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."
The public is being asked for its views on proposals by The Highland Council to review the maximum level of charges for the hire of taxis or private hire cars fitted with taxi meters operating under licence of The Highland Council. The Council has a statutory duty in terms of Section 17 of the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 to review its scales for the fares and other taxi related charges every 18 months.
A report published today by the local authority spending watchdog looks at how councils are using the estimated 130 ALEOs (arms-length external organisations) in Scotland, which have an annual spend of more than £1.3 billion, and the impact they are making. ALEOs can take many forms - such as companies, community organisations or charities.
Members of The Highland Council's Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee have given their backing to new shop front guidance aimed at ensuring high quality designs for traditional, replacement and new shopfronts throughout the Highlands. The Guidance sets out general principles for repair, reinstatement and replacement of shopfronts, as well as general principles for new shopfronts in new development.
Councillor Matthew Reiss, who represents the Thurso and Northwest Caithness Ward, has been elected as Chairman of The Highland Council's Caithness Committee. He takes over from Councillor Donnie Mackay who has held the role since June 2017.
Members of the Caithness Committee have on Wednesday 16th May 2018 approved the Council's 2018/19 structural maintenance programmes for roads in the area for the coming year which reflects both the strategic network and the importance attached to local roads by rural communities. The revenue budget for road maintenance activities in Caithness for 18/19 is £1.214M of which £0.539M is allocated for winter maintenance with a further capital budget of £0.785M The Highland Council's allocation to areas for structural road maintenance is based on the results of the annual Scottish Road Maintenance Condition Survey, safety inspections, service inspections and input from local members.
The Highland Council remains on track to deliver much-needed affordable homes across the Highlands as recent figures produced show all new home completions in Highland are on the up. In its Strategic Housing Plan 2018-2023 the Council has a pledge to approve a minimum of 500 units each year of which 70% will be for affordable rent and 30% for low cost home ownership.
AVIEMORE now has access to free WIFI in and around the centre of the town thanks to a project led by the Highland Council and funded by the Inverness and Highland City-Region Deal. The free WiFi, called "High-Fi", is aimed at stimulating economic growth and will increase digital inclusion across the Highlands.
The Highland Council has considered Audit Scotland's report on Local Government in Scotland, Challenges & Performance 2018. Audit Scotland recognises that councils will continue to face difficult decisions with limited resources.
The work of the Redesign Board has been considered by Council today. The Redesign Board is fundamentally changing the way the council does things.
The annual Local Scrutiny Plan (LSP) 2018/19 for Highland Council was considered by Council today (10 May 2018). The plan is based on a shared risk assessment undertaken by representatives of all the scrutiny bodies who engage with the council and shows no additional scrutiny is required of the Council during 2018/19.
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