Brexit - Our Commitment to the Highland Council Workforce
30th April 2018
The Leader Councillor Margaret Davidson and Chief Executive, Steve Barron of The Highland Council have written to employees with a reassurance of commitment to EU national members of the workforce.
Chief Executive Steve Barron said: "In the context of ongoing Brexit negotiations between the UK Government and the EU, we recognise that this could be an uncertain and unsettling time for many staff who could be affected by the outcome.
"We are writing to reassure our EU national employees that they are equally valued and appreciated members of our 10,000 strong workforce. As an employer, the Council is wholeheartedly committed to providing support to each and every member of staff who may be affected as the situation develops.
“At this time, there is no obligation for EU staff to take action and until the UK leaves the EU, European Economic Area nationals can still work freely in the UK. Home Office guidance, however, has been clear that all EU nationals living in the UK will have to obtain status in UK law; this is likely to involve a new process that will start in the second half of this year to enable application for settled status."
He continued: “We believe it is very important that we do all we can to help our employees during this period of change and to help them feel supported to continue living and working in the Highlands. We will also continue to work with Trade Unions to ensure that collectively, we are providing all possible support.
“The Council is also working closely with our partners and both the Scottish and UK Governments to understand the specific implications arising from Brexit which may have an impact on the Highlands and will keep staff updated on developments."
On 22nd January 2019 the Moray West wind Farm planning application returns to the North Planning committee but merely fro some slight changes to the location of some turbines to lessen the impact on certain views. The original permission and this one is not within the power of the committee but they have the ability to enter and objection.
Police in Lochaber can confirm that a 27-year-old man has been arrested in connection with alleged consumer protection offences in Fort William. It follows an investigation by Police Scotland and Highland Council Trading Standards, after a report was received this week of "bogus workmen" in Fort William and alleged fraudulent activity relating to charges for work carried out on a house in the town.
DETAILED analysis of the Scottish Government's funding settlement, which makes up the vast proportion of the Council's budget, has been carried out and the net result is that the Highland Council will see a reduction in its grant funding to provide the current level of services. This, together with the additional pressures equates to a £31.2M budget gap for 2019-20.
Highland Council Trading Standards have produced guidance on how to spot the signs of scams that target businesses and also remind businesses to inform their employees on what to look out for when dealing with unsolicited telephone calls, emails and texts. All businesses as well as non-profit organisations (such as charitable organisations) may spend a lot of time dealing with potential scammers.
The Highland Council has written to parents and carers of school transport pupils to inform them that D&E Coaches have recently transferred a number of Highland Council contracts to Stagecoach and some school transport routes are included. These changes are to take effect from the first day back after the school holidays, Monday 7th January 2019 and timetables have been supplied for the routes affected.
Twenty nine members of The Highland Council's Care and Learning team have celebrated their success in completing the Council's 15 month ‘Lead On’ programme. ‘Lead On’, is a programme designed to develop practitioners’ understanding of change leadership and apply this through a change initiative in their place of work.
Highland Councillors are looking forward beyond the current Inverness and Highland City-Region Deal and asking: "What next and where?". Following publication of the Deal's annual report, Leader of The Highland Council Cllr Margaret Davidson said: "A meeting will be convened in the New Year with Councillors who have a particular interest in the City-Region Deal to talk about where we can go next and what we can do.".
Work underway to determine Highland's Budget allocation. Commenting after the news received last night of Councils' individual allocations, from the Scottish Government’s draft Budget, Budget Leader Councillor Alister Mackinnon said: "Having received the details of our allocation just last night, it will take some time to work through the proposed settlement and do a detailed analysis.
THROUGHOUT the month of November, The Highland Council's Chief Executive and members of the budget team have met with staff, groups and communities across the length and breadth of the Highlands. These sessions were part of a budget engagement exercise which also included facebook chats, survey, leaflet, video, and a budget challenge to raise awareness of budget challenges and gather views and priorities.
The Highland Council is to carry out a public consultation on the implementation of a transient visitor levy in the New Year. During the Council's public engagement activity during November, a strong theme was support for raising income from tourism, including a tourist levy, which could support local infrastructure, as well as the tourism sector itself.
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