to a review of the structure of the Scottish Local Government Pension Scheme. The Highland Council Pension Fund is one of eleven constituent funds of the Scottish Local Government Pension Scheme.
The Highland Council has agreed to plan for a potential budget gap of £66.7 million over the next three years. It was agreed by Members in June to develop plans for a multi-year budget for the next 3 financial years (2019-22) to meet the challenge of a potential funding gap dependent on a wide range of variables.
The Highland Council is looking for experienced staff or existing managers to drive the Early Learning and Childcare initiative forward, to ensure our youngest children get the best start in life and are ready to succeed. The Council will be almost doubling the provision of early learning and childcare over the next two years.
High Life Highland today announced that it has been successful in an application to the Year of Young People National Lottery Fund, to support its HLH Leadership Programme. "Choose to Lead" will be a Leadership Award that will be recognised by the SCQF Framework and accreditation of the award will be carried out by the University of The Highlands and Islands.
The Highland Council is encouraging local community groups to participate in the Scottish Government's Local Governance Review. Members have today considered the work to date preparing for The Highland Council's contribution to the Local Governance Review.
Progress on the Highland Council's review of its public conveniences has been welcomed by the Council's Administration. Councillor Allan Henderson, Chair of the Council's Environment Development and Infrastructure Committee said: "It's important that we put the review into context and acknowledge that Highland Council is the largest provider of public conveniences in the UK.
Caithness Councillors have welcomed information that shows progress being made in respect of destinations of pupils on leaving Wick High School in recent years. The information was presented at the Caithness Area Committee meeting held in Wick on Tuesday 28 August.
The Corporate Revenue Monitoring Statement for Quarter 1 (Apr - June 18), has been considered by the Council's Corporate Resources Committee. The paper sets out actions to address the projected 1% overspend of £5.1m.
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