Car Clubs Help The Highland Council Drive Ahead
2nd June 2018
The Highland Council, in partnership with Enterprise Car Club an E-Car Club, have recently launched car clubs at multiple Council offices throughout the region. The scheme's newest location, Fort William, is being launched on 4th June 2018 and will form part of a 6-month pilot.
The Council recently undertook a review its grey fleet, where staff and Members use their own cars to deliver services, and this review identified that the car club model would be an appropriate way to reduce both costs and risk to the organisation.
Staff from the Council's Climate Change team and Travel Desk have been working closely with two car club operators - Enterprise Car Club and E-Car Club - to pilot the car club model at key sites within the Council’s estate. The purpose of the pilot is to displace costly grey fleet and car hire journeys by rolling out car club vehicles, initially at the locations detailed below:
• Highland Council HQ, Inverness – 5 cars (Enterprise Car Club)
• Charles Kennedy Building, Fort William – 2 cars (E-Car Club)
• Camaghael Hostel, Fort William – 1 car (E-Car Club)
• County Buildings, Dingwall – 3 cars (E-Car Club)
• Drummuie, Golspie – 3 cars (E-Car Club)
The overall objective is to create an easily accessible, self-serve alternative to private vehicle use at locations where significant levels of grey fleet mileage and car hire originate.
Chair of the Council’s Environment, Development & Infrastructure Committee, Councillor Allan Henderson, said: "We are delighted to see car club vehicles being rolled out at offices throughout the region. Our staff cover a huge geographical area in delivering services to the people of Highland, and by providing them with safe, modern, low-emission vehicles, we are helping them to do that without having to rely on their own cars."
He added: "The Highland Council is committed to creating sustainable transport in the region, and car clubs are an excellent way of reducing vehicle numbers on our roads, as well as harmful emissions. We very much hope that this pilot is a success and that we can have a wider roll out of the scheme towards the end of the year."
Keith Stark, Scotland Manager at Enterprise Car Club, said: “Enterprise has been renting cars in Highland for many years, and we are absolutely delighted to now have the opportunity to extend that service to The Highland Council. The service will provide flexibility to Council staff to rent a car either by the hour or by the day, right on their doorstep, whenever they need it, and will mean that many staff can now get to work by alternative means, knowing that they have cars available to book at a moments’ notice.”
Malcolm McRobert, Locations Manager (Scotland) at E-Car Club, said: “The Highland Council has recognised that car clubs can provide an efficient, cost effective and low carbon means of delivering services to the people of Highland. E-Car Club are pleased to be helping deliver the Council’s vision at various locations including Dingwall, Fort William and Golspie, and we’re confident that staff will soon see the benefits of the car club model over using their own vehicles.”
Following a pre-planning drop-in session at the end of September 2018, The Highland Council has given the public a further 28 days to share their views and comment on the proposal for a new Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) at the Longman landfill site in Inverness. The public can now visit the Council's website to find out more about the MRF and to share their views on the proposal.
Dr James Vance, Head Teacher at Culloden Academy has been appointed as interim Head of Education Services with The Highland Council's Care and Learning Service. Dr Vance, who starts his new employment in January 2019, will be based at the Council's headquarters on Glenurquhart Road, Inverness.
The Highland Council has submitted a planning application for a low head hydroelectric development at the Torvean Weir on the River Ness at land 430m south west of Highland Rugby Club, on Bught Road, Inverness Using an Archimedes screw the hydroelectric scheme will have a generating capacity of up to 100kW and an average annual renewable energy output of approximately 600,000 kWh per annum. The renewable energy generated will return an income to the Council through the Feed in Tariff mechanism and be connected to the local Archive Centre and leisure centre.
The Highland Council is carrying out the formal review of its Polling Districts and Places. This review is required in terms of the Electoral Registration and Administration Act 2013 as all polling districts and polling places should be reviewed at least every four years.
Joint operation identifies poor standards of food safety and staff living accommodation. Highland Council Environmental Health Officers were required to take formal enforcement action regarding poor standards of food safety during a recent multi-agency operation led by Immigration Enforcement.
The Scottish Government's announcement of a consultation on the introduction of a visitor levy ("tourist tax") has been welcomed by The Highland Council. Convener Bill Lobban recently gave evidence to the Scottish Parliament's Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Affairs Committee, where he emphasised the importance of tourism to the Highlands.
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.
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